HA, HA I WON! – Raise ‘Em Right

pearyBy: Barbara Peary, M.Ed. – January, 2005

My 10 and 12 year olds like to play board games. Whoever wins gloats for quite a while after the game ends. Any solutions?

An effective rule to initiate is to always have the winner clean up. Picking up the pieces, sorting them, putting the lid on the box, and putting it back in the cabinet serves to take away some of the glory of the win.

Our kids constantly beg for the junky cereal seen on the commercials during morning cartoon programs. Why do the TV producers have to make it so difficult for parents?

Realize now that television programming ONLY exists to sell the products on the commercials, since the commercials pay for the shows. You need to make a conscious decision about what limits you will set on the TV viewing so your youngsters will not continuously be exposed to things you do not want them to see. Also, you decide what cereals are appropriate and let your children choose which they want before you take them to the store. Give them a choice, yes, but between the cereals you have selected. The sugary cereals advertised constantly that imitate candy bars are not appropriate breakfast foods.

There is too much paper everywhere. My five year old has already brought home countless pieces of artwork this year and it is only halfway over. The refrigerator is full. Now what?

Buy an “under the bed box” – a long box that can fit under a bed and hold a lot of pa-pers. Every few weeks remove the papers from the refrigerator and box them. When school ends for the year, go through the box with your child and pick the five that you both like the best to save. Start an accordion folder for these and in 8 years you’ll have 40 select pieces of artwork instead of hundreds.

My eight year old granddaughter is very attached to me. My husband and I live up-stairs and we all eat dinner as a family so we have daily extended contact. I am going to be in the hospital shortly for a week and my granddaughter will not be able to visit. I know she will miss me. Besides calling when I am able, any suggestions?

Put together a box full of small gifts for her to open once a day while you are gone. Ideas might be a special picture of the both of you that she has not seen before, a short letter you have prewritten, maybe a small amount of the perfume you usually wear, and a pre-addressed postcard so she can send you a letter.

 My four year old is very reluctant to try new veggies. I have tried cutting them into miniscule portions, but this hasn’t worked.

Try visiting a garden or a farm. Many times when a child sees how food actually grows she is more willing to try it. Also mix small amounts of veggies into foods such as bread, muffins, and meatloaves.

It seems like the teachers at my infant’s day care center are constantly changing. My daughter gets attached to them and three months later they have left the school and a new teacher has taken their place. Should I be concerned about this?

You certainly should be. High turnover of staff members in a center is usually an indi-cation of other troubles in the center. Re-peated attachments and losses of this type are not good for infants or preschoolers. Consistency is needed in order to help chil-dren feel secure. Begin now to look for care elsewhere. Asking how long the cen-ter’s caregivers have been on staff would be a good question for the directors you interview.