The HP Grandmothers Blog

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Learning to apologize

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Joel and Andrew, 4-year old friends, were playing with Lego when suddenly, Andrew howled, “I was just going to use that—it’s mine!”

Joel had snatched one of the pieces Andrew had in his pile beside him. When Andrew protested, Joel knocked down his building and Andrew began to cry. Joel looked at his mother wide-eyed.

What To Do?

“Oh, no,” thought Joel’s mother. Normally, he was not a selfish boy, but lately he’d done some very unkind things. What should she do this ...

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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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Excitement vs. Fun

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In most circles excitement is a positive word – often considered synonymous with fun.

A movie, a television program, even an activity for young children, is praised for being exciting. Using the common definition, the opposite of exciting is boring, and boring is to be avoided at all costs.

Excitement, however, can also refer to agitation, over-stimulation and loss of control – the opposite of calm.

Parents, observing their over-excited children running around in circles – coming close to knocking over the birthday ...

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Why your kids don’t listen – and how to deal with it

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A mother of young children asked why she finds herself saying the same things over and over again, but the children don’t seem to be paying attention. “It would almost be better if they would openly defy me,” she said “Instead, everything goes in one ear and out the other. Why don’t they listen to me?”

As with so many of the issues we discuss with parents about those very complex little people – their children – the answers are many ...

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Moving to a new home: Why your kids aren’t excited

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A mother of young children asked:

We’re going to be moving to another house in a few weeks, and whenever I try to talk to our kids about it, they tell me they don’t want to move. Or they give me blank stares like they don’t know what I’m talking about. We showed them the new place a couple of times, but they didn’t seem impressed. What’s their problem?

Moving from one home to another, whether halfway around the ...

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Remembering Ginny Steininger

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The Hanna Perkins family is mourning the loss of Virginia Steininger, who died in her home on Aug. 24. She was 89.

Steininger taught kindergarten, and was a teacher and director at Solon Cooperative Preschool before becoming the director of the child-care program at the Cuyahoga Valley Vocational School. There she taught courses in child development and helped establish the first public preschool in Ohio for children with difficulties. She then came to Hanna Perkins, where she served for 16 years ...

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Starting preschool and understanding the separation process

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Starting preschool and the separation process can be hard on everyone. When parents give over the care of their children to a pre-school, day-care center or kindergarten teacher, no matter how attractive the facility, it is an emotionally difficult time for child and parents alike.

Parents tend to stifle these feelings with bravado, telling their child, “There will be a lot of other children for you to play with;” “Look at all the toys and things to do;” “Your teacher will ...

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Bedtime Struggles

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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 wakefulness is 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, for ...

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When little ones learn of the bad things in the world

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Try to remember what it was like when you were small and you lay in bed in the dark at night, afraid. If you have a better than average memory, you can recall the monster under the bed, the witch in the closet, the skeleton that tapped at your window with a bony finger.

Maybe you smile now when you remember those fears, because of course there was no monster, no witch, no skeleton – only shadows and a tree branch ...

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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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