Thursday, April 25, 2013

Children and Nail Biting

   Hispanic girl thinking 

There are probably a number of reasons why children bite their nails.  They can be bored or anxious about something.  Maybe it's just a habit they picked up.  Children find ways to deal with stress and nail biting is common.

Our five year old is constantly biting her nails.  Sometimes she bites her nails so bad that her finger tips are sore.  My husband bites his nails too, so she could have learned it from watching him.  She recently changed schools and had to make new friends and get used to a new teacher.  She seems to like her new school and friends but it's a different environment, so that might be a trigger. 

We always advise her to stop biting her nails because we don't want her to hurt herself.  My husband and our daughter are trying to help each other break this habit.  Whenever she sees him bite his nails she tells him to stop and vice versa.  We don't punish her or nag her as that will probably makes things worse.  When she is ready to stop biting her nails we will be here for her.

What do you do when you're nervous? 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Being a Big Sister

Sisters hugging 

Being a big sister is a huge responsibility because you have to set a good example.  Your little sister is always watching you and wants to do everything you do.  She looks up to you and wants to be like you.  That's why it's important to be a good role model.  

Our five year old is very playful with her little sister.  They fight like normal siblings, but they are very close to each other.  Being a big sister also means helping your little sister when she needs it.  Our five year old is always willing to help our three year old.  It could be something as simple as helping her with a zipper or helping her play a game on the computer.  Both of our girls like to help their baby sister.  If she cries they'll give her a toy or her pacifier to make her feel better. 

Being a big sister does not mean you should boss them around.  You should always consider their feelings because even though you're older, you're equal.  Give your little sister unconditional love and avoid being a bad influence.  Respect her and keep in mind that she mimics you because she admires you.  Remember, friends come and go, but sisters are forever.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Four Reasons it's Important Children Learn How to Swim

Girl swimming underwater 

My husband and I started taking our girls for swimming lessons at a very young age.  In my opinion the younger they start the better, but it's never too late to learn.  My husband's parents have a pool, so we always thought it was important that they knew how to swim.  Here are four reasons it's important that children learn how to swim:

It only takes one second for a child to fall into a pool so if they know what to do it can save their life.  Obviously you should never leave your child unattended at a pool, but accidents do happen.  I feel better knowing my children know how to float on their back and are comfortable being in the water. 

Our three year old has become a lot more confident in the water.  When we first started taking her swimming she was very nervous.  Over time she became more comfortable in the water.  The more she went and the more she learned, the more confident she became.  Now she can float, jump in the water and isn't afraid to put her head under the water. 

Physical Activity
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise.  It's important for children to be active with a well-balanced diet to stay healthy.

Social Skills
Children have the opportunity to interact with other children and learn how to share, take turns and respect each other.  They also learn how to listen to the instructor and follow instructions.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Children's Self-Help Skills

As a child grows they want to do things by themselves,  such as eating, toileting, dressing and undressing.  A child is so eager to learn and do what their parents do and aim to please.  They might say things like "Mommy I got dressed all by myself!"  Becoming a little bit independent builds a child's confidence and gives them a sense of pride.

My five year old can do a lot of things independently.  She has the ability to pick her own clothes and she knows how to dress and undress herself.  She can use a fork and spoon to feed herself and can brush her teeth with a little supervision.   She can put on her shoes without any help but has not mastered shoes laces yet.  She can use the washroom and wash her hands independently.  My second daughter is almost four years old and displays similar self-help skills.  Sometimes when I try to help her she tells me she can do it by herself, but she needs a little help with zippers. 

It's bittersweet when your child becomes more independent.  On one hand you're excited that they can do more things for themselves, but on the other hand you feel your child is growing up too fast and you don't want to let go of that closeness.  

As a parent it's important for you to be patient with your child as they grow and become more independent.  Take their age into consideration and keep your expectations realistic so you don't set them up for failure.