Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time To Give Up!!

It has been one of the days for poor "Lil i" as we call him here. Lil i, is one of those children that even the "children haters" love. His huge brown eyes with long eyelashes and cute little expressive eyebrows can win over even the most hardened soul. The way he flirts with the ladies at the young age of 20 months is seriously impressive. With his little eyelashes batting and his eyebrows saying it all he puts his little hand by his face and waves at the girls, saying in the cutest little voice "hi." Anyone who sets foot in this maze of children makes sure to stop and fawn over Lil i.

In addition to being a total ladies man, he is also accomplished in bravery. This child will take on anything, any bookshelf, any counter, coffee table, jungle gym, slide, to the point where the other mothers at the park will be freaking out. When Lil i falls, he gets back up, when he hurts himself his bottom lip will quiver and he will try to attempt the impossible again until he gets it right. He doesn't want comfort, he wants to finish his mission.

Today has been a different story though ... similar to my sister and Ms. Sonja, Lil i has struggled with the simple task of walking. It seems everything he does he fails at. He was pushing a stroller and somehow slipped, fell on his head and then the stroller came crashing down on him. At this point any normal human being would have started crying and ran to the nearest adult for comfort .... but Lil i is no ordinary tiny human. He's Lil i, with tears streaming down his face and his bottom lip out far enough to set a cup on it, he got up, pushed me away and set out to find his next obstacle to conquer. And conquer he did. In the world of the tiny Lil i, it is NEVER time to give up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad Attitude?

Growing up with a ton of older siblings, (yes a ton) and a tired mother, I constantly remember hearing, “Joy you better change that attitude,” or “stop with the bad attitude!” The list goes on. But, I remember getting so annoyed because I had no idea what people were talking about!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY ATTITUDE AND WHY IS IT BAD??? It took me forever to figure out what that even meant! (Still not sure I grasp the concept)

That being said, I have a 3 year old that is well on her way to becoming something great. She is smart, funny, sweet, and she has a mean streak that almost makes me proud. This girl knows exactly what she’s doing when she’s misbehaving and every step of her bad behavior is well thought out and planned. So proud.

At one point she had gone too far. A time out wasn’t even an option! Keep in mind … she’s 3. After some flat out mean behavior to one of the younger children I realized something new needed to happen.

My first punishment was she was not allowed to go to the park with the older children, so she had to stay home and do chores with me. Throughout the entire process of doing the chores I am talking to her about how she needs to be nice to the other children and if she’s upset with something she needs to come get me instead of taking care of things on her own.

After all this talking we walk into the garage to get a broom and I turn to her and ask, “why did you do that?” She had a very simple answer. Standing there twirling her hair staring at me with these huge brown eyes she replies, “cuz I have a attitude that is bad and I’m just mean.”

How do you argue with that?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Tips For The Picky Eater

Every time I have a new child come to my childcare it's the same ordeal. Getting them to eat the foods set before them! It's never easy and at minimum it takes about 3 days before they feel comfortable trying new things without help!
On top of that there's always food allergies to deal with and then those children who just refuse to eat certain foods that may not be good for them anyways. So that brings into question, "Do I make them eat it?" ... For those of you wondering that is a very rare occasion!

My saving grace for my picky eaters is peer pressure. Any parent with more than one child will tell you peer pressure often works better than anything! I always have my cheer leading team of four year old's telling the new kids how yummy it is and that they should just try it! But, when that doesn't work or if you don't have the luxury of feeding 6 other kids here are a few things I do.

Some of these tricks do absolutely depend on the intelligence of your child! ;-)

Disclaimer: I only use these tricks on the younger children, those older than 5 just don't get to watch TV if they don't eat! Simple.

Tip 1: Stamps, Stickers, and Treats
This one may be the obvious one for you, but make it a really big deal. Don't use the same stamps you use for going potty or being good. Get special stamps and stickers and save them for FINISHED meals only! That means no giving in Mom's! Involve your child in the purchasing of the stamps and then only allow them when their food is gone. This may not work all the time but I would say it has a 50% success rate so try it!
Save the treats for certain meals! As adults, we know that we shouldn't be eating dessert after every meal. Neither should our children! Treats can be as simple as 2 Jelly Beans, a small cookie, or if your extreme, try frozen fruit! All that matters is that they are getting something they wouldn't normally get!

Tip 2: Distraction
I have a child that only comes once a week and she struggles with eating at home. After trying with the stamps and treats and having a 50% success rate I decided to kick it up a notch. I knew that if she would only try the food set in front of her she would like it but I would just have to figure out a way to get that first bite in without a melt down. I asked her about her sister and she started getting excited and talking up a storm, so I put a spoon full of food in her mouth and she barely noticed it, then I asked her more questions about exciting things and I gave her a few more bites. After 3 minutes her food was gone and she was happy as a clam and she even ate some bites on her own! Victory!
This may not always work, but it's worth a shot right? What does your child get excited about?? Cars? Balls? Animals? Get them talking, get that first bite in without them noticed and see what happens!

Tip 3: Disguise Your Food
If your to the point of giving up, DON'T! If your child will only eat junk food here are a few tips.

Mac N Cheese: Use REAL Cheese, it doesn't take much time to throw in some real grated cheese! Cuts out the processed cheese part and already ten times better for your child! Add in some frozen spinach. Your child might throw a fit at first but it will be hard to separate out so eventually they will give in and eat it, and realize that it's not all that bad! Corn is also a good option.

Spaghetti: Make your own sauce! It is not very difficult and you can make a fast version if you like. In your sauce throw in a ton of veggies but dice them so small your child won't be able to tell! My veggies of choice are: mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly: Use applesauce instead of jelly. Get the unsweetened kind, it has less sugar and less chemicals. Also, ALWAYS use whole grains!!!

Quesadillas: I never serve these without fresh spinach in them! The kids might complain at first but will eventually realize they don't taste the spinach!

These are just a few of my tips I use on a daily basis, as I think of more I will post them! If you have any questions or comments lemme know! Also, feel free to criticize!