Author Archive

Whining and Complaining

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“Stop that right now!”

“If you don’t stop that whining, I’ll give you something real to whine about!”

“If you complain about one more thing, you’ll go to your room!”

Listening to a child’s persistent moaning and crying can make the most patient parents feel frenzied and helpless. They want it to stop — now!

They want to exert their authority – make the child change and feel their power and control over him. After all, they are ...

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Painful feelings – theirs and yours

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Of all the developmental tasks that we hope our growing child will successfully master, none is more demanding on the growing parent than the child’s learning to express painful feelings.

We tell ourselves that we want him to feel free to tell us when he is angry, or sad, or frustrated, or annoyed. We are hopeful that if he acquires a complete feelings vocabulary, he will be able to cope with these emotions. We want this so much that we even ...

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Bedtime struggles with young children

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Children who resist bedtime are noted for their determinedly open eyes and, usually, loud protests at being put to bed, often at the hour when the caregiver is most desperate to have the child fall asleep. Unfortunately, such bedtime struggles are not something that occurs once and then is outgrown forever but is a stage that can appear at several different ages and for different reasons: in infancy, in toddlerhood, and quite possibly at regular intervals after that. Some children, ...

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Saying bye-bye to the ‘binkie’

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In Anne Tyler’s novel Digging to America there’s a humorous scene in which a mother plans an elaborate scheme for separating her 3-year-old daughter from her pacifier.

She invites all the mothers and young children she knows to a party, the climax of which will be the releasing of a clutch of helium balloons with binkies (pacifiers) attached to them. On her daughter’s balloon is the pacifier, of course, which will dramatically sail ...

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Promoting self-esteem

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“GOOD JOB!!!”

The heading on the sheet of stickers says “100 Ways to Say ‘Good Job!’”, and then all 100 – from “Awesome” to “Zero Mistakes” – appear with accompanying smiley faces and abundant exclamation points. These are sold to teachers as self-esteem promoters. Everyone, especially the children, knows them to be artificial at best. But at least they are evidence of the general awareness that self-esteem is important.

But self-esteem is not so easily created, and certainly not when imposed ...

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Leaving children for the weekend

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Leaving children for the weekend isn’t easy for anyone. But at one time or another, all parents need a weekend getaway – whether it’s to take a break, tend to out-of-town family matters, or attend a wedding or other adult occasion without the kids.

When this need arises for the first time, they might have some concerns – especially if their child already fusses when a sitter comes for just the evening.

If the sitter can be someone your child already knows, ...

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5 simple TV guidelines for kids

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TV guidelines for kids

Put Yourself in this Picture…

Your kids squabbled in the back seat all the way home despite your shouting at them to knock it off. You have a blinding headache and you’re exhausted from a trying day. It’s past everyone’s customary dinner hour and you want to prepare and serve something in a hurry. What do you do?

You hand your children a snack and plunk them down in front of the TV, of course. But then as you ...

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Standing Up For Myself

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Asserting oneself begins at birth. We parents quickly learn the differences between the loud, insistent screams our babies make. We know when our one month old is saying, “I’m hungry, NOW” or “Something really hurts!”

Asserting oneself becomes all too evident during the toddler years when “Me do” and “No”, provokes nods from adults and we mutter knowingly, “ the terrible twos”. This strong push toward independence, although it tries our patience, is generally understood to be a predictable part of growing ...

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Talking with children about disabilities

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Sidewalks are now made without curbs at the corners and laws prohibit putting up new buildings that are not accessible to everyone. We are now aware of the extra large stalls in bathrooms and parking for people with disabilities in every mall.

We take these improvements in our way of life for granted now. We assume that our toddlers and preschoolers also take these changes for granted and don’t notice the person in the wheelchair or leaning on a walker. That ...

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Children at the holidays: All the Grandmothers’ seasonal writings in one location

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The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but all the excitement and traditions of the season can create stress in young children that grownups, in their own enthusiasm, can easily overlook. Here’s a collection of previously published articles by the Hanna Perkins Grandmothers about children and the holidays. It may help you see this special season as it really looks through a child’s eyes – so you can create the best kind of memories for the young people in your life.

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