Author Archive

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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How little ones learn to love giving

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How do you help your children develop a lifelong love of giving? We Grandmothers are certainly aware that today’s families live in times of “Hurry Up” – that mothers and fathers both work and have to deal with malls filled with gifts of every shape and color.

We recognize time is a precious commodity, so it’s often quicker and easier to suggest or even buy something for Aunt Mable during lunch hour, have it wrapped and then simply hand it to ...

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Keeping holidays focused on the children

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It’s happening again. We’ve all seen it before: A mother rushing along the sidewalk or through the mall, pushing a stroller and holding the hand of a 3-year-old who is pasted along her thigh, half-walking half-trotting in an effort to keep up.

The holidays are coming. The media is ratcheting up the excitement and the stores are inviting us in with glorious decorations, repetitive holiday music and store shelves overburdened with things to buy.

We are beginning to feel a little overwhelmed ...

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Toilet Mastery

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When are Children Ready for Toilet Mastery?

When a child’s needs have been adequately met during his first year (fed when he is hungry, provided a regular sleep schedule, cleaned up when his diaper is dirty), he is then ready to take on more of this self-care himself.

Therefore, in their child’s second year, parents should be alert to signs that he is moving in this direction and help him as he takes the steps towards mastery of eating, sleeping, and toileting.

Evidence ...

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Please don’t scare the little ones at Halloween time

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Every year, the month of October brings a crescendo of frights leading up to Halloween. They appear everywhere – on television, in stores, at parties and even early learning centers and schools.

It’s all meant in fun, but for very young children scary fun isn’t fun at all; it’s just scary.

Here’s a column written several years ago. As long as we can count on zombies and goblins to appear this time of year, we’ll resurrect it as a reminder to ...

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Picky Eating

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Dear Grandmothers: When we were kids, we had to eat whatever was on our plates without complaint, or we didn’t eat at all. My sister brings her children over for dinner and as soon as she sees what I’m serving tells me her kids won’t eat it, and starts making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for them. Why are kids today so picky?

Kids today are probably not any pickier than those of previous generations. Don’t you remember slipping your mystery ...

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Disrespectful children and authentic self-esteem

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When parents tell us they are unhappy about their children’s disrespectful behavior, we can think of several things that contribute to the problem.

First, disrespect seems to be a feature of the culture we live in. Facebook, movies and TV often show children behaving in snarky, sassy ways that get big laughs – so of course our young children imitate what they see and hear.

When they’re little, we may think that’s cute, but when they’re older it’s not funny at all.

Second, the emphasis on promoting “self-esteem” has ...

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Coaching and Modeling Good Behavior

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Promoting civil behavior in children

“We’d love to have you visit us but whatever you do don’t bring any preschoolers with you,” a grandfather remarked at a dinner party one evening.

It seems he had been visited by his children and grandchildren and was still reeling from the event. “They never listened, didn’t want to do anything, were picky about the food and got into arguments about toys,” he continued. “Kids today are like that.”

How agonizing it must be for loving parents, ...

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Dealing with tantrums

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Tantrums – appearing as early as 1 and as late as 42 – are part of a stage of emotional development the caregiver would like to be able to move the child through as quickly as possible. They most often occur  in public places such as supermarket check-out lines and shopping centers. They are characterized by out-of-control screaming and thrashing, and if the caregiver starts screaming and thrashing herself matters only get worse.

The caregiver would like the child to be able ...

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