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Toddler - Week #66


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One year and Week 14: Manners Reign Supreme!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

Milestones:
           I am so proud of my son's manners! His communication skills are developing so nicely. He is using more words each day. But, perhaps the words that make me beam are thank you. Every time I hand something to Evan these days, he thanks me. It's a mumbled phrase not completely enunciated, but it is a thanks none the less! His other popular phrase this week is "what's that" as he points to things. When I first heard it, I wasn't sure I had actually heard what I thought I heard. But sure enough, he continued! And now, it is said almost a million times a day. It is exciting when the two phrases get combined. Evan will say, "What's that" while pointing to his toy and then will thank me when I hand it over!

   

Creating Good Readers:
           "What's that!" is a great phrase when it comes to reading to your child as well! While you are reading a story to your child, you do not need to focus on the words alone. It is a good idea to engage in conversations about each page. You can point to pictures and ask what your child sees. You can ask your child to find the cat or whatever would be easy to see on the page. However, remember that attention span is not too long, so keep it short on most pages so the interest keeps changing. This is also a great way to make books that you read all the time become new and fresh.

   

Book of the Week:
           Toby's Please and Thank You

       By: Cyndy Szekeres       

       Toby is a cute little mouse who has his own series of books. In this particular book, he is teaching how to have good manners. He is adorable in his little farmer jeans as he says thank you. He always says please when he asks for something. And he is very patient as a good mouse should be!

   

Activities:
           An activity to foster another good manners skill is playing Where is Thumbkin . This hand play is a good way to reinforce the manners of introductions. As you produce Thumbkin each time, you say, "How are you today, Sir?" and he says, "Very well, I thank you." This is perfect for reinforcing those manners. In this, your child sees the proper way to greet someone, uses formality to address a man, and hears thank you again.       

       The only other activity for working on manners this week is role play. You can set up a stuffed animal situation and role model manners with them. Pass a tea cup to the teddy bear and say thank you, sir and be sure to say please when you ask him to pass you the cookies.

   

Rhyme Time:
            Say Please and Thank You is a fun song about manners. It goes like this:       

       

       Words & Music by Phil Parker

        1992 Shimbaree Music (ASCAP)       
       

       There are lots of things

       We can do to be nice,

       Sometimes they're hard to remember.

       But there are two little things

       You should never forget,

       From January through December.       

       He's talking 'bout please and thank you,

       They're called the magic words,

       If you want nice things to happen,

       They're the words that should be heard,

       Remember please and thank you,

       'Cause they're the magic words.       

       Use 'em in the morning, at noon, and night,

       'Cause it's a great way to be polite!

       Please and thank you,

       They're the magic words.       

       We're talking 'bout please and thank you,

       They're called the magic words.

       If you want nice things to happen,

       They're the words that should be heard!       

       Remember please and thank you,

       'Cause they're the magic words.

       Use 'em in the morning, at noon, and night,

       'Cause it's a great way to be polite!       

       Please and thank you,

       They're the magic words.


   

Evan's Opinion:
           Evan loves to see how happy I am when he says thank you. So, of course, he says it more. He loves the song for this reason, too-well, that and the fact that it is a really catchy tune also.       

       Evan thinks I am a little nuts though when I talk to his stuffed animals. It cracks him up! He does, however, follow suit every so often and will talk to them as well.       

       Finally, he really likes the finger play song. He likes all of these kinds of songs. He knows exactly where my thumb went and loves to try to pull my hand from behind my back before it is time for Thumbkin to appear.

   

You're Probably Wondering.....
           Question: "What can I do to help my toddler learn manners?"       

       Toddlers are sponges-they soak up everything you do! The simplest way to teach a child to have manners is to have them yourselves! Do you thank the drive-up girl when she hands you your coffee? You may be in a hurry and forget this. Think it isn't a big deal? Well, you're wrong-it is a missed teaching moment! You can tell your child to say thank you constantly, but if you do not say it yourself, you can forget it. At this age, (and most ages I know), children do not live by the "say as I say, not as I do" rule. They do what you do. Try to have dinner at the table every night and model good manners. Yes, I know, he is still throwing food on the floor and to the dog! But say, "No, thank you. You eat that," and move on. Then be sure your whole family is saying please and thank you as you pass food and such.       

       There are two paths of thinking when it comes to bad manners. Some people think you should ignore the bad manners. They believe any attention is good attention and if you pay the bad act any mind, it will reoccur. Other people think you should not ignore bad manners. They believe you should take the time to correct the action. My beliefs lie somewhere in the middle. I think if your child has a moment of bad manners, you should pay attention. Now, I believe the type of attention you give is what is important. Don't overreact and yell or such. This would be a reaction that won't teach but may reinforce the wrong behavior instead. Rather than getting upset or even correcting the child, be that role model. If your child forgets to say thank you to the Walmart lady when she gives out the sticker, say it for him. I don't mean make excuses or make it obvious that you are upset that he didn't say thank you, I mean simply say thank you because you know it should have been said. If you get into that power struggle of demanding your child say thank you, what is your plan if he refuses? Then you are embarrassed for not only his lack of manners, but for his act of defiance as well! If you say thank you yourself, you get the message across to your child that this is what needed to be said. Eventually, he will start saying it for himself everytime.

   



Tips for Traveling with a Toddler
By Liz Hanson, edHelperBaby

           On the Road Again...       

       Got the stroller?  Check.  Car seat?  Check.  Booster seat?  Check. Diapers?  Check.  Snacks? Check.  Did you remember to pack your own belongings?       

       Taking a vacation with your child is something that can be hectic because you feel like you are bringing all of your child's belongings with you.  Even though this is usually the case, road trips and vacations can be very rewarding for your entire family.       

       You may or may not have experienced traveling with an infant or toddler.  If you have not at this point, it might be a good time to try.  Getting used to traveling by car or plane, is something that takes some adjustment but in the long run is beneficial if you plan on traveling in the future with your child.       

       Activities for the Car or Plane:       

       It is a good idea to think about what your child will be doing while you are traveling.  If you are proactive, you might be able to conquer boredom and avoid a tantrum.       

       If there are two of you, decide what your seating arrangement will be.  If you are in a car, one of you can sit in the back to help facilitate playtime and even stay on schedule with snack and feedings without having to stop too often.  If you are on a plane, decide who will sit next to your child first and then you can take turns throughout the plane ride.       

       Make sure you have toys and snacks for your child handy.  There is nothing like having to dig around and unpack everything in order to find what you need.

       You are probably wondering what you can bring to keep your child entertained during the travel. Here are some ideas of what to bring on your trip and you will probably need to modify these ideas for your own child:       
  • 2-3 books
  • 1-2 stuffed animals
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 interactive toy (as long as other people do not mind the noise)
  • 1-3 teething toys
       
       The person who is not driving will have to keep cycling through the toys one or two at a time. Also, you could use some linking rings to keep toys attached within the reach of your child.       

       Snacks for use in the car or plane:       
  • Cheerios
  • Craisins or Raisins
  • Goldfish
  • Graham crackers
  • Other crackers
  • Precut fruits or vegetables (If you have a cooler)
       

   



Amelia's World
By Liz Hanson, About my child Amelia Pearl

           We have taken three trips with Amelia since she was three months old.  All three have been road trips.  If you only have one child, we found it helpful for one of the adults to sit in the back and play with the Amelia as well as keep up with snacks and sippy cups.  One time, we had another child in the car and my friend was sitting in the passenger seat. She had to continually retrieve all of Amelia's toys from the floor and bring them to her attention again.  I am sure my friend's back got very sore.       

       Amelia seems to have taken well to traveling.  Sure, there are times she gets a little impatient, but overall, we have never had a problem taking her in the car for a three hour, five hour or ten hour journey.  My feeling is that the more she gets exposed to car rides and traveling, the easier it will be in the future when we decide to take another vacation.  We also get a lot more efficient every time we travel too.       
       
       
       

   


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