Friday, May 23, 2014

Why children need discipline

Many parents don’t set - or don't enforce - rules for their kids because they don’t want to be the villain but setting your child limits is vital for teaching him self-control.

How rules help your child feel secure
One of the main parent pitfalls Supernanny Jo Frost tackles in her sessions with families on the show is failing to set rules because you don’t want to be too tough on your kids. Trouble is this often means parents end up losing control because they’re too soft to enforce boundaries and follow up bad behavior with consequences.
Few aspects of parenting are as important as discipline. The bottom line is that it helps your child feel secure and determines what kind of person he’ll grow up to be.

Discipline or punishment?
So many parents confuse discipline with punishment and part of Supernanny’s mission is to show parents that managing their kids’ behavior needn’t be a negative experience. See discipline as a way of teaching your child self-control instead of a way of controlling your child, and you’re well on the way to appreciating that it can be a positive learning experience. Once you’ve helped build that sense of self-control you’ve effectively taught your child the skill of disciplining himself.

Why kids need rules
Your house rules set limits and boundaries for your child that help him think in an orderly way and get along with other kids and adults. They impact on his academic success – think about how the discipline he learns from you is the basis for his behavior at school – demonstrate that there are consequences to his actions and keep him safe. Helping him stick to the rules will make him way more pleasant to have around and be around and his sense of self-control is a vital skill he can fall back on during his teen years, when making wise decisions may run counter to his desire to rebel.

Keeping it positive
If discipline isn’t the same as punishment, that definitely rules out spanking. Although some parents see it as the ideal short, sharp shock, especially if their child is engaging in behavior that risks his safety, using it for day-to-day punishment risks teaching your child that physical aggression is OK. Always keep in mind that you’re aiming to teach your child what behavior is acceptable – not punish him for being bad.

How to discipline when you really don’t want to…
Some parents just don’t want to be the bad guy; others let their kids get away with doing what they like when and where they like because they’re afraid saying no will result in a tantrum. Others had harsh discipline meted out to them when they were young and don’t want their kids to feel the way they did. What you have to remember is that you owe it to your child to raise him to be a responsible adult – and teaching him how to behave is a big part of that. How do you do it?
  1. Don’t see your child as bad
    Instead of coming at discipline from the angle that your child has intentionally done something naughty, try see his acting up as a lapse in judgment. This makes it easier for you to discipline him in a positive way because you’ll be more inclined to focus on teaching him what’s acceptable.
  2. Make his routine consistent
    Set regular times for meals, homework and bedtime. If he knows it’s set in stone that he does something at a particular time, he’s less likely to act up when you tell him to go do it.
  3. Don’t make rules he can’t keep
    Be reasonable when it comes to the house rules. Involve your child as much as possible in compiling them and before making each rule, think about whether it’s really necessary and whether you might be effectively setting traps for him by laying down laws he can’t possibly stick to. Make sure your rules are appropriate for his age and accept that you might need to be more flexible as he gets older and needs more independence.
  4. Consistently enforce consequences One of Supernanny’s top rules of discipline is to follow through with consequences for bad behavior. One of the best ways to deter your child from acting up is to show him you - and all his carers - mean business when it comes to consequences – if he thinks you’re a soft touch he won’t have any incentive to follow the rules.
  5. Remove temptation
    Young children have very little self-control, so don’t leave temptation in his way. Let’s face it: if he can reach the snack jar he’s sure to raid it half an hour before his dinner is ready! Avoid having to discipline him for it by not leaving behavior booby traps in his path – instead create an environment that promotes good behavior.
  6. Watch the dos and don’ts
    Reframe your discipline vocabulary. For example, instead of saying, “Josh, don’t snatch that toy from Cody”, say “It’s Cody’s turn to play with that toy now, Josh”. In this way you’re telling your child what to do instead of constantly telling him what not to do.
by Supernanny Team

Article retrieved from:

Image retrieved from:

The Dangers of Baby Walkers

D. J. from New York City asks the Consults blog:
I know some people use baby walkers to help young children learn to walk. Is it true that this may actually be harmful to developing bones and muscles?

Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene responds:
It’s so exciting to see a baby take the first step! When wheeled seats arrived on the scene that would allow babies to move around with their feet on the floor, parents and babies alike were delighted. Some parents still use these baby walkers to help their children learn to walk or to give them some exercise or mobility. Some use baby walkers almost like pacifiers for the legs: many babies seem happier when they are propelling themselves across the floor.

And let’s face it, sometimes parents need to get things done. Sometimes parents use walkers as a baby-sitter, to keep their baby occupied and entertained so they do other things.
Parents should know that walker use typically delays motor development – and that it delays mental development even more. Beyond this, walker use is dangerous.

Back in 1994, when baby walkers were still extremely popular in the United States, the Consumer Products Safety Commission declared that baby walkers were responsible for more injuries than any other children’s product. The types of injuries included head injuries, broken bones, broken teeth, burns, entrapment of fingers and even amputations or death.

Walkers allow mobility beyond a baby’s natural capability, and faster than a parent’s reaction time. Most of the injuries involve falls down stairs, but injuries can also come, for instance, from allowing reach to hot, heavy or poisonous objects. Today’s walkers are safer, but they are still hazardous – and of no benefit to the baby.

Canada banned baby walkers in 2004. Possession of a baby walker can lead to fines up to $100,000 or six months in jail. But in some countries, more than 75 percent of babies still use walkers– and the injuries continue.

Sometime in the second half of the first year, healthy babies develop a strong urge to move across the floor. At first, this is a struggle for them as they work their arms and legs, stretching, rolling, scooting or crawling. They find delight in accomplishment as they achieve their goal of a toy out of reach. Later, the focus of their work will turn to pulling themselves upright.
Babies who use a walker skip some of this magnificent developmental journey. With their toes in an unnatural position, they glide across the floor with ease, moving upright before their time.
What’s the outcome?

Besides the added dangers of moving faster, falling farther and reaching higher, babies who use walkers learn to crawl, stand and walk later than they would have otherwise, and continue to show delayed motor development for months after they have learned to walk. The delay seems to be a little more than three days for every 24 hours of total walker use.

But the biggest delays – and the biggest surprise to many parents – are delays in mental development and lower scores on mental developmental testing, still present 10 months after initial walker use.

Stationary activity centers for babies can provide many of the benefits parents are looking for from walkers, without the serious problems.

I’m so glad for your question. Almost every week I still come across a parent who is using a walker in the mistaken belief that it will benefit their children, unaware of the risks and the costs of walker use.

Alan Greene, M.D., is the founder of the Web site and the author of “From First Kicks to First Steps.”

Article retrieved from:
Image retrieved from:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Potty training: What works

Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
To make potty training as smooth a process as possible for you and your toddler, take a moment to learn what tends to work - and what doesn't. What works:

Waiting till your child is ready

There's no magic age for being ready to start learning to use the potty. Most toddlers develop the necessary physical and mental skills between 18 and 24 months, while some kids aren't there until closer to age 3 or even 4. Keep an eye out for physical, cognitive, and behavioral signs that your toddler might be ready to give it a try.
If your toddler is facing changes such as a new school, a new sibling, or travel, you may want to wait till the seas are calmer before taking the plunge.
Once you do start, if you've been trying for several weeks without success, that's a sign your toddler's not ready. Wait a few more weeks - or until you see signs that the time is right - and try again.

Making a plan

Before you even buy your toddler a potty seat, it's important to have a plan for the training process itself. Decide when and how you want to start, how to handle accidents, when to back off, and so on.
At the same time, prepare to be flexible. There's no way to know how your child will respond to potty training attempts or what techniques will work best. Keep in mind that as with most developmental milestones, success doesn't necessarily happen in a linear fashion - your toddler may make initial progress only to regress at one or more points along the way.

Discuss your plan with your child's pediatrician and daycare provider. They'll probably have plenty of experience and advice to share. Once you've decided on a strategy, be sure you and everyone else who takes care of your child sticks to it - barring unexpected setbacks and other potty training challenges, of course.

Taking it slow

Mastering the various steps of potty training can take a long time. Yes, some children will have it nailed in just a few days, but most need weeks or even months, especially when they're working on staying dry at night.
Don't push your toddler (or let others push him) to get through potty training faster than he's ready to. Let him take his time and get used to this new, multipart process. He'll move from one stage to the next at his own speed.

Of course, it's perfectly all right to try to motivate with gentle reminders and encouragement. If he balks, though, ease up.

Praising your child

Throughout potty training, your toddler will respond to positive reinforcement. Whenever he moves on to a new step or tries to use his potty (even when he doesn't quite succeed), tell him he's doing well and that you're proud of him. Compliment him now and then on his dry underpants or diaper.
But be careful not to go overboard: Too much praise might make him nervous and afraid to fail, which can lead to more accidents and setbacks.

Accepting that there will be accidents

It's likely your toddler will have numerous accidents before being completely potty-trained. Don't get angry or punish him. After all, it's only recently that his nervous system has matured enough for him to perceive the sensation of a full bladder or rectum and that his muscles have developed sufficiently to allow him to hold in his urine and stool - and that's if he's on the early end of the developmental spectrum.

He'll get the hang of the process in due time. When your toddler has an accident, calmly clean it up and suggest (sweetly) that next time he try using his potty instead.

Article retrieved from: &
Image retrieved from:

Unsung milestones

By Dan Tynan and Christina Wood 

We all know when kids should sit up, walk, talk, and get a driver's license. But what about some of those other important "firsts" that don't get as much press? Here are seven milestones that we think deserve more notice.

1 What: Sees in stereo
When: 2 to 4 months

Your baby used to see in two dimensions, but now he's seeing the world in three. His cerebral cortex has matured enough that he can merge the input from both eyes — no goofy 3-D glasses required.

2 What: First true laugh
When: 4 to 5 months

Babies start smiling at 2 to 3 months, but at around 4 to 5 months that smile may turn to laughter in response to surprising or incongruous events, thanks to her rapidly developing cerebral cortex. Finally, someone to laugh at your Three Stooges antics.

3 What: Knows her own name
When: 5 to 8 months

Though she won't be able to speak it for some time, by this age your baby knows her own name and will look up if you call it. Good luck getting her to continue doing this throughout her teenage years.

4 What: Plays with privates
When: 1 to 2 years

By this age, many children have discovered that it feels good to touch their privates. It's all sensation at this point. They won't be angry at you for barging into the room without knocking for a long time yet.

5 What: Pumps on a swing
When: 4 to 5 years

A child this age can finally figure out how to pump her legs on a swing. Now you can drink your coffee in peace — at least for two minutes.

6 What: Two-sided body control
When: 7 to 8 years

The two sides of the brain have now developed enough body control that your child can hold a piece of paper in one hand and write on it with the other, which makes passing notes in class much easier.

7 What: Shows modesty
When: 8 to 9 years

The desire for privacy usually hits around this age. Even a child who was a dedicated nudist until now might suddenly blush and grab a cover-up. No more embarrassing episodes when the neighbor drops by.

Article retrieved from:
Image retrieved from:

Throwing: Why toddlers throw things

Throwing things is a new and enjoyable skill for many children between 18 months and 3 years of age. It takes fine-motor skills to open the fingers and let go of an object, and considerable hand-eye coordination to actually throw it. No wonder your toddler wants to practice this exciting skill!
What happens next is educational, too: Your toddler discovers that whatever she throws falls down — never up. She can't say "gravity," but she can certainly observe its effects. If she throws a ball, it bounces. If she tosses a plum, it goes splat.

Of course, for you it's maddening when spaghetti winds up all over your just-mopped kitchen floor or a clean pacifier lands on a dirty sidewalk, but to your toddler, it's all great fun.

What you can do about it

"Unless your toddler's throwing a rock through a window or really threatening to hurt someone, don't give her a time-out or punish her," says Roni Leiderman, associate dean of the Family Center at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It's futile to try to stop your child from throwing at this age. Concentrate instead on limiting what she throws and where she throws it with these tips.

Show her what she can throw. Your toddler will learn what not to throw more quickly if there are lots of things that she is allowed—and even encouraged—to throw. Balls are an obvious choice (stocking up on foam balls will minimize accidents indoors). But actual throwing games (like tossing beanbags in a basket or skipping stones on a pond) are even more fun for a 2-year-old, especially if you play with her.

The message you want to convey is that throwing things is fine as long as she throws the right things in the right place at the right time. "When she throws something inappropriate, like a shoe, calmly take it away from her and say, 'Shoes aren't for throwing, but balls are.' Then give her a ball to play with," says Leiderman.

Discourage her aggressive throwing. What should you do when your toddler does throw something she shouldn't—sand from the sandbox, for instance, or blocks at another child? As much as possible, try to ignore it the first few times it happens. If she knows she can get your attention by throwing something she shouldn't at someone, she's likely to do it again.

If your child often comes close to hurting other children by throwing things at them, it's important that you always react the same way, since toddlers learn through repetition. The next time she does it, say, "No, that hurts," and pull her aside for a quick time-out to call attention to the "no" and to remove her from the situation so she can start fresh in a moment.

The key is to keep the time-out under a minute (a good rule of thumb is 60 seconds for every year of age) so your child doesn't forget why she was made to stop what she was doing.
If you notice that she throws things at other children when she gets angry, encourage her to express herself with words instead. Say, "If you're angry at Emily, use your words," or, "You tell me when you get angry."

It's okay to let her know you're unhappy with her behavior by your tone of voice, just don't let your anger determine your response. Try not to yell at your child, and never hit her—even if it's just her hand—to discourage her from throwing.

If she persists in throwing things in a hurtful manner, even though you've tried to deter her calmly and consistently, you may have no choice but to keep an eagle eye on the toys she plays with, and to shadow her while she plays with them.

Fasten her toys to her seat. When she's in her stroller or car seat, try attaching a few playthings within easy reach (tie the toys with short pieces of string and trim the ends so they can't get wrapped around her neck). She'll quickly discover that in addition to throwing the objects, she can fish them back again. Double the fun for her, half the work for you.

Clean up together. Don't ask your toddler to pick up everything she throws. "That's an overwhelming task for a child this age," says Leiderman. Instead, try getting down on your hands and knees together and enlisting her help by saying, "Let's see how fast we can pick up the blocks together," or "Can you help me find all the yellow M&M pieces?"

Set a good example. You don't have to avoid casually tossing a pillow on the sofa to set a good example for your toddler. In fact, you can use the items you normally toss around your home to show her what's good to throw and what's not. The next time she throws something she shouldn't, take a tour of your house together and toss socks in the hamper, tissues in the wastebasket, and toys in the toy chest instead.

Sit with her at mealtimes. This is a messy eating stage, but you can often avoid the worst of it by sitting down with your toddler while she eats. That way you're right there to gently but firmly tell her no when she makes a move to toss her lunch and to hold her plate down with your hand if need be.

"Parents should always sit with their children at mealtimes to engage them in conversation and help develop their language skills," says Leiderman. It's also the best way to make sure your toddler chews her food before swallowing so she doesn't choke.

Use toddler-proof dishes. "Never use your fine china or even breakable stoneware to feed your toddler," says Leiderman. Instead, try using a special toddler dish with suction cups that fasten to the table or highchair tray so she can't pick up the dish. Keep in mind, though, that while these work well enough that a casual grab won't send her dish scuttling across the floor, they won't stop a child who's amazed to find her dish "stuck" and is determined to pry it off.

Stick to small portions. You'll waste less and your toddler will have less ammunition if you serve her tiny portions of finger foods and hold off on dishing up more until she's eaten what's there. "Don't push her to eat more than she wants to unless your pediatrician says she's having trouble thriving," says Leiderman.

Most kids don't start throwing their food until they've finished eating and grown bored. So no matter how much she's eaten, take your toddler's food-flinging as a sign that she's finished her meal, and remove her from the table or her highchair.

If a bit of food does escape her hands, either by accident or on purpose, try to keep some perspective about it. After all, a dropped slice of bread or a pinch of grated cheese on the floor may be annoying, but we all drop things sometimes.

Article retrieved from:
Image retrieved from:

New Brain Cells Erase Old Memories

Neurogenesis interferes with past learning in infant and adult mice

May 12, 2014 |By Helen Shen and Nature magazine

Newly-generated neurons (white) that integrated into the hippocampus, shown in this false-colour micrograph, had seemingly counterintuitive effects on memory. Credit: Jason Snyder
For anyone fighting to save old memories, a fresh crop of brain cells may be the last thing they need. Research published today in Science suggests that newly formed neurons in the hippocampus — an area of the brain involved in memory formation — could dislodge previously learned information. The work may provide clues as to why childhood memories are so difficult to recall.
“The finding was very surprising to us initially. Most people think new neurons mean better memory,” says Sheena Josselyn, a neuroscientist who led the study together with her husband Paul Frankland at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Humans, mice and several other mammals grow new neurons in the hippocampus throughout their lives — rapidly at first, but more and more slowly with age. Researchers have previously shown that boosting neural proliferation before learning can enhance memory formation in adult mice. But the latest study shows that after information is learned, neuron growth can degrade those memories.
Although seemingly counterintuitive, the disruptive role of these neurons makes some sense, says Josselyn. She notes that some theoretical models have predicted such an effect. “More neurons increase the capacity to learn new memories in the future,” she says. “But memory is based on a circuit, so if you add to this circuit, it makes sense that it would disrupt it.” Newly added neurons could have a useful role in clearing old memories and making way for new ones, says Josselyn.

Forgetting curve
The researchers tested newborn and adult mice on a conditioning task, training the animals to fear an environment in which they received repeated electric shocks. All the mice learned the task quickly, but whereas infant mice remembered the negative experience for only one day after training, adult mice retained the negative memory for several weeks.

This difference seems to correlate with differences in neural proliferation. Josselyn and her team were able to enhance memory persistence in newborn mice by genetically and chemically suppressing growth of new neurons after learning. And in adult mice, four to six weeks of regular exercise — an activity known to promote neuron proliferation — reduced the persistence of previously learned fear.

The genetic and chemical manipulations cannot be applied readily to humans, so the findings will be difficult to pursue in people, says Josselyn. But both mice and humans have ‘infantile amnesia’, or pronounced forgetting of early life experiences. Josselyn says that rapid neurogenesis in many young animals could help to explain the phenomenon across species.

The researchers also examined learned fear in guinea pigs and in Chilean rodents called degus — both of which have longer gestation periods than mice, and correspondingly reduced brain growth after birth. Baby degus and guinea pigs do not have infantile amnesia, but the researchers were able to mimic its effects in the animals through exercise or drugs that promote neuron growth.
“It's incredibly impressive. They covered everything from genetic and pharmacological interventions, to behavioral interventions, to cross-species comparisons," says Karl Deisseroth, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California who is collaborating with the group on a separate project but did not contribute to the current study. Deisseroth, who in 2005 published the computational model Josselyn alludes to, says he is excited to see strong experimental validation of the idea nearly ten years later.

Amar Sahay, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says that most previous work, including his own, has focused on the effects of neurogenesis before memory formation. The latest work, by examining what happens after learning, paints a more complete picture of the relationship between neurogenesis and long-term memory management. “It’s a very exciting study,” says Sahay.

Article retrieved from:
Image retrieved from:

Monday, May 12, 2014


  • 2012-11

  • 作者:selena/一開始就不孤單
  • 转载于:《親子天下》

  • 在帶養雙胞胎女兒的過程中,部落客Selena深深覺得,一定得到了孩子過了三歲之後,經驗及勞累滿滿的媽媽才能整理出前三年落落長的育兒經驗。這次她與大家分享的是如何訓練幼兒手部精細動作。

    我真的覺得一定得到了孩子過了三歲之後,經驗及勞累滿滿的媽媽才能整理出前三年落落長的育兒經驗,這次我想分享的是如何訓練幼兒手部精細動作,這是 我常在自己文章內所提到的,利用各種小遊戲讓那雙一開始緊握的雙手,慢慢敞開五指運用每一個小關節,準確、有力地完成任何一個小動作,這樣手指靈巧的使用 可以促進腦部的發展喔!
    在帶養zozo yoyo的過程中,我依照不同的月(年)齡有不同深淺度的訓練方法,這些方法很簡單又隨手可得,希望能幫助你的寶貝。

    1. 按壓開關:抱著寶貝,輕握他的小食指,敎他如何用力地按下(電燈)開關,這看似簡單的動作對零歲兒來說可是相當難的,天黑時就可以對寶貝說:『寶貝,我們來開燈吧!哇~你看,燈亮了,你把燈打開了,好棒!』

    2. 面紙盒open:和第1項用意相同,利用濕紙巾盒(相信大部分的家庭都會有)也可以訓練孩子的手指力量,每天按個幾回也不累。

    3. 撲滿存錢:每天給孩子一枚錢幣(我習慣先洗過,錢髒喔!),握住寶貝的手一起瞄準投幣口,『哇~投進去了耶,寶貝,好棒,我們存了一塊錢』這個投錢的活動zoyo至今仍每天實行,只是用意改變,成了儲蓄習慣的建立。

    4. 玩豆、玩彈珠:在zoyo很小時,我就給她們一大堆紅豆或彈珠,她們不亦樂乎地捉拿這些圓球體,有時手中握滿,有時輕捉一個,這不僅是訓練手部細動作,更是觸覺刺激的方法之ㄧ,只是真的要注意,別讓孩子誤食。

    5. 蓋蓋子:找個有蓋子的罐子讓寶貝練習蓋蓋子,一開始別找需要旋扭的蓋子,簡單的蓋子一旦套上,他會很有成就感的,而且會很有興趣地再拔開,然後玩一百次也不厭倦,等到大一些就可以練習扭瓶蓋,小baby需要鼓勵與成就感,困難度太高的遊戲怕他們會排斥。

    6. 蓋筆套:和第5項用意相同,只是蓋子變小了,筆套蓋筆這項遊戲是zoyo一歲最愛玩的遊戲,那時我們買了性質相同的水管積木讓她們一次蓋個夠。

    7. 搖鉛筆機:這個更有趣了,握著搖桿一圈一圈地繞著,這是非常棒的手部運動。

    8. 撕紙:你發現了嗎?其實撕紙的動作分解之後是很複雜的,兩手並用一扭前一扭後,如果丟一張紙給小小孩,他會傻傻地不知扭前扭後的原理,你可以握住他的手,敎他如何撕ㄧ張紙,只是你必須明白告訴他哪些紙不可以撕喔!

    9. 開喇叭鎖

    10. 夾衣夾

    文章转载于: &


    Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More