Posts in Child Development
The Mouse Timer

I don't have games on my phone. But I do have this ONE free app, that I use as a tool to teach prosocial behaviors.

Any other amazing apps out there that are parent hacks... drop em below!

Meet, the Mouse Timer. This app is a timer that shows several different time options. You click the time you need and then when the mouse eats the cheese the timer is up.

Charlie often has a hard time taking turns with his cousin. So, we pulled out the mouse timer. "When the mice eats the cheese, then it's Pipers turn" Then while Piper had her turn Charlie kept checking in to see how many more apples were left before the mouse got the cheese.

Another thing that would work would just be a digital timer that they can see moving or counting down. It's so hard for kids to conceptualize time, but if they can see ok... I can have a turn in 15 apples... I'm going to survive. It usually goes a lot smoother.

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Are you regular?

When it comes to eating and sleeping, I'd say I'm right in the middle of the line from regular to not regular. Charlie too. And I'm thinking Maelie fits right in there as well too. How about you?

Research tells us we all have different temperaments when it comes to "regularity." Some kids can be hungry on a set clock. Be ready for bed on a set clock. Poop every day at the same time. Other kids are less regular, and some are not regular at all. If you are more regular, and you have a kid on the other end of the spectrum of regularity, that is a mismatch. Seeing eating schedule from a temperament point of view might make more sense for how to adapt your expectations (based on your personal temperament) to fit your child's needs (based on their temperament). It's not our job to change temperament, but to give them support and/or adapt the environment when we can to help them thrive.

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Attention-seeking or CONNECTION-seeking

“Carry me mommmm” who gets this? 👋🏼

When kids want you to carry them and they are definitely old enough to walk. A few things could be going on. They might actually be tired. Or they might be seeking connection. Connection that their baby sister is getting all the time by being carried. So I’m not saying fine give in, haul around the 2 year old. But find ways to connect with them while you’re walking to a place. “How far can you jump” let’s jump these cracks together.

I remember my mom telling me one time in Disneyland when she was holding my hand that when she squeezed it it means “I love you.” I literally thought that was universal forever. Looking back on this memory that she probably doesn’t even remember saying... was so engraved in my childhood as a simple, but meaningful connection with my mom.

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Extinction Bursts

Unfortunately, when the behavior gets worse in response to something new we are trying. It is called an extinction burst. And you have to keep being consistent. Or you’ll just have a million of them.

Example: child used to screaming to get show on in car. You tell him he can ask nicely, but if he screams you aren’t turning it on. *screaming* you don’t do it. *screaming intensifies* FINE! Watch your show. Here he was testing that limit and succeeded. Stay strong. A few hard days and then it’ll be better.

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Set the Boundary, then Teach

If your "boundary talk" before a challenging activity isn't working, then not enough to just say, okay "when we go to the park you need to play nice."

- Try explaining what it looks like to play nice

- Ask what if questions to prompt their problem solving brain

- Practice it

- Go with them into the activity, model and guide

- Help them where they are at, even if the other kids their don't need the same kind of support.

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