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98

In my experience, he often doesn't know himself what he means. I've heard a lot of four-year-olds ask "Why?" ad infinitum -- sometimes it's just a way of saying, "Tell me more." I would suspect that for most four-year-olds, asking "Why?" is a way of trying to learn more about the things around them, but I think that they are often looking for a simple ...


89

Kids that age learn a lot by imaginative play. It's how they make sense of the world and experiment with different responses to events. Pretending to be an adult is very common. Playing along is a good opportunity to show empathy and teach better responses. You might say, I'm Eric. I'm sad because I couldn't find my toy. I wonder if I should cry or ask ...


61

I think your instincts of jealousy are spot-on. My daughter did this starting when her little brother arrived home from the hospital, and every time she felt like he was getting more of Mama's attention, out came the verbal knives. Our fix was to schedule special one-on-one time with her when we could. And when things were just too crazy to carve very ...


42

Rest assured that science and religion are not neccessarily a contradiction. Some of the best scientists of past and present time were deeply religious - and came from different religious backgrounds. As one commenter wrote, Georges LemaƮtre being one relatively modern example. The question of how to connect religious beliefs and teachings and scientific ...


34

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 ...


29

I think that there are some people you should be comfortable with, comfortable enough to pass gas in their general vicinity and not have to apologize. And the closest family should certainly be such people. At home, when I'm not alone, I try to do it in the toilet, though I don't feel bad or ashamed to let one go when my wife or LO is near. Seriously, ...


28

Often the solution here is as simple as reframing the request. So if he is playing with blocks and it's time to leave for school, no matter how much advance notice you give and no matter that you leave for school at the same time every day, when you announce "time to leave for school!" he may well resist and refuse and generally push back. So try asking ...


26

It tells just how much he sees you as role model. Instead of seeing this as abnormal you should be the role model he deserves. Other than that do understand that this behaviour will stop after some time. You only need to worry if this does not stop and causes complications. Hope I helped. P.S.: When I was a child I used to wear my father's army uniform. ...


24

In particular, we are wondering about the benefits of dolls. Helps develop coordination, motor skills, social skills, and imagination. Allows the child to act out different roles. Dressing, grooming, feeding skills are reinforced with doll play. Coordination when carefully carrying the doll, rocking, or pushing in a stroller. Helps add to the ...


20

My experience is that, yes, first of all, a small child's "Why?" is usually "Please keep talking." However, I have also found that sometimes they do have particular questions, and that they learn to ask clearer questions if you help them realize that there are many possible questions. While it probably won't work the first time, try offering them options ...


19

I personally don't think that science is inimical to faith and faith-based values. It can be a magnificent way to explore the intricacies of creation. You're probably versed in Ancient Near Eastern culture. There is nothing deceitful about a God who communicates with His people in a way they can understand, and in the ANE, that was through stories. ...


19

There are a couple of things going on here, and both will probably be due to attention. You said that mum finds it difficult. That means that she probably reacts slightly. This means that your daughter knows that she can say something that: Gets noticed. Gets a reaction. Brings attention. All attention, positive or negative is attention to a child. If ...


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

A 3-year old should be able understand that you are sick and that something hurts - unless you have an exceptionally healthy child he should have experienced this himself. You need to explain what hurts and what you need to do or can't do. Repeat the explanation as often as needed: You can't do X because your back hurts a lot. This is actually a good ...


15

It sounds like she might be scared of that particular instructor -- for whatever reason, silly or serious, I think that should be treated as valid. Ask her if she can explain what about him scares her. Swim with her yourself sometimes (not during a lesson) and try to observe particular actions in the water that scare her -- face in the water? water in her ...


14

Giving a doll to a child who would obviously love it isn't reinforcing a stereotype. Giving a doll to a girl who you know doesn't like dolls is. That's an important distinction. What you should worry about is avoiding letting her love of dolls blind you to her other interests and talents which you might also support. My 5 year-old daughter loves dolls, ...


13

I don't know if it's the case for you, but one thing I see a lot of parents of strong-willed children do repeatedly is ask a question, then get frustrated when the child answers in the negative. If a negative answer is not acceptable, then don't ask a question! Reserve questions for when you are honestly okay with any response. Bad: Do you want to go ...


13

In addition to the previous answers, which are good, it's also important to understand that small children live in a different world than adults (one full of mysteries) and that many words have different meaning to them. When you think of your daughter's love for her mother you probably think of the kind of relation that would leave a huge sore wound if her ...


12

From what I've heard from friends and acquaintances, it's pretty normal that a kid going to some kind of organized childcare (kindergarten, school, whatever) for the first time will get ill more often than usual; the reasoning behind this is that due to the many kids in one place, it's also easier to get viruses transmitted. The immune system of a kid who ...


12

Ask yourself: How do children experience their world? Most languages have words like "grasp", that mean to understand something and to touch it. Good schools/educators try to incorporate as many sensory channels and as many different ways to teach as possible. In my child's primary school letters and numbers are taught by having the children walk the ...


12

I encourage my kids to excuse themselves when they pass gas. (Obviously the best-case scenario is that they are able to release it in the bathroom instead, but things happen.) I have a few goals with this: acknowledging that there's going to be a brief bad smell in the room, accepting responsibility for it, and begging pardon for inflicting it on the other ...


11

I'm not a parent myself, but two points: 1) You could argue that no, it's not just 'cute'. Imagining yourself in someone else's position is the very basis of empathy and all that is worthwhile in humanity :-) 2) Describing himself in the third person, from the POV of you or someone else, can sometimes be a mechanism to put distance between himself and ...


11

She should try to leave the room or the crowd if you're trying to avoid impropriety. A toilet is unnecessary when simply away from prying olfactory senses would do. Now to the meat of the issue: Stating that it is wrong or bad for a child, teen, or adult to pass gas is the same as stating it is wrong for them to sneeze or cough in public. If society as a ...


11

One way to encourage her to be a bit independent is try to engage in some less explicitly fun things together. "Well, right now Daddy needs to _____. Do you want to watch/help?" This might be: Fold some laundry. Do light yard work. Cook a meal. Tinker with the car. Write an email. Change a light bulb. Whatever stuff you do around the house that isn't ...


11

The sample behaviors you describe seem to concern different issues, not all of which I would perceive as materialistic behavior. I would suggest that you explore your feelings of discomfort to find out what is going on with you, what your values are and how you respond to the possibility that your daughter may not share them. It can be hard, I know. In the ...


11

Science is a tool. Whether it is good or bad depends on who wields it. For all the controversy, things that allegedly conflict between science and religion rarely come up in practice. Personally, I find an evolutionary process to be a rather logical way to effect a creation for someone with infinite time and insight. Even if I didn't, I had to spend all ...


10

I suffer from some chronic pain issues, which occasionally make it impossible or very uncomfortable for me to get down and play with my son, who is just over 2 years old. My wife has also had some issues, recently. She sprained her foot during her last trimester, and just delivered our second son and has quite a few tender spots. The solution we use with ...


10

My seven year-old only differentiates time out to about a week. He understands longer time intervals, but just doesn't care. To him, if it's not until next week, it may as well be next year. My four year-old often still says "tomorrow" when she means "sometime in the future." However, if I press her, she will admit she didn't mean tomorrow tomorrow, she ...


9

--- Disclaimer: Some might feel this answer to be hard to digest. --- Have you ever thought about what is happening in your kid's brains while they are watching TV? I mean, from a neuroscientistic perspective? Basically a fireworks of impressions without any chance to influence what is happening. A child in front of TV will absorb a flood of pictures, ...


9

When your child rebuts you that his statement is true, you simply need to point out that's not all that's required. The usual guideline for adults is: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Gossip about a classmate fails the second two tests. Tattling can be considered ok under certain circumstances (are you telling me to get someone into trouble, or ...



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