Family bonding time is not limited to the people who live in your home. Extended family can be a great source of love and learning for children, and parents too. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins each have special roles, and different things to share. They can give your child love and encouragement and a bigger sense of belonging.
Becoming part of a blended family means big changes for everyone—grown-ups and children alike. Children may feel uncertain, afraid, and mistrustful as they adjust. Consider these strategies for helping children through this transition.
Gradual weaning involves loss, but your child is able to do her grieving in small, manageable doses as she learns to meet her physical and emotional needs in other ways. In fact, gradual weaning becomes a series of healthy stepping stones in the child's development and in the mother-child relationship, in which the child "ripens." Here's how.
First, the good news: Children are very adaptable. Children quickly learn that different settings and different people have different expectations – and they respond accordingly. For example, I was constantly amazed by all the things my children did for themselves at childcare that I was still doing for them at home! Many kids discover that begging to stay up late might work with grandma but not auntie. Or that mom will feed me but my teachers expect me to use utensils and feed myself.
Dreading leaving your toddler with the babysitter or at daycare and want to prepare him? Virtually every parent who has left a toddler with a caregiver has experienced the crumpled face, the arms Velcro-locked around your knees, the wail that rips through your heart. It's the normal response of a securely attached toddler who protests what she perceives as a life-threatening separation from her mother or father. Your toddler will learn, over time, that you do return when you leave, but she is not yet capable of understanding this fully.
The more you enjoy playing with your children, the more they may be able to learn. Your children's abilities to learn many skills in the early years will depend on their stages of development and their individual interests. In addition, their learning will depend on the opportunities and support that the family offers them at home and in their surroundings. Here are a few helpful hints to assist you in planning and doing the activities with your children.
These are techniques to use when your baby cries, but they are also preventive tools to keep your infant from getting over-stimulated all day long.