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33

Well, I'm not keen on the idea that there is one set of activities which are suitable for girls and a different set of activities which are suitable for boys. I try to give my daughters the idea that they can be engineers, scientists, astronauts or dragon-tamers (ok, maybe lion-tamers) if they want to be when they grow up, and not limit their options to ...


20

A 14 month old will have a short attention span - letting him watch the TV might seem like a pain free solution, but it generally is considered to actually make things worse. What you should do is plan for a lot of engaging activities - almost simultaneously. For example sitting with him on the floor surrounded by a range of different toys which do ...


19

My guess is that she has memorized the number sequence, but hasn't actually made the correlation between the words and the actual amount of things. This a big leap. Have her practice counting as much as you can, but make it fun and incorporated into daily life as much as possible. Like, when giving snacks "here's one slice of orange, now you have two orange ...


16

4-H (homepage, Wikipedia) worked for me and my siblings. I won awards in local, district, and state competitions in public speaking, showing cattle, and cooking while holding various offices in the organization, attend camps and participating in special events and activities. The choices of activities are much less "farm centered" and varied in recent years. ...


16

Cook! Every kid should learn how. Start with pancakes (not a mix . . . make it from scratch!) If she's on the high side of four and you have an electric griddle, she could probably flip them with practice and you right there. Every time you repair something have her assist. My youngest daughter could replace a doorknob/lock set when she was seven because ...


15

I'm just going to give a bit on swimming lessons first, even though its not the answer you want, it can provide some answers to the "when". Then I'll talk about some of the things we do in the classes which you could do on your own, as lessons are a good guide. I live in Australia, where its very common to start taking your children to swimming lessons ...


15

Here is another option: use a 'run bike' to help your child learn balance. This makes it easier to know when they are ready. A run bike (aka 'balance bike') is essentially a bicycle with no pedals. There is a good New York Times article about balance bikes. Unlike a tricycle, a balance bike teaches balance, which is really the limiting factor for children ...


15

First of all, my advice is that you should avoid television and computers for now. He's too young to really benefit from it, and these things can train him to become even more impatient and shorten his attention span. I think this related question has several useful answers for you: How can I keep a 14 month old busy at some activity for longer than 3 ...


14

As a programmer i would propose to you the following: Abstract thinking, Pragmatic Thinking, Higher problem solving. Design Patterns ( Not programming in general but building. Building in sense of building, construction. Did you know that design patterns come from designing buildings and problem solving in engineering? ) Also i would recommend starting ...


12

My suggestions are: Check out your local community college pre-teen and kids' non-credit courses. Sit down with your daughter to see if any spark her interest. Check out your park district classes. See if any interest her. Check out your local library; ours has monthly anime/manga fan meetups and people come in routinely to teach how to draw in various ...


11

I started when I was 6 or so—I didn't have any particular pre-requisites, I just liked exploring (especially on the computer!). I actually found QBASIC on the computer myself, had no idea what it did or how to work it, and asked my father—I had no idea it was to do with "programming" or what that was—but he just showed me how you could tell the computer to ...


11

I did not find much against exerSaucers or jumpers, and both our pediatrician and the nurses at our childbirth class sponsored by our hospital had told us that both are fine. There are some people who have concerns about both, as is summed up fairly well by this post: ExcerSaucers: "Dr. Suzanne Dixon says, "Exersaucers...hold a child's hip extended, ...


9

Good old fashioned taking the computer away is my first thought. Just be consistent with a time limit. Kids hate never knowing when a parent is going to come in and say it seems like they've been on the computer "long enough." The guarantee of a minimum helps them accept an enforced maximum. As for what to do instead, kids usually figure that out for ...


9

In addition to Rory's answer, which I generally agree to, I had good experiences with the following three strategies: Take part: Our son was far less likely to get tired of a something when he was/is playing with others. Adults can provide some guidance and motivation to stay focussed, although now (3yrs) peers do have a similar effect. Avoid clutter: ...


9

Maybe he needs to try something less "sportsy" and more "artsy". Maybe he would enjoy getting involved in theater or taking some art classes or joining a children's choir or piano lessons? If his sisters excel in athletics then finding something completely different might be the push he needs to distinguish himself. If athletics is a priority in his ...


8

Maybe it would be easier for him to grasp the basic concepts, through some programming/educational games. Some of them are: Kodu A visual programming language made specifically for creating games. Accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone." Kinderlogo Kinderlogo is an adaptation of Logo for young children, offering Logo's stimulating ...


8

It seems from what you say that she does not want to learn to ride a pony. Does she need to? if not, enjoy the animals from a distance, where they appear to be smaller. Go to zoos and ranges, talk about what you see, but don't approach closer than her comfort distance. Let your daughter decide.


8

If you're near water, an alternative might be a sailing club? I have great personal experiences with joining a sailing club as a child, learning and working with others, and eventually becoming a volunteer sailing instructor myself. That sailing club was in a rural area and had a very relaxed social atmosphere -- not at all the snobbish pseudo-golfer ...


8

I have the same concern with my children with ADD for similar reasons. I found that playing games like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Zingo and as they get a bit older games like Guess Who, Sorry, and games of that ilk really help them. They enjoy the personal experience they have with a parent and they learn to sit, wait their turn, and finish out a ...


8

I don't think your older son really has a choice in being okay with it or not. If the friend and the younger child want to be friends, hang out, and do stuff together, your son can either tag along and be cool with it or find another friend. Your older son is not in possession of this friend. He's not a toy that he can refuse to let his younger brother ...


7

I think that to a degree this is due to temperament: some kids love to be the center of attention and fool around, and others don't. Related (in my mind anyway) is how willing kids are to try new things and fail. Then there's the question of pride and being worried about being deemed a failure by their peers. My son has a hard time sticking to things that ...


7

Yes, jumpers can be bad. The important difference between your son holding on to your hands, and sitting in a jumper, is where the weight is placed: When he's hanging from your hands, he's using muscles in all of his body -- from the hands and arms, through the back, to the feet. This is good. When he's sitting in a jumper, he's effectively sitting down ...


7

I know I'm repeating myself here, but LEGO is such an awesome toy. For ages under 5, there's LEGO Duplo which are basically just bigger blocks that can't be swallowed. I'm building stuff with my nearly-2-year-old and it's still fun although I'm 37! Just stacking and creating all kinds of silly constructions. My son will mostly tear them apart but also ...


7

I have a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old daughter. Finding something they can play together can be challenging, especially because my 2 year old doesn't have a lot of the fine motor control required for many of the things that my 5 year old takes for granted. Its also important to note, that developmentally a 2 year old will not necessarily play with others. ...


7

If your daughter has been taking swimming lessons for the past three and a half years, then is it safe to assume she can swim safely in at least one type of stroke on her own? If so, then I'd be inclined to suggest ballet lessons, while checking your area to see if there are free or affordable swimming pools that you might have access to. Some areas have ...


7

Repeat this to yourself until you hear and believe the words: YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM! You are going through some stressful times, and on top of that you have a THREE YEAR OLD! You're allowed to let things slide right now that you might not otherwise. Cross my heart. Now, it sounds like you need to not only give yourself a little love and forgiveness, ...


6

I'm answering this question as a swimming instructor (5 years of experience), NOT as a parent. We usually encourage parents to start swimming with their children as soon as possible (lessons are available for children as young as 4 months or so where I work). The rationale behind this is that the sooner you present swimming as an enjoyable activity and ...


6

There's really no lower bound on swimming - or at least getting them into a pool. My elder one has been going swimming since just was about 4 months old, although for most of the first couple of years it is as much about tolerance of the water and confidence around the pool. I think that until they have the co-ordination on the land, some decent strength ...


6

I am a coder, so I just encouraged my kids to 'help' me from an early age. At two or three years old they were on my knee watching me writing applications and generally hacking so as soon as I could free up a spare laptop I gave them a triple boot linux, solaris and windows box to play on. Basic shell coding seemed simple from 4 or 5 years old, and have ...


6

It sounds like your daughter may not have an issue with competitive play, but with being rushed about and pressed on and pushed by a bunch of other kids. Both of the games you mention tend to involve some level of pushing, shoving, and squeezing. If she isn't also having trouble with a foot race or a board game, or other competitive things, then the ...



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