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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mommy Group Session 3: Class 6

Every week in my mommy group, despite everything that I have been reading online and through numerous books I still learn so much. Navigating parenthood with such a wealth of information at your fingertips is daunting. I think the biggest problem is trying to do everything the ‘right’ way.

Anyways we learned a ton which I wanted to write about to remember and to share. First of all the world of nitrates. I make all my sons food and I have heard so many conflicting recommendations on feeding or not feeding certain foods to my son. Nitrates are in plants in varing levels – the problem is that nitrates turn into nitraites by bacteria in the babies gastrointestinal track. It can result in a serious condition called “blue baby syndrome”. In essence not getting enough oxogen in the blood. By the time a baby is six months their little systems are better at processing the nitrites but there are a few things that you should do when making baby food. Buy only organic as they are treated with less nitrate containing fertilizers. Try to use them the same day you buy them prepare and serve them as soon as possible.

These vegetables are the ones you want to be careful with; spinich, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens, green beans and squash.

And then we switched gears. Instead of talking about what we feed our child we talked about what we are feeding their brain. We talked about the differences between EQ and IQ. At one point in time IQ was considered the likelihood of success. However now it is considered an important part of success. Recognising that the newest studies say that people with a high EQ have a higher level of happiness as adults as people with a high IQ. The crux of our conversation was that if we want happy, healthy successful children we need to focus on our children eq.

1. Babies communicate with emotions before they learn how to speak. Emotion is the language of babies.
2. Emotions even negative ones are natural and have a purpose.
3. Negative emotions need to be validated and not dismissed.
4. Children need a safe enviorment to express their feelings.
5. Children feel emotions intensly – try to direct them in positive ways. “Its ok to feel anger inside but it isnt ok to kick or hit.”
6. Children need to learn and practice identifying, labeling and managing emotions at an early age. In essence they need to practice.
7. Encourage ‘I’ statements. Teach the child to express what they feel instead of whats wrong.
8. Know ahead of time what to say during an emotional display. As a parent try not to shoot from the hip.
9. Model appropriate EQ skills yourself. Children learn best by example, they are little mirrors.
10. EQ skills can be taught by parents and learned by children. It is accepted that a childs EQ can be profoundly affected by parenting and environment.

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And latestly if that wasn’t enough to pop my sleep deprived brain we were given some practical information on pre-toddlerhood. Toddlers are definitely a handful but this can be one of the most fun ages ever. The key is S L O W ing down w/them and staying in charge of the situation. They respond so well when you talk them thru things, tolerate their big feelings, help to smooth out transitions, and just PLOP down on the floor for 5 to 15 minutes at a time and join them in their world of PLAY. I know that some of you feel as though you are down on the floor all day playing...but remember...5 to 15 minutes at a time and then you can say, "Now it's mommy's turn to wash the dishes!" OR "Now it's mommy's turn to pack the diaper bag." Wow...you get to do such fun activities...but you are teaching them about work too!! :)

Some phrases to start using w/your children on a regular basis. While you are holding them in your arms or while you are sitting down on the floor w/them...say..."This is the plan..." and then tell them what's going to happen..."we are going to go to the market to buy some eggs, and milk and bread...you can ride in the cart and hold the crackers."

Talk about RULES when you go places. "We are going to the park...these are the PARK RULES...the park is a sharing place...(insert your child's name), ie, Zachary takes a turn on the slide...boy takes a turn on the slide...Zachary takes a turn on the swing...boy takes a turn on the swing." Then when your child is actually on the slide...say "Zachary's turn" and then "boy's turn!" Basically your child sees that what you told them would happen...actually happens!

When they have a melt-down...and there will be plenty! Just help them identify their feeling and give them their wish.
"You sound sad..."
"You look frustrated..."
"You seem angry..."
"You are acting mad..."

And an example of giving them their wish. "You wish you could play outside all day...if you could you would just play and play and play!"

IF/When they bite people...say, "we bite food and toys...not people...here's a biting toy." Put them down, walk away, ignore them for a couple of minutes. When you sit them down to eat, say "Food stays on the table or goes in our mouth. Tell me when you are all done...say 'all done'." Then, if/when they throw their food, (avoid looking exasperated) and say, "It looks like you are all done, say 'all done'." One day they will start to throw their food and then stop, look at you, and say "ALL DONE!" :)

When you leave ANYplace or ANYone...say, bye bye..."bye bye swing," "bye bye slide," "bye bye playing outside."

Also, try saying, "UH OH" when you want to get their attention OR COUNT..."1-2-3." At this stage, ATTENTION is key! You want to get their attention and re-direct it on to what you want them to do, where you want them to go, etc

At any time, you can make a book for your child about family, nanny/daycare, sharing, etc. An example of a book about going to school (for the future)...The book should include photos of walking into school holding mommy's hand and daddy's hand and lots of pics of your child at school...eating his lunch, in his bed, playing w/toys, pics of teachers and other children. Once you have the pics, you can put a SIMPLE phrase w/each picture. At the end of the book, there should be a picture of mommy and daddy and child together saying, "Mommies and Daddies always come back!". You can make these types of books about anything that is important in a child's life! They really make a huge difference. Check out http://www.twigtale.com where I have written many narrations for personalized books.

1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

Lots of good information here. Never knew about EQ.

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