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31

Make discussions age appropriate. Scale up the detail as they get older. NEVER LIE TO THEM. Just leave out details. My kids were all born about 3 years apart. This left ample time for each of the previous children to ask questions typical of their age group. Answering their question on the same level is always best. An almost-3-year-old asking, "how ...


17

I'm 13 and I'm the same way. It's a medical condition called 'Selective Mutism'. I've been to several people and even been put on medicine and it hasn't helped. But my parents and I are trying. We've recently learned not to pressure them to talk or little things like that. My teachers would give me a mini whiteboard to write my answer down or I would write ...


13

I taught high school for years and teenagers are just notorious for this kind of thing, and you are absolutely right that it is the exact same thing as a kid getting his/her hand caught in the cookie jar and lying to your face about it even as they hold the evidence in their hand. It never bothered me, per se (trust me, idiocy in teenagers really was the ...


12

As soon as they start asking questions or show curiosity. Younger kids don't understand psychological aspects of sex, so wording might be different, when you talk about sex with six-year old and with a teenager. But it is perfectly OK to explain ehm... basic mechanics of sex, or pregnancy 101, as soon as the kid asks questions.


12

I'd say you handled things with your son quite nicely all things considered. It sounds as though your son was really wishing to stick up for his friend and worried about his friend. Since his emphasis was on the friend and not on figuring out when it is okay to hit, I'd say he is already past the stage when he will start imitating. Parents have a much ...


11

To teach children how to call for help appropriately, the first thing I would do is share with them the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" (which you have already mentioned). But you want to encourage, not discourage, your child to ask for assistance. Getting my kids ready to stay home alone has meant practicing what needs to be done in an emergency or if ...


11

"because I'm older", or "because I said so" are a cop-out. When I was a child I thought is was a cop-out when a parent said it, and I still think so. It's an answer when a parent is losing patience and/or doesn't have time to explain. It is better to say "I don't have time to explain, and this is how it has to be" as it's more constructive. It says to the ...


10

It sounds like your baby is right where she needs to be. Normal babies start reaching language milestones at a fairly wide range of ages. Some babies may hit some milestones early, and others late. You may have reason for concern if your child misses several milestones, but it doesn't sound like that is the case with your daughter. The language ...


9

It's not the children "thinking that's how parents should behave" that should concern you, it's the children thinking the parents' behavior is the child's fault. Being told something like, "your Mom's not as angry with you as she is about something else that happened to her earlier today" can have a tremendous impact, helping the child actually feel closer ...


9

The primary thing here has to be your daughter's welfare. If you and the mother have an actively hostile relationship, then you need to shield her from it as much as possible. When you spend time with her, avoid all mention of her mother, except in a supportive context (e.g. if she's complaining about her mum, remind her that her mother loves her, and ...


9

Sounds to me, like you and your daughter had a very healthy and honest conversation - and trust me when I say, those are the kind that work. I worked with adolescents for ten years as a health and science teacher as well as was advisor to a class of about 20 eighth grade kids each year. Considering the fact that I had around 100 kids each year I taught, ...


9

Let's divide the advice you want to give into categories: the child is in immediate danger to the extent you would call Child Protective Services or the police. the child is, in the long term, at increased risk (your two examples relating to choking on hotdogs or being unvaccinated) but you can't "report" them, though you strongly feel you want to educate ...


8

Possibly the part he's struggling with is the "why?" Why do they not have anywhere to live? Why are they hungry? When we need shelter, we go home; when we are hungry, we go to the fridge or a restaurant...why don't these people have a home/fridge/access to a restaurant? "Because they don't have the money" will probably lead to why they don't have any money. ...


8

NO. It is not OK to tell the kids you disagree with the parents about parenting or about other serious life decisions. It is just as bad to be critical of the parenting of others to their kids or to your own kids, for that matter. Other parents do not owe you an explanation for their actions and decisions, and almost certainly you do not have all of the ...


7

The daycare provider -- at her HOME -- didn't feel like she could tell the woman that it wasn't appropriate to hit, when it upsets her as well as her other business clients??!! She makes the rules IN HER HOME AND PLACE OF BUSINESS, does she not? This seems like the right angle to pursue -- tell the daycare provider that it upset your son, and that you ...


7

I've lived in a different country from my parents for many years, also while I was younger. I understand how much you want to keep in touch, be part of his life, hear what's going on. The thing is, his life is probably very different now and perhaps there's not a big spot for you. Skype isn't "hip" with kids these days, that's for us old people. Email is ...


6

As a speech language pathologist, the general rule of thumb is one word is expected at 1 year of age. Some children have many words while some such as dual language learners may be weeks or months later. Your child is not delayed in speaking words. Speech development begins with a child cooing and babbling and moves on to jargon. These milestones are the ...


5

It's perfectly OK to express disagreement with parents, regardless of the age. Just make sure you do it in a way that won't get you in trouble with the parents, get the kid in trouble with the parents, or get the kid angry at you for what you've said about their parents. People disagree a lot. No kid should grow up thinking their parents are beyond ...


5

Don't panic. Children develop at different rates, and 10 months is very young. There's no immediate cause for concern. Don't force. Why put pressure on a 10 month old to perform? My investigation into this suggests that she's still a little young for you to expect her to pronounce recognizable words.


5

Do you have an answer that would satisfy yourself to explain homelessness and mental illness? Without getting into debate about the causes and effects in this thread, I would consider your understanding of it. I would explain it based on that perspective. To my own child, I'd say: Some people aren't able to act the way they would like to, but most ...


5

The fact your son is so distressed by it means he is unlikely to copy the behavior. Kids copy behavior that looks fun or that produces a desired result. Having himself and a friend reduced to tears is neither. I know parents who are reluctant even to do time outs, whose children hit each other all the time. I've also known children who had literally been ...


5

I lived 9000 miles from my parents for a few years up until I left school at 18, and back then the Internet didn't exist, phone calls to them were over £5 a minute, and to be honest, I was having so much fun I wasn't bothered about contacting them. So I spoke to them once a month on the phone, and we wrote letters and postcards. I did get to visit them ...


5

What worked well for my Mom when I was a smart-aleck teenager was to respond with a deadpan "Ha Ha Haaa." It was her shorthand signal meaning, "I acknowledge you were being clever and trying to get a reaction out of me, but I'm onto you and I'm not going to fall for it." What worked well for my Dad was dishing it right back, but that requires a certain ...


4

As a speech language pathologist I have worked with several children with Elective or Selective Mutism. From my experience, early intervention results in the best outcome. At age 12, her patterns are now strongly engrained and makes a difficult communication problem even more challenging. From her non verbal responses, a more thorough understanding of the ...


4

Be a living example and do it with naration. In other words be considerate in front of your child and do it witnural narration. Don't say (to your child), do you see how I was considerate, rather say (to yourself), I am so glad I noticed that so and so was feeling down and I tried to make him/her feel better or I am so glad I was able to be polite and say ...


4

I am 13 and have selective mutism. when I am pressured into doing things that I do not want to do in school I freeze up and do not move. Other times I get incredibly angry but as I do not talk in school I end up getting over whelmed and 'freezing' or breaking down crying. kids with selective mutism do not like to seem different from others and may not like ...


4

I've had my share of those kinds of interactions. One approach is to adjust your language to something that cannot be argued with. Your things can't be in there. There's nothing about shoving vs placing, or even who put them, just statements. This is really hard work and not my first choice. Sometimes if I get your sort of response I might adjust, so ...


3

There is a really good picture book called "Fly Away Home" by eve bunting. It has been a long time since I've read it, but it is a story about a man and his son who live in the airport and may offer up some ideas for you. Not all homeless are mentally ill either. I'm sure there are probably some good treatises for kids about mental illness as well. I'd ...


3

My four year-old daughter is like this, although I didn't realize there was a term for it until just now. Some things we have found to help: Don't assume that being afraid to talk is the same as not being good at talking. My daughter has a very good vocabulary for her age, probably because she spends so much time listening. Let her answer in whichever ...


3

Our 3.5 year old had exactly the same pattern recently develop. All of a sudden at day care he wouldn't say a word to anyone, but at pre-school, at play group, here at home, basically everywhere else he was "normal". A quick bit of fly on the wall observation showed he was being bullied outside the teacher's observation at day care and his reaction was to ...



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