Bernadette King-Turner, Founder & Director of Beautiful Minds Nurseries, offers her tips
1 Healthy eating
Children begin to learn how to make healthy choices for themselves by parents instilling good eating habits right from the start, such as by providing healthy planned snacks of fruit, vegetables and water during the day. Consistent meal times together with healthy foods is vital to ensure children are nourished, alert and ready for play.
2 Getting enough sleep
A regular bedtime routine, repeated at the same time every night, is essential for keeping little ones alert and learning during the day. They are absorbing so much information as they grow, so sleep and rest times create calm in their busy minds. It is usual for a child to need as much as 11 hours’ sleep per night. An ideal sleep routine should be calm and gentle, unhurried and soothing. Try to include bath time, stories and a cuddle and keep the lights dimmed.
3 Why kids bite
Biting can be an anxious time for parents. They may worry about why their child is biting and also be concerned for the child that has been bitten. Understanding that biting is not a malicious act and simply a means to express themselves when the words have not yet been learnt, or to channel frustration or pain (such as from teething) is essential when trying to break the habit.
4 Learning to share
At a child’s young age the ‘selfless traits’ have not yet been learnt, so it’s only through role-modelling of sharing and turn-taking, and understanding how this can make others happy, that children will imitate and understand the joy of sharing.
5 Toilet training
The most important thing to remember is never to rush this process. Your child’s understanding and questions will come naturally about the potty or the toilet. They will start to realise when they are wet or soiled, and most importantly they will begin to communicate this with their parents or carer. Potty training must always remain a natural process and each child is different, it can never be forced or hurried. The most important thing to remember is it is always in the child’s time – not yours and not mine!
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