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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Unit 3: Dear Abby
My three-year-old is driving me crazy! He is so picky! He will only wear certain clothes. He is a very picky eater. I wonder if he is eating enough. He’s getting much thinner and doesn't eat as much as he did when he was younger. This morning, he had a fit because I gave him a new toothbrush that was a different color than his old one. Have I done something to make him so picky? What should I do to prevent him from becoming a spoiled brat?
You are a great parent, and your child is just going through a phrase, which people refer to a “just right” stage. It is a phenomenon seen in children about the age your son’s. According to studies, the age of your child of three is a time when this phrase is at its peak, and it will go back to normal by the age of six.
Another thing that you are observing is natural also. Your child’s body is getting as skinny as it will ever be. It is natural for this age. Since you are a good parent, you have nothing to worry about. Don’t change how you are a parent and be patient. He will eventually learning in his age to not be so picky about his food. These eating habits that you are to be developed are not causing your child to loose wait.
My four-year-old daughter seems to process ideas very slowly. Are girls slower at processing information? I’ve heard if children go straight from sitting to walking without crawling it causes brain development problems. She scooted but didn’t crawl much. And now she has a very difficult time skipping. She always leads out with the same leg and really doesn't swing back and forth. Is that normal for a four-year-old? How can I tell if something is wrong?
It is interesting that you have noticed that the thought processes are slow. There is a development in the brain of your daughter called myelination. This process is a time when myelin, a fatty substance that speeds up thought processes, coats the ‘axons’ of the brain. This process is mostly complete y the age of five. The thinking of your child has always been slow.
Crawling is actually not necessary in the physical development of a child, and some cultures stop their children from crawling. Another thing that is interesting is that your child is developing on pace. Children on average learn how to skip by the age of five. Is it interesting that a child naturally explores the rhythms of physical skills at that age of movement?
Signs that tell people that their children are not progressing correctly are usually indicative of mental disabilities. Children are progress in the same way, and their progression may be quicker or slower than the average. This pace should not be a worry of a parent; unless, there are signs of mental disability. Signs can be noticed in the delay of physical and speech development. “Infants with profound retardation may have poor muscle tone, poor suck, or an inability to coordinate suck and swallow, according to the AAFP.” Milestones for a couple physical developments and the times of estimated achievement are “roll over by six months or crawl by 12 months.” On the speak end, the “inability to repeat sounds by three to six months, or a lack of babbling by five to nine months are signs of delayed speech and can indicate a possible disability.”
My son is almost four years of age and can’t tie his own shoes. He’ll be going to school soon and I’m worried that his poor fine motor skills will be a problem. He still draws stick figures that are nothing more than a head with arms and legs attached. He can kick a ball and loves to ride his tricycle, but can’t hop on one foot very well. He also has trouble with art projects that use scissors. Sometimes he doesn’t even know which hand to use. He often uses both hands when coloring with crayons. Would it be wrong for me to encourage him to use his right hand? What is developmentally appropriate for children his age? Are boys slower at developing fine motor skills than are girls?
At age 4 children are learning the following skills: “Catch a ball (not too small or thrown too fast), Use scissors to cut, Hop on either foot, Feed self with fork, Dress self (no tiny buttons, no ties), Copy most letters, Pour juice without spilling, and Brush teeth.” Your child is not behind the average pace of learning physical abilities. I would not advise to encourage your child to use his right hand. In this age your child is developing the connections between his right and left brain, and his preference to either side will come naturally. Your child’s soon experience in schooling should not expect your child to do things beyond their cognitive and physical abilities, and neither should you. The forcing of the child to learn to use his right hand when he is left handed is messing with the development of the child’s brain, and study have seen a thicker corpus callosum. This development is not necessary.
And the fact is true that girls develop fine motor skills about 6 months faster than boys. I assume that you know what fine motor skills are, since you asked about the time of their accomplishment.
My three-year-old son loves to talk on the phone, but he doesn’t seem to understand that the person on the other end can’t see what he sees. Often he talks about things he is looking at without giving the person he is talking to any idea of what or why is talking about something. Why does he do that? Is it normal? If so, when does it change?
That is a funny thing to happen, but it is normal. Children have to learn to overcome a cognitive perspective describing your child as egocentric. This is when a child things that the world revolves around them insomuch that their perspective is the only one. This is descriptive the pre-occupational stage of Piaget’s observations of childhood development, which lasts until the age of six.
I had the funniest thing happen the other day. My daughter was upset because her sister had more pennies than she had. Without giving her any more pennies, I spread out her pennies so there was more distance between them. She suddenly calmed. My husband thought she just wanted the attention of someone interacting with her. But I think she calmed down because she actually thought there were more pennies when they were spread out. What do you think? Do you know why she acted the way she did?
You are a thinker! Your observation is correct. Children have a problem understanding the measurement of things. Just because the coins cover a longer distance they believe that there are more coins. This concept that needs to be learned is called conservation. When you can pour the same about of water in to different shaped glasses, she will think that one cup will have more liquid than the other.
I am so frustrated with my son. He has taken picky to a whole new level. I was making a sandwich for him and accidently put some pickles on it. He quickly informed me he didn’t like pickles, so I took them off his sandwich. But he wouldn’t touch the sandwich even when I’d taken the pickles off for him. What is his problem? How should I deal with it?
There is another part of the pre-occupational stage of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. There are several “just right” observations. One of them is that there is an irreversibility in your child’s understanding of the world. You cannot reverse how you made your sandwich to your child.
My parents never gave up teaching me to keep trying other food; however, there was a period of time in my life was I did not like bananas for a long time. It is a stage of life, and I would recommend that you do not stress it. If you fold to their objections, they may develop odd habits, if your parenting is not consistent. How can you be consistent with your parenting and not fold to their illogical state without being contentious? When I say don’t stress it, I am talking about the sandwich. You can save it for later.
I’m trying to teach my two-year-old son to share. Often he takes away toys from other children and doesn’t feel bad about it. But if they take toys from him, he lashes out at them. Would it be helpful to reward him with a sticker each time he shares his crayons or toys? Do you have any suggestions that might help my child be a better citizen in the nursery?
Children can learn how to learn to share as early as age two, so you are on track. I don’t think that offering the reward of a sticker for cooperation to learning the reinforced concept of sharing would be harmful. I think this method of teaching is not bad; just as long as the child is learning the skill that you want them to learn. Your child will learn the skill eventually, so there is no use stress over it.
Some ways to teach sharing naturally are to be a positive person. Confirm their positive actions. This will reinforce good habits. Dismissing their acts of emotional outbursts like anger for having their toys being taken from them is a means that will slow the development of social interactions. Your child does not always have to express or internalize in a situation of stress, if his emotional regulation is strong.
Another setting that will teach people skills is sociodramatic play. I recommend that you embrace the natural tendency to simulate or role play situations. There are several other tools that I can offer. There are tools that may be more fruitful for the temperance of your child, and I would invite you to ponder on this wise.
My husband plays rougher with our preschooler than I’d like him to. I’m afraid that such play will model aggressive behavior. My husband thinks I’m being to “girly” with him because I let him play dress-up games and let him play with his sister’s baby doll. We’re both worried that he doesn’t play very interactively with others. He just does his own thing. What advice do you have for our play problems?
I don’t see a problem in your play. No child will act as you think that they should. The amount of time that you give to your child in play is impressive, and I like how personal that it is. I would encourage you to go out to perhaps the park or get to know your neighbors to see the young parents as you that may have children the same age as yours is.
Both ways that you play with your son is good. Rough and tumble play is found to be normal, and I applaud your social play with your child too. Your example of social interaction will be reflected in your child. I recommend that you get to know families about your age. Get involved in your community, and enjoy the human relations within families as well as your great personal play that you give. Developing a network of friendly parents can be good, so you may perhaps go out with your husband on a date; then, your child can play with another child.
I don’t want to be a wimpy parent, but I also don’t want to be mean. My wife loves our children but has a hard time saying no. She is afraid it will hurt their self-esteem. I think our children are beginning to take advantage of her. She expects me to be the disciplinarian, since I’m the man of the house. I don’t want my children to see me as the one who is always correcting them. How can we give our children healthy guidance and boundaries without being harsh or mean? I want my children to love me and know that I love them.
I would encourage you to be real with your children. Your child will learn social relations from you as foundational to your children’s understanding. You need to be responsive to the needs of the child though. Express as much love as you can to your children. Seek a trusting fatherly relationship, offering your wisdom. I feel that it is good to be strict. When they approach adolescence, you need to learn how to respect their maturity. From my experience; although I never parented, I see that the way to raise a child is different from that of your child grown up. My father has referred to my mother not adapting well this way, but it is opinion.
You will need to discuss standard of parents that you and your wife will both uphold.