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Friday, April 20, 2007

Five Conversations to Have with Your Children

It's not always easy to talk to a child, says WebMD's Dr. Charlotte Grayson Mathis. They are always on the go, they have short attention spans and it's often hard to explain things to them in a way that makes sense. There are some important lessons though that you can teach your preschooler or big kid.


Most importantly, make a habit when your child is young to talk to them every day about their life and activities. Don't judge them, just listen…and learn. Developing the habit now will serve you well for the years to come.

Controlling Their Temper

Thankfully, tantrums are far less common than when your angel was a terrible 2. As they get older, it's much easier to talk to your child and teach them how to handle his or her anger and frustration. Just remember to avoid conceding to their demands, and defuse any physical outbursts toward a sibling or others by removing the child from the situation. After the storm's passed, talk to your child about what's troubling him or her.

Why They Shouldn't Use Swear Words

It's shocking to see your precious child say the "s" word. It may even seem a bit funny, but don't laugh. Tell your child to not use the offensive word and offer alternatives to help him or her express themselves. If that doesn't work, consider punishing the child for the behavior.

Eating Right

The battle over what your child will or won't eat is a familiar and frustrating problem for most parents. Remember this: Try to offer your child a variety of healthy choices at each meal, including one thing they definitely like. Don't worry if they eat nothing one day, and pig out the next. And recognize that while their diet may be awful and one dimensional for a few days, over time, it usually balances out.

Sharing

At different ages, kids have different capacities to share their toys and personal items—and every kid is different. So, set a good example, show your kids how you're cooperative at home and reward good behavior. It will come in time.

Recognizing a Stranger

One thing's for certain, our idea of a stranger is very different than our child's. Explain "stranger danger" in an age-appropriate way. For instance, use the movie Finding Nemo to introduce the topic to a preschooler. Tell your child that a friendly face doesn't mean that a person's not a stranger. A stranger is anyone your child doesn't know.

With an older child, review the scenarios in which they may be lured away from you, including offering candy or requesting help finding a lost pet. Tell your kids to always stick with their friends and not go off alone. Teach your kid how to shout "NO" and run away from a situation that's uncomfortable. Make sure to teach them their address and home phone number.

source:http://www2.oprah.com/

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