Posted February 22, 2013
Jamison, age 2, won't eat! His mother has tried everything. He'll eat white bread, white pasta, the occasional chicken nugget. His mother is angry and frustrated, and worries that he might not be growing properly.
The following 3 tips for your picky eater will - I hope - help you and Jamison's mother become more relaxed about toddler eating habits.
- Pretend you don't care. This may sound callous, but it's important to realize that toddlers are suspicious when they smell an agenda. The more a parent pushes - the less the child eats. You may feel you aren't pushing but if you care or feel anxious or irritated or try different foods frequently, your child will be aware of your goal and will push back for reasons of self-protection. Put reasonably acceptable food in front of your toddler and either walk away, turn away or busy yourself with your own eating. Remove the plate and any rejected food without comment when your child is no longer eating. Never, never ask if she will take one more bit. We want her to eat from hunger only, not to please a parent.
- Consciously create hungry times. When a mealtime is coming up, withhold snacks for about 2 hours prior. It takes about 2 hours to digest a previous meal and another hour at least to become hungry again. Toddlers only need to eat about every 3-4 hours during the day. Avoid feeding your child small bits of things all through the afternoon in an effort to control behavior. Then an early dinner and off to bed by 7 PM. Your best dinner time? About 7:20 with candlelight!
- Do not preoccupy yourself over where your child is on the growth chart unless your child's doctor has raised concerns. Sometimes public health visits and weigh-ins will leave a parent upset when, in fact, your physician will confirm there is nothing to worry about. Don't let this happen to you. Trust that your child will eat an amount that is just right for him at this time.
Cheers to you for having one less thing to worry about!
Final March Seminar: Sleep Learning Made Simple Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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Filed under: Feeding and Eating
Posted October 7, 2012
"Low maintenance" is my way of describing to a toddler who - in spite of being around 2 or 2.5 years old - is fairly easy to live with and who might be the least disrupted by the addition of a sibling.
A glimpse at a low maintenance toddler around supper time: Lucy is two years old. She is a fairly good eater, who shows her parents she is hungry by going to her high chair and yelling "UP!" She also gets her bib off her hook and takes it to her mother. She smiles when the food comes, looks it all over, puts some things aside that she doesn't want (sometimes "aside" means on the floor - nobody reacts) and proceeds to eat with her fingers. When she wants milk, she holds her empty sippy cup above her head and calls "more!" She knows when she is full and yells "don-don!' and lifts up her plate. Her parents always let her down right away when she says she is full. She heads back to the toys.
Filed under: Feeding and Eating
Posted June 3, 2012
I've seen many families feeling the pressure to construct a 'family mealtime' each evening to satisfy the advice that eating together makes a family stronger. This article concludes that the strength of a family evolves slowly over time and relies on several aspects of family life (routines, rituals, parental attunement, etc.) that go well beyond and do not necessarily include 'family mealtime' on it's own.
Families can now relax! If it's working at your house, great. If your children are too young or if your older children are resistant - let it go from time to time. I think the overly strong focus on 'family mealtimes' also creates too much of a spotlight on a child as parents watch to see what's being eaten and , perhaps, over-analyze the child's behavior. Some kids go crazy with too much focus.
-This article also appears at http://www.facebook.com/raymondparentingnews Check there for additional articles and excellent blogs I've found and posted.
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Telephone Counseling appointments will be next available during the months of August and September. (No appointments during July.)
Sleep from Now On (12 lbs. to 4 years) Tuesday, June 5 7:00 PM
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Posted May 6, 2012
Following the philosophy of Attachment Parenting needn't interfere with a parent's ability to help their baby learn to be a good sleeper. There are ways to do both.
The most important step a parent can take toward helping your baby learn to sleep well begins with simply putting your baby down - awake - and giving her time for and practice in getting herself to sleep. Doing this from the very beginning is one ideal way to help your baby learn to self-regulate.
Your baby bases everything on her primary relationship. As soon as an early relationship with you is activated, she'll use you to help her self-regulate. She'll learn to regulate her sleep/awake times, hunger/fullness and her whole spectrum of emotions - based on this all-important primary relationship. When she is happy she'll see that reflected in your steady, confident response. When she is angry or sad, she will be looking to you for that same steady, confident demeanor.
Being consistent about feeding for hunger and avoiding feeding to sleep helps your baby get acquainted with the signals she is receiving from her body. She'll know how to signal hunger and fullness to you and she'll learn how to take herself from an awake state to a state of sleep.
Caring for your baby this way will support her self esteem and growing competence, allowing her to have the best possible start in life.
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