About fussy eating and fussy eaters It's normal for children to be fussy eaters - that is, to not like the shape, colour or texture of particular foods. It's also normal for children to like something one day but dislike it the next, to refuse new foods, and to eat more or less from day to day. This all happens because fussy eating is part of children's development.
Requests and instructions: the difference A request is when you ask your child to do something. For example, 'Will you help me fold this washing?' Or 'Do you want to wear your coat? It's cold today'. Your child can choose to say yes or no to a request. An instruction is when you tell your child to do something.
What are transitions? Transitions happen when your child has to stop doing one activity and start doing something else. Examples of transitions include: getting ready to leave the house putting away toys before bedtime turning off the television or computer getting out of the bath. Your child probably needs to make transitions many times a day.
Why routines help with behaviour management Routines help family members know who should do what, when, in what order and how often . For example, your children know that they take turns with loading and unloading the dishwasher each day. This can mean less conflict and fewer arguments about these kinds of boring activities.
What is planned ignoring? Planned ignoring is paying no attention to a child when she's misbehaving. It means not looking at her and not talking to her while she behaves that way. For example, if you're having a family meal and your child is bouncing up and down on his seat, you could leave him out of the conversation and not look at him until he stops.
Changing your child's environment: what does it mean? If your child is behaving in a way you don't like, it's a good idea to look at what's going on in your child's environment. By changing your child's environment, you might be able to change your child's behaviour too. Changing the environment can just mean making small, manageable changes to what's happening around your child.
Why children pester To your child, the world is full of interesting things. In shopping centres, they're often at your child's eye level. Children are also easily influenced by clever marketing of children's products - for example, toys and unhealthy food. And it can be hard for children to understand that some pretty, shiny or yummy things aren't good for them or are a waste of money.
What are habits? A habit is a behaviour that your child does over and over again, almost without thinking. Often children's habits might bother or frustrate you, but usually they're nothing to worry about . Children's habits usually involve touching or fiddling with parts of their faces or bodies. Sometimes children are aware of their habits, and sometimes they aren't.
Smacking children: what you need to know Smacking is a physical punishment. Smacking looks like it works because children stop what they're doing when they get a smack. But smacking isn't a good choice for discipline . That's because it doesn't help children learn about self-control or appropriate behaviour.
Why planning ahead helps with behaviour management Shopping trips, travelling in the car, taking telephone calls, attending appointments for yourself, visiting friends - these are all times when it can be challenging to meet your child's needs and get things done. In these situations, there's a risk of difficult behaviour from your child and frustration, stress or anger on your part.
Parents teaching skills to children You are your child's first and most important teacher. Every day you're helping your child learn new information, skills and ways of behaving. Teaching skills to children can be an important first step in managing their behaviour. For example, if your child doesn't know how to set the table, she might refuse to do it - because she can't do it.
Swearing: why children do it Young children often swear because they're exploring language. They might be testing a new word, perhaps to understand its meaning. Sometimes swearing happens accidentally when children are learning to say words. Children might also be trying to express a feeling like frustration.
Using distraction as a behaviour management tool Distraction is a simple strategy that's good for situations when behaviour might be a problem. For example, this might be when children: are getting cranky have been sitting still for a long time are having trouble sharing or taking turns with others. Pointing out something interesting, starting a simple game, pulling funny faces - you've probably come up with many tricks like these to distract your child.
Why do children lie? Children might lie to: cover something up so they don't get into trouble see how you'll respond make a story more exciting experiment - for example, by pretending something that happened in a story was real get attention or make themselves sound better get something they want - for example, 'Mum lets me have lollies before dinner' avoid hurting someone's feelings - this sort of lie is often called a 'white lie'.
What are imaginary friends? Imaginary friends are pretend friends that your child makes up in his imagination. Imaginary friends come in all shapes and sizes. They can be based on someone your child already knows, a storybook character or even a soft toy. Or they can come purely from your child's imagination.
What are tantrums? Tantrums come in all shapes and sizes. They can involve spectacular explosions of anger, frustration and disorganised behaviour - when your child 'loses it'. You might see crying, screaming, stiffening limbs, an arched back, kicking, falling down, flailing about or running away. In some cases, children hold their breath, vomit, break things or get aggressive as part of a tantrum.
How to encourage good behaviour in your child A positive and constructive approach is often the best way to guide your child's behaviour. This means giving your child attention when he behaves well, rather than just applying consequences when he does something you don't like. Here are some practical tips for putting this positive approach into action.
Why sharing is important Sharing is a vital life skill. It's something toddlers and children need to learn so they can make and keep friends, and play cooperatively. Once your child starts having playdates and going to child care, preschool or kindergarten, he'll need to be able to share with others.
Self-esteem: the basics Self-esteem is about liking yourself and who you are. This doesn't mean being overconfident - just believing in yourself and knowing what you do well. For children, self-esteem comes from: knowing that they're loved and that they belong to a family and a community that values them spending quality time with their families being encouraged to try new things, finding things they're good at and being praised for things that are important to them.
Good communication with children: the basics Good communication with children is about: encouraging them to talk to you so they can tell you what they're feeling and thinking being able to really listen and respond in a sensitive way to all kinds of things - not just nice things or good news, but also anger, embarrassment, sadness and fear focusing on body language and tone as well as words so you can really understand what children are saying taking into account what children of different ages can understand and how long they can pay attention in a conversation.
Why it's good to talk about tough topics with children Divorce, illness, death, sex, natural disasters - they're all part of life. Talking about tough topics is one way you can help your child deal with life's difficulties. If you encourage open communication about tough topics, your child learns that she can always talk to you.