Early Childhood


How should I prepare my child for separation?
As with any large change, give your child time to grow used to the transition.

Let your child get comfortable with the situation.
Ask a new sitter to arrive 30 minutes before you depart, so that she and the baby can be well occupied, before you leave. This technique works well at home, as well as at daycare, church, etc.

Always say goodbye.
Kiss and hug your child. Tell your child where your going and when you'll be back, but don't prolong your goodbyes. Try to resist the urge to leave when your child isn't looking, as it may make your child more upset.

Once you leave, don't come back in.
As tempting as it may be to give your child one last comforting hug,try to refrain from going back into the house, or center. It makes things harder on you, the baby and the caregiver.



What can I do to stop bedtime battles?
You are not the only parent with this problem. Here are a few helpful suggestions to make life a little easier:

Follow a routine.
(Bath, Book, Bed for example) Young children generally don't do well with change. Keeping the same routine every night can help your child to learn what is expected of him, and what to expect at bedtime.

Don't get sidetracked.
Your child may try to keep you around, or call you back into his/her bedroom because of things like bathroom trips, requesting a glass of water, favorite stuffed animal, etc. You may want to try to anticipate your child's requests and make them part of your bedtime routine.

Be firm with your child.
Stand your ground through crying, temper tantrums, or anything else your child will try to use to get out of going to bed. Speak calmly but firmly, and insist that when time is up, time is up.


What's the best way to discipline a toddler?
With any child, discipline should focus not on punishment, but on teaching your child how to behave.

Once you tell your child not to jump on the couch, it's best to immediately direct his attention elsewhere. You don't need to get into a battle of wills for him to learn to listen. Rather than focusing on what he can't do, show him alternatives to behavior you don't allow.

Try "toddler-proofing" your house so most temptations are out of sight. It's much easier for your toddler to understand "No" if it applies to only a few situations (no hitting, no climbing, and no running), instead of a long list (no touching the dogs bowl, no playing in the street, no touching the DVD player, no going down the stairs).