Mum Zone’s resident Child Behavioural and Child Care Expert Ruth, author of Choosing Child Care, is available to answer some of your questions.
Topics include: Guiding children’s behaviour, setting developmentally appropriate limits / rules, holistic parenting, children’s spiritual growth, establishing routines, activity ideas, setting up the home environment to help support routines and limits, strategies for dealing with sibling rivalry / establishing positive relationships, choosing a child care centre that meets your child’s and family’s needs, settling children into care outside of the home, being involved in your child’s day when they attend care.
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My son has just turned 1. Up until now he has been a really happy baby. Two weeks ago he got sick with a nasty vomiting and diarrhoea bug, it knocked him (and us) about for about 5 days and then he has gotten better, his appetite is better than before he got sick and he has gone back to sleeping well like he used to. The only problem is that he has become really clingy to me, he wants to be picked up all the time and whinges and cries around my feet. I am a busy mum with 3 other children and a new business that I am trying to get off the ground. How do I deal with this clingy baby?
I would like to know if I am motivating my children correctly in terms of toileting behaviour (twin girls aged 3.5 years). I have trouble getting them to do BM (bowel movement) on the potty, having used all manner of bribery, rewards and encouragement. Sometimes my frustration shows. They are more or less fully toilet trained except in this area. Am I expecting too much and hoping they will just “get it”. I feel the need to get on top of this since they will be starting pre-school soon.
We are about to move house and we have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I would love any advice you have on how to make the transition as smooth as possible for all concerned, especially as we are going to a new area and will be starting at a new child care centre etc. My 3 year old is reasonably adaptable but does sometimes “lean” a bit on her “imaginary friend” in difficult social situations and my 14 month old has become even more clingy than normal since starting child care about a month ago.
I have a 17 month old son, his language and communication development is good, is very affectionate, playful and social towards family members and people that he is familiar with but I am a little concerned about his social behaviour in certain situations, often at play centres or in our mothers group he becomes very unsettled and easily upset around other children and seems to cause him distress, this has always been the case since he was little and only seems to be when he is out of his own environment, today I took him to a play centre and he was more interested in playing with his pram then interacting in the group.
My husband keeps reminding me that he is only 17 months old, am I being a little paranoid?
I have been suffering from depression for many years, but have only recently acknowledged the fact and started seeking treatment. Unfortunately this has had a huge impact on my 2 1/2 year old. He seems to have picked up on some of my mannerisms and now acts (whether he is or not, I’m unsure) sad and withdrawn. As much as I know I love him, I find it really hard to be around him and have since day one, I’ve always been stand-offish and at a lost on how (or too sick) to interact with him. I’d often sit him in front of the TV all day because I couldn’t cope. We don’t have any family around us and my partner does long hours at work, so it’s basically just me and my boy. I know this hasn’t been the best start to my child’s life, but I’m trying so hard to get myself together. Now I’m worrying that my behaviour is going to permanently affect him, and he’ll never become the confident happy person he deserves to be. Can kids be that forgiving? Where do I start in helping him?
My 2 and a half year old daughter was a champ at letting me know when she needed to do a poo, we would run to the toilet and wha la, all done. Sticker in hand she would beam with pride! Every night before a bath she would also wee on toilet, then all of a sudden there were no more warnings and absolutely no more sitting on the toilet. She tells me no when I suggest we sit there and read a story. I have tried stickers, chocolate, encouragement and gentle hints and praise, she still refuses to even go in the bathroom when she knows there is a chance a toilet is involved. Nothing happened to scare her, she has her little ladder and tiny toilet seat so she hasn’t fallen in and I haven’t fed into the fear or rebellion of it. I’m a bit confused.
Do I just leave it up to her to instigate trying again or do you have a few tricks up your sleeve?
My 2.5 year old daughter has recently started having major difficulty with bedtime. She’s become really frightened of “the monsters” and other things that lurk in the dark. I’ve tried chasing them away, spraying them, talking about them, denying their existence, but nothing seems to work. It’s quite distressing listening to her cries, but don’t know what else to try. Your help would be greatly appreciated!
My baby has just turned 3 months old and I feel very lucky because so far he is a very happy and calm baby. However I was wondering if babies of this age can be left playing on their own for too long? I mean, I’m obviously around, but doing housework etc, but he is happy playing in his cot, looking around and generally cooing to himself. I try and play with him throughout the day, but he seems quite happy on his own for 20 mins at a time. Is this OK, should I be spending more time with him? I want him to be independent but don’t want him to become unable to cope with playing with others.
My daughter has just turned 3 and whilst she is very bright and speaks well, she takes forever to do anything. It’s getting very frustrating as she constantly makes us late to places and we’ve tried both positive and negative reinforcement to no avail. She dropped her afternoon sleeps earlier this year and is constantly tired and this is when it’s much worse. She is also going to and fro between always wanting mum or always wanting dad so this makes things much more difficult as well. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
My son turned 2 last week, and attends daycare 4 days a week (since 10 months old has been at same centre). I have had numerous meetings with Day care about his hitting, pushing, biting and pulling hair. He has started to do it to myself and hubby as well. We say no and focus on gentle touch, which is what day care have suggested. They now have told me it is so bad they cannot take their eyes off him as he targets children and babies and pushes and pulls and bites. I am also noticing the main carer’s frustration when I go to collect him each day and they are telling me what I should be doing. I am doing my best and it is now upsetting me. I want to fix the problem, working closely with them and on their advice and booked him in to see a Behavior Psych. which of course there is a waiting list for, so I found another one and that is 2 weeks away. I am completely devastated. When I ask childcare if any other children do it they say no. My hubby and myself cannot even take him to a playgroup or the playground as he targets children and pushes them… One of my hubby and my arguments is that we are in a city with no family and very limited friends with children. Therefore our son really has only played with the children at Child Care. Hence I am SURE it is the only place he has learnt this. When I suggest this may be the case they change the subject. I am starting to get worried now they will not want him at the centre! I love the centre but I am now starting to not…
I have a 15 month old son and a 4 month old son. My 15 month old has started in the last few weeks to bang his head against things (desk, floor, tiles etc). Whenever he is walking and falls over which is often as he is just beginning to walk alone he falls safely but will then have a tantrum and bang his head on the floor. He is also doing this whenever he is told no or redirected to something else. I am at a loss as to what to do. Please help.
My son is 5 years old, he has always been a bit more to handle than my other children, but figured when he started school he would start to snap out of it. He has a tendency to just snap, but in a few minutes be fine and wanting to play again, he will hurt his sister who is 8 and is epileptic even though he knows not to hurt her as it can throw her into a seizure, and other times he can be the most caring little boy towards her especially when she is ill. He can’t seem to just play at the same level eg. if his sister wants to play wrestle that will last about 2-3 minutes before he takes it to the next level to actual violence. There is also times where he will flat out be defiant and won’t listen to a thing that he is asked and will reply with just a “NO” or some kind of fowl language to his sister. Some days he will eat like a horse and other days he won’t eat a thing, I spoke to his teacher the other day and she has said he does not speak in class at all, I can’t understand why when he doesn’t stop at home. We get through the whole fighting to get ready for school to the arguments after school, to the trouble with eating to come to the battle of bedtime, he will go to bed at his set time but will get up at least 15-20 times if not more and am at a loss as I have run out of things to try when it comes to his behaviour. He has been grounded, been sent to his room, sat in a naughty corner, had his favourite things taken from him including his TV, dvd and most valued toys. If I get cranky at him he will constantly bash his head on something. Please help…
I have an 18 month old son Nicholas. He is our first child. In the last three months he has become extremely clingy to me to the point that he cries and throws a tantrum everytime I leave the room or go to the kitchen (we have a safety gate up), eventhough he can still see me and I tell him where I’m going and how long I will be. He’s also very shy in social settings and will often take quite a while to adapt to new situations, clingy onto my leg until he feels safe. Whilst I accept that this is probably a stage he is going through, he is very demanding and I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to help him feel more safe/secure in the home and also in social settings?
My daughter is 17 months old, is very shy and clingy when with new people and places - and can take quite a long time to get to know someone. She currently does not go to childcare but I am considering it… what is the best way to settle her in?
I have a son who turns 2 years old in a month’s time. He is very active and loves to put on a show and get attention, particularly when our 6 month old enters the room. He often gets excited and starts hitting her or cuddling her to the point she can’t breath, as well as choosing to ignore my requests to be gentle with her. I have no idea as to the best approach for disciplining him, as my usual stern looks and firm “no!” just make him laugh. It is very frustrating. My husband wants him to have a time out/naughty spot but I feel he is too young. What do you suggest??
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