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Guest Post
Guest Post

Having a small child is exhausting. It may be wonderful, fulfilling and hilarious at the same time, but no one can deny that it is relentless. I often flick through Instagram hearing well-meaning advice only to have fear running through my veins. Am I getting it wrong? Do I have to think about yet another thing? I’m keen for this blog to be different and not induce that dreaded parent guilt that we all feel from time to time. So, I decided to tell you that it’s Important to make mistakes in your parenting (within reason).   Why Mistakes are OK We all know that our relationship with our child (the attachment relationship) is hugely important for their development. This puts pressure on us to be available, predictable and nurturing for our children – and do this consistently! However, life isn’t always like that (especially when we are juggling so many demands).  What I love about the world of attachment is that it recognises that we can’t get it right all of the time – in fact, it’s about being a “good-enough” rather than perfect (aka unobtainable and stressful trying to be) parent. So, how can making mistakes actually enhance our relationship? As you

“Silence is Golden. Unless You Have a Toddler…Then It’s Just Suspicious”   We all accept that toddlers are high energy little beings. Sometimes that energizer bunny craziness can just feel overwhelming for parents every day, so structure goes by the wayside. Do not underestimate the power of routines for taming toddler energy. These expert parenting tips will help you tame the chaos.   The Power of Routines for Taming Toddler Energy. Let’s first get real with ourselves and ask: Is it possible that your toddler has been trained (by you) that the rules of your home are open to negotiation?   In other words, “Are You for Sale?”    Being for sale means that you’ve allowed your child’s pleading, whining, or negotiating to get the best of you. When your child sniffs weakness, it gets exploited, and chaos ensues.   The good news? With just a few little adjustments, it’s within your power to regain harmony in your household. The best way to get started is to create and implement a routine that you stick with. The Power of Routines.   Toddlers get a sense of security and stability when they know how their day will unfold. This study for example, mentions how simply having a set bedtime for toddlers can result in their optimal

Healthy Eating for Toddlers.   Toddlers are very active little people. A lot of toddler activities require a lot of energy. So, it is important that we know how to fuel their bodies for proper growth and development. Click here for ideas on how to involve your toddler in meal preparation. A healthy balanced diet for a toddler can also get them into the lifelong habit of consuming a healthy diet.   What is a healthy balanced diet for a toddler? You might be surprised to hear that a healthy balanced diet for a toddler is not the same as a healthy balanced diet for an adult.  Toddlers, aged 1 to 4 years of age, have very high energy needs to sustain their growth both physically and mentally. A balanced dietary pattern for a toddler consists of three meals and two to three snacks a day. A toddler’s diet should consist of a balance of the following foods: Starchy carbohydrates. Fruit and vegetables Dairy, and protein, including meat, fish, eggs, pulses and ground seeds, nuts. Drinks like milk and water. The high sugar, salt and processed fat foods are not needed in a toddler's diet but can occasionally be given in small amounts.   So how does a

Regardless of where we’re living right now, life looks much different than it ever has in our lifetime.  Many families are at home with children, struggling to play the role of the teacher in addition to all our other roles.  If this is you, you’re not alone.  Better yet, there’s help in the form of well-intentioned tips that may not make it all better. However, they can certainly be useful during a time when we need access to all the tools in our toolbox. As parents, we want to be supporting language and communication in the home. But often we anticipate our children’s needs without them ever having to communicate.  However well-intentioned we may be, we’re missing language opportunities. For example, when we do routine things like help them put on their clothes or prepare their breakfast, without using language. Everyday routines are essentially toddler activities at home that we can use to support their language and communication in the home. Tips For Supporting Language and Communication in the Home.   Gestures Count It’s not uncommon to get caught up in the use of words that we forget about other forms of communication. One common way toddlers communicate is through the use of gestures.  If

As a mother of four children, I’ve had to prepare toddler siblings for a new baby three times. The first time around, I just had to prepare myself and that was a challenge enough! When you have a baby, your whole life often turns upside down. When you add a second, third, etc baby to the family – the impacts are felt by every family member.  As parents, we worry if we will feel the same amount of love for a new baby? Will our older children will get enough attention?  Will they feel jealous about their new sibling? Why should we be preparing toddler siblings for a new baby? One of the most daunting tasks is preparing toddler siblings for a new baby when they cannot communicate well. It´s further complicated if they can´t fully comprehend what you mean when you talk about a baby being in mommy’s tummy. Toddlers are used to being the center of attention in many families. They laugh along when mom points to her pregnant belly and says there is a baby coming.  The feelings they have vary from child to child. They may love or hate the idea of a new baby, but they really cannot

Did you know singing improves the emotional development of a child? Singing has an array of benefits, and some are not as obvious as you would think. Do you know the benefits of singing for children: improving the mental health of your child through music? Did you know music and singing have become a handy educational tool during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns? Teachers are relying on music to engage younger students that are not used to learning online.   The Benefits of Singing for Children.   1. Easy Engagement. Firstly, children don’t need much encouragement to play, and singing often falls into the category of ‘play’ for most children. It comes very naturally to most children. Singing can help them engage with friends allowing for opportunities to express themselves and use their vocabulary creatively.  Secondly, singing is a great way to encourage storytelling, build a small child’s memory of important information, i.e. “Heads and shoulders, knees and toes”,  and even talk about their feelings, i.e. “If You’re Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands”.    2. Self-Expression. Self-expression is crucial to a child’s development and growth. Through singing and songwriting, children can experience: Social cohesion. Build confidence. Engage in a creative form of self-expression. Develop resilience. Furthermore, engaging in the

Guest Post by Author Shelley Wilson. One in six young people aged 5-16-year-olds has a mental disorder. It’s essential to engage our children in activities that improve their mental health, including the fabulous activities in Lisa’s recent post, The Importance of Play. The power of storytelling for children’s mental health is often overlooked. I believe storytelling and meditation are important toddler activities to be considered for improving their mental health. Keeping the channels of communication open for children allows them the space to break any stigma surrounding mental health and keep talking. But how do you build a good mental health practice in children as young as 4 or 5?   Let’s meditate! Meditation calms an overactive mind and soothes an overexerted body. It can boost creativity and reduce stress. Even very young children have worries and can experience stress or depression. In preschoolers, anxiety can be caused by separation from parents. Once older, academic and social pressures can cause our children to feel overwhelmed. Furthermore, meditation is an accessible tool to support your child’s positive mental health by developing and strengthening their ability to calm thoughts and actions In just five to ten minutes spent reading with your child is enough to get them into a

Play is so important to help children recover from the last year of living through a pandemic. There is a huge body of evidence & research that shows that brain connections develop during periods of play. It is vital to emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Parents don’t always understand the importance of play. However, in today’s competitive world, the temptation is to stop your children from “wasting time” and to put the time to what they believe is more constructive use. For a child, however, there is no more constructive activity than play. When analyzing the importance of play, particularly if you’re tempted to introduce a more “worthwhile” activity such as flashcards, educational computer games, or dancing or karate lessons, you should have a deeper understanding of 'play'. Why Play? Firstly, play allows a young child to be “in charge.” Often children are constantly being told what to do and how to do it in their everyday lives. They’re small and powerless so play lets them explore their world free from adult interference. Without an adult around, kids are exploring running the show! Secondly, children learn about the world in which they live through play. They can investigate and discover, test their theories, explore spatial relationships

Lisa Forsythe

Teacher, mum and author of Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents.