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|Toddler - Week #89|
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Oh, boy! Evan has used the word "mine" before this week, but not to this extent! Yesterday, I went into the convenience store. I didn't get a carriage because he is so good about walking to the car from daycare with just holding hands. I figured it would be quick to run in and have him hold my hand. Boy, was this a mistake! The shelves were packed with temptation. Once he tried to get something yelling MINE, and I said no, there was a meltdown right there in the aisle! I quickly got a carriage and buckled him in for the rest of the trip. But throughout the entire time, he screeched "mine" repeatedly. He wasn't even reaching for things that would interest him at that point. At this point, he was just fixated on getting anything into his clutches! I realized we have reached the "gimmie stage" and it could get ugly from here! Just the other day when I picked him up at school, he was crying a puddle of tears on the floor. The teacher informed me that he and another boy were fighting over a toy. Amazing-- one toy has so much pull in a sea of other toys! But the shininess of this toy is not in its luster; it is in the idea that someone else has it and so it must be made MINE! I should have realized right then and there that we had entered this phase, but I had to suffer the painful shopping experience to really drive the notion home!|
|Creating Good Readers:|
I've talked about libraries before as being great places, but I will mention it again! Especially now, in the "mine phase," the library is a great place to explore. Think about it-you are taking out books and will be able to enjoy so many at no cost, while at the same time, they are borrowed and must be returned. Your child will have to adapt to the idea of not keeping them, a sort of way to combat that greedy stage. Also, most libraries have circle time, which is fantastic for working on sharing. Remember, reading and books are not just about learning words and sounds but also learning social skills. So practice sharing when it comes to reading. My kids already have had to learn to share my lap for reading time. It wasn't an easy feat, but it was necessary!|
|Book of the Week:|
The Mine-o-saur |
By: Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
This book is perfect for us right now. The school yard is full of happily playing dinosaurs, when all of a sudden, here comes the mine-o-saur to take everyone's toys. Then he does it again at snack time and takes all of the snacks. All the while, he is screaming, "Mine, Mine, Mine!" just like Evan was doing in the store! Of course, there is a happy ending when he realizes he wants friends and this is no way to make them! There is fun rhyming in this book, which helps it appeal to youngsters. And, of course, dinosaurs are a popular intrigue!
This is a tough subject for me to figure out. Evan is a good sharer. Just this afternoon, he was eating a banana, and his little cousin showed interest. She is only eighteen months old. He broke his banana in half and gave her the largest piece immediately without anyone prompting him. So it is hard to understand what the "mine" is all about! |
Here are some things we do to promote sharing in our house. We often throw down a large piece of paper and make it so Evan and Alice have to share the space to color. This drove Alice crazy at first, but she got used to it. We also have play items that are no fun if you play alone-like the kitchen set, puppets, and doctor stuff. It's more fun to play restaurant or doctor if there is a customer or a patient!
Also, I've done some dinosaur activities in the past that are fun. For instance, I let the kids wear the rubber dishwashing gloves on their feet and pretend to be dinosaurs. Or if you are really brave, let them walk through paint and then walk on paper with those dinofeet. If you aren't that brave, a smaller scale idea is to put paint on the bottom of plastic dinosaurs and stomp those on paper.
At school this week, Evan made a cute little craft. They took his headshot picture. They let him paint a little clown body on paper. Then it was cut out, the picture glued on, and pom-poms added down the front. It was adorable. I am thinking I may make a mine-o-saur like this. I thought I could let Evan paint a dinosaur body, and I will add his picture on the top. This way I can remind him he is being a mine-o-saur every time he has one of those tantrums!
Here is an idea I had a few months ago for another dinosaur week: |
I'm a giant dinosaur
Tall and strong.
Here is my tail.
Here are my claws.
When I get all hungry,
Just watch out.
I'll chase you down
As I stomp all about!
The book was great! Evan really liked it. He loves dinosaurs and has loved them for quite some time. Wearing the big, yellow, plastic dish gloves on his feet is always a hit. It is one thing that keeps him pretty busy while dinner is cooked. Of course, when you do it with the paint, be prepared for a mess! I don't do that when I am cooking. That requires constant supervision, and I only do it in the toy room in case any gets on the floor. |
As far as shopping and the library, we need more practice! It would be so easy to avoid these situations, but I believe that wouldn't help Evan learn better to do things like sit in circle time. He doesn't really like to sit still too much. He much prefers to run around. But he needs to learn a balance between the two, so we will keep trying!
|You're Probably Wondering.....|
Question: "What are some tips for shopping with a toddler?" |
Forewarning: I did not follow my own advice this week when I went shopping! So these tips come from my failure!
The first thing I would advise is to always bring your own carriage in case there are none at the store you are going to. Unless you know with absolute certainty that there are carriages available (i.e., your supermarket that you shop at each week), just throw it in the car in case. I once did not bring mine because I was headed to the local discount store and knew they had carts I could use. But then I decided to head into the mall with my daughter who was then two, and the discount store did not allow their carts in the mall. She broke free from my hand, darted under a rack, and was gone within seconds! It was several panicky moments before some other shoppers and the mall security officer found her. I thought I would die in those moments. I never leave home without my stroller now.
I also try never to leave home without snacks and a sippy cup. Even on what I think will be the quickest shopping trip, snacks seem to be a savior! But especially in the supermarket! Snacks in the supermarket are vital to making it through the whole store! Imagine being a toddler and strolling through a store that sells all those yummy things! Of course, he has to have something to nibble on-don't you feel that way often, too?
The other tip I have for shopping with your children is giving them each a task. If you have coupons, let a child find the item on the coupons-sort of like a scavenger hunt. Let young children put the food into the cart. I recently had to do a marathon grocery trip for my son's birthday party. There was way too much in my cart! I wasn't focused on keeping Evan entertained, so it wasn't long before he was tossing all of my stuff out of the cart. I then remembered this tip and switched it up. Once he was involved in putting the items into the cart, he stopped tossing everything out.
Some people think it is a good idea to let the child out of the cart to stretch his legs if he is restless. I try everything in my power to avoid this. I have found that if I release Evan, he will never go back into the cart. So if I must do this, I will only let him out at the end of a trip.
Finally, allowing your child to hold an item is a tip I waffle on. I go back and forth with this one. I don't want to give in to all the gimmies. And even though, half the time, Evan loses track of the item he is holding and I don't even buy it, I still wonder sometimes if this is giving into his demands. But it often helps make the trip go more smoothly if I let him hold one toy. I did this with my middle son, but often bought the toy if he was good in the store. Sometimes, I feel like I contributed to his being a little bit spoiled! I have to pick and choose my battles with this tip and walk the fine line between not spoiling him and not causing myself to have a nervous breakdown in a store, either! This is why I do a lot of my shopping on-line!
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