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Parenting Tips: How To Handle FUSSY EATERS

Making a fuss about food guarantees instant attention and many children slide into the habit of using food to wield power. Others are not interested in food and their parents’ efforts to make them eat put them off even more. Remove the pressure. Food can be enjoyed only when it is not associated with parental nagging.  While it can be frustrating when a child rejects the food we give them, it’s actually the way that we deal with the situation that impacts on their eating habits.

* Introduce your child to as many foods as possible at an early age.
* Involve your child in the preparation work.
* Be creative in garnishing and making the colours interesting.
* Don’t buy what you don’t want your child to eat.
* Teach your child where food comes from.
* Explain which foods are healthy and what they do for our bodies. Eat the same food as your child, and eat together.
* Don’t label your child a ‘picky eater’. Instead, praise him for what he eats, so he’ll take pride in his achievement.

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Parenting Tips: How To Handle DEMANDING Children

Demanding children are used to getting their own way. They feel entitled. They need to learn that demanding gets them nowhere.

* Teach him how to ask the right way.
* Explain he can’t always get his way.
* Praise him for being polite.
* Offer a choice in advance – ‘Do you want the blue plate or the red bowl?’
* Show children how to take on responsibilities themselves – how to get their own drinks, carry own things etc.

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Lack of respect usually comes from the fact that children are not respected themselves.
It starts at home.

* Point out the behaviour right away.
* Give reasoning to the child and explain the consequences.
* Show interest in your children.  Focus on their unique strengths and treat them as you would like to be treated.
* Be consistent.  If you give in, change your mind, break promises, change the rules and lash out with unfair punishments, your child is not going to develop respect.
* Respect is earned.  You have to give him reasons to do so, and that comes down to consistent parenting, realistic expectations, listening, fairness, a sound discipline policy based on fair principles, and an ability to own up to your mistakes.

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Parenting Tips: How to handle STEALING

Children may steal once or twice.  Don’t overreact and label your child a thief, something that could stay with him for a long time.  But if you force your child or he admits on his own accord, do make sure that you don’t overwhelm him with anger and punishments.

* Ensure that your child has the basic level of things that his friends have.
* Talk about values and ethics.
* If your child steals, don’t be too harsh.  Tell him you know he has taken something and that you would like it returned or replaced.
* Tell your child that you are watching his behaviour, that he has lost some trust, and that he needs to re-earn it.
* Make it clear that you will never cover for him.  He is accountable for his own actions.

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Parenting Tips: How To Handle BEDTIME PROBLEMS

Some children create a bit of fuss at bedtime – from feeling they are missing out on things to taking advantage of a situation to get your attention.

* Establish bedtime rules.
* Be firm and consistent.
* Offer choices so your child feels in control.
* Problem-solve issues together, eg. nightmares, fears.
* Leave out gadgets at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
* Reward/Praise for good behaviour.
If she argues or refuses, ignore the behaviour you don’t want to encourage.
Don’t argue because that provides the attention that she may be seeking.

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