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Boys will be Boys! #001 - Child Discipline
October 15, 2008
Boys will be Boys! Newsletter, Issue #001 - Child Discipline
This monthly newsletter is brought to you by the Parenting Boys website. Each issue brings you the latest additions to the site, a parenting tip of the month, interesting parenting news, a quote or joke of the month and some food for thought.
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Corinne's Parenting Tip: How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums
The key is to actually avoid the tantrums altogether! Prevention is key when dealing with toddlers.
How do I prevent the tantrum? Make sure he's getting enough sleep and isn't hungry. Toddler tantrums abound when toddlers are tired or missed a snack. Toddlers thrive with routine. Something that will often trigger a tantrum is a change in your toddler's routine. If you know that his routine will be disturbed for some reason, then it is good to prepare him as much as you can. Tell him where you are going and what you are going to do. Then, tell him what kind of behavior you expect, putting your expectations in positive terms. If possible, schedule so that it won't clash with a meal or his nap. Of course, if possible at all, disturb his routine as little as possible. :)
Now, what is the best way to deal with a tantrum? I think the first thing to do is try and distract him or redirect him to something he likes doing. But, I don't think you should try too hard. A tantrum should NOT get him attention. If he gets attention for his tantrums, then he will use them as a tool and will be much more prone to them. If distraction or redirection don't work, then just ignore the tantrum. If he could potentially hurt himself, then remove whatever seems dangerous and just let him calm down.
Once his tantrum is over, don't draw attention to it and make him feel bad about it. We all need to let steam out sometimes and tantrums are a way to do just that for toddlers. Instead, do praise him when his attitude is good. If you are in public, don't let the disapproval of other people affect your response to the tantrum. You are dealing with it the right way, it is none of their business.
If you stick to these simple tips, you shouldn't have too many issues with tantrums. I know it worked with both my boys, they did go through a short period of having tantrums but got over it pretty quickly. Also, don't forget to check age appropriate toddler behavior. Sometimes tantrums are triggered by our own expectations of what our boys should be doing because our expectations are unrealistic with regards to their development.
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that hamsters can be dangerous. They say that young children should not keep hamsters, baby chicks, lizards, turtles or hedgehogs as pets.
Besides evidence that they can carry dangerous and sometimes potentially deadly germs, exotic pets may be more prone than cats and dogs to bite, scratch or claw... putting children younger than five particularly at risk, the report says.
Young children are more vulnerable because of their developing immune systems and they often put their hands in their mouths. This means that families with children under five should avoid owning "non-traditional" pets. Young children should also avoid contact with these animals in petting zoos or elsewhere, says the report.
"Many parents don't understand the risks from various infections" these animals often carry, said Dr Larry Pickering, the report's lead author and an infectious disease specialist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 11% of salmonella illnesses in children are thought to stem from contact with lizards, turtles and other reptiles, according to Pickering. Hamsters also can carry this germ, which can cause severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Salmonella has also been found in baby chicks. Young children can get it by kissing or touching the animals and then putting their hands in their mouths. Hedgehogs can be dangerous because their quills can penetrate the skin and have been known to spread a bacteria that can cause fever, stomach pain and a rash.
Hot foods or liquids from microwave ovens were the fourth leading cause of scald injuries in children under 5 years old, a review of records from the University of Chicago Burn Center shows. According to Dr. Gina Lowell of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the researchers on the study "Parents do need to teach their toddlers and their older children that the microwave is a potential source of danger as much as the stove is". She and her colleagues call for manufacturers to install mechanisms to prevent children from opening a microwave after something has been heated to prevent these injuries.
To date, Lowell and her team report in the journal Pediatrics, scald injury prevention efforts have focused on having parents turn down their water heaters so water temperature never exceeds 120 degrees. But tap-water scalds represent just a fraction of scald injuries overall, which remain the leading cause of burn-related ER visits and hospitalizations in young children.
Lowell and her colleagues reviewed the records of 140 children younger than 5 years old who were admitted to the University of Chicago Burn Center. Among the 104 scald injuries that were not from tap water, 90.4% were from hot foods or liquids. Seventeen injuries (16.3%) occurred when an older child was cooking, carrying the hot substance or supervising the injured child. Nine injuries (8.7%) were to children who had opened the microwave themselves and removed the substance inside; the youngest child injured in this way was 18 months old.
Ventilating a baby's room with a fan could significantly reduce the risk of SIDS, according to scientists in the US. Medical records of newborns showed that infants who slept in a bedroom with a fan had a 72% lower risk of SIDS, compared with those whose rooms were less well ventilated. These findings build on previous work that suggests that sleeping on the stomach and in soft bedding can increase the risk of SIDS, possibly by reducing ventilation and increasing the chances of babies re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide.
De-Kun Li is an epidemiologist at the US healthcare company Kaiser Permanente. He suggested that parents might want to consider using a fan alongside more established ways of reducing SIDS risk, such as putting infants to bed on their backs, using firm mattresses, avoiding soft duvets and comforters and not smoking near them. His study appears in October's Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
But, it should be noted that, according to a spokesman for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, fans had only been found to have an effect if parents had taken none of the recognised precautions. "It should be noted that opening a window, in a warm room, was almost as effective as using a fan," he said.
Until now, the only way to find out for sure whether a fetus had Down's Syndrome or not was through invasive procedures, either amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Both procedures carry a miscarriage risk of 1% and 2% respectively and also a risk of damage to the fetus.
The standard determination can be carried out from 15 weeks of pregnancy with an Amniocentesis and as early as 10 weeks with chorionic villus sampling. Dr Quake said the new DNA test could be carried out at an even earlier stage of pregnancy, which would give women more time to make choices about the outcome of their pregnancy.
Dr Stephen Quake and his Stanford team say they still need to repeat their study with a larger number of women, but are confident that it could be used routinely in hospitals in only a few years.
Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, said: "There is no question that these non-invasive tests will be introduced in the next few years. It's therefore incredibly important that potential parents are given accurate information on Down's syndrome before they make a choice about whether to terminate or not. We don't consider Down's syndrome a reason for termination, but we recognise that bringing up a child with Down's syndrome isn't right for everyone. The more informed parents are, the better the position they are in to make the choice that is right for them."
Parenting Quote of the Month
You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
For more fun quotes, visit our parenting quotes page.
Food for Thought: Does Motherhood Make Women Smarter?
According to Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative journalist Katherine Ellison motherhood sharpens the mind. That is what she concluded in her 2005 book "The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter."
According to research, mothers are likely to be exceptionally resourceful problem-solvers. They are also likely to have heightened sensitivities to people's needs and all kinds of smells, sights, sounds and movements. "Mom radar" is what Mrs. Ellison calls it.
So why is it that some think motherhood turns women into morons? It's because pregnancy and (sleep-deprived) new motherhood do affect women's brains - in fact, women's brains shrink slightly during and after pregnancy. This apparently leads to a deterioration in concentration, memory and expressive language skills.
But a few months after birth, women's brains not only regain their normal size, they return with a greater capacity for performance, social skills and emotional intelligence.
The female brain is almost remodeled, neuroscientist Craig Howard Kinsley said in a 2006 article on "The Maternal Brain" in Scientific American magazine. His studies comparing "virgin" rats with mother rats show that the mothers are better at foraging for food, finding their ways through mazes, building nests and protecting young rats from predators. "What is more, the cognitive benefits appear to be long-lasting, persisting until the mother rats enter old age," Mr. Kinsley wrote.
Here is a recent quote from Mrs. Ellison about mothers' brains:
"The job of a mother can resemble that of a CEO, with multiple and varied responsibilities, a great need for flexibility, and coolness under pressure and other dimensions of emotional intelligence"
Does it mean that motherhood automatically turns every woman into a focused, resourceful strategic planner? Of course not! But, for most women, motherhood appears to be one of their greatest assets.
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