Last month I shared Bundoo.com. A website that offers a wealth of information and an online community for smart, busy parents like us! You will find:
- Free articles reviewed and written by pediatricians, OB/GYNs and child development specialists
- A Marketplace that features pediatrician-approved products
- The groundbreaking Ask Bundoo paid service that connects parents directly with pediatricians, OB/GYNs and other childcare experts to answer questions privately so that parents can get peace of mind without having to make a trip to the doctor and pay a co-pay.
This month I was able to interview Dr. Raquel Anderson, Behavioral Health Specialist. I asked her some tough questions about P’Diddy, my preschooler.
1) How could I prepare for Kindergarten in the next year and a half? We homeschool preschool.
As you know from your older two boys, Kindergarten has changed a lot from when we were in school. Most kids no longer nap and academically they are much more advanced. I would put a lot of emphasis on reading skills. This includes recognizing letters, phonics and sight words, and beyond if he’s so motivated. One can never be too skilled of a reader. Reading seems to be the biggest difference and can be the most noticeable deficit in Kindergarteners. Also, help him to develop strong social skills that foster cooperation, sharing, manners, and patience. Kindergarteners are very self absorbed individuals and typically their biggest adjustment is to the environment and new routine. That brings me to the next recommendation. Stamina. For a lot of children going to Kindergarten outside of the home makes for a very long day. Most Kindergartens are full day, where preschool typically is not. This can make for very tired, cranky little ones as they adjust to this new schedule. As you get closer to the start of Kindergarten, start to lengthen his day. If he is still napping, start to wean him down from this part of the routine. Also, you can adjust his meals to model what he would expect in his new school day.
2) What is the best displinary plan for an opinionated and stubborn 4yr old?
Being opinionated and stubborn in a different light can be good traits to have. I respect someone who can speak their mind and not be a pushover. However, when overdone these traits can certainly lead to a disrespectful child, this simply will not fly. So work on tempering the traits without eliminating them completely.When it comes to discipline, I feel this is parent and child specific. Not every strategy will work on him and you will likely find that there are strategies, for whatever reason, don’t fit with you well either. And being a mom of three I have found that what worked well for one of my boys hasn’t worked well for all of them. It truly varies. Not knowing your boys or your situation the best advise I would give is CONSISTENCY. No matter the method or strategy, be consistent. Don’t give up on a strategy until you have given it ample time. It takes approximately 22 days to form a new habit. I recommend that you stick with your plan for at least that long. Also, it is best that the consequence follow as close to the action you would like to remedy. Delayed consequences and rewards are far less effective than immediate ones.
3) Are there good actitivies that all of my boys can play/participate in together? Always looking for ideas!
I have found that the best activities for kids with a large age differential are done outdoors. Things like going for bike rides, or playing a sport, even activities like fishing can be a hit. Things like board games and be too hard with the age difference of your boys. Another thing I have done with my boys from very early on is to get them involved in the kitchen. The little ones can clean veggies, stir, and help measure. I allow them to do more sophisticated and complex things as they get older. We all have fun in the kitchen together now.
4) Is all this technology – computers, tv, etc – good for this age? I always like it as a learning tool, but feel it may go to far.
We live in a technological age and increasingly so. It is very easy to use and get consumed by. More and more is becoming digital these days. This makes it hard to avoid. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only 2 hours of screen time per day. Since the content on TV and accessible through the computer can be inappropriate I certainly recommend that you steer your kids towards the educational material (as you already are) for their screen time. Children need to experience the world in which they live first hand rather than having a virtual experience. Therefore, it is better to get out and do, play, create, get dirty, socialize and experiment with the world around them. Having these kinds of experiences is crucial in developing their social skills, cognitive and spacial skills.
5) How do I convey to him it is ok to go #2 in the potty? The question of my life!
Now for the question of your life :-)… There is often a lot of fear associated with pooping on the potty. Also, kids will withhold bowel movements as a form of control at times. I would suggest a lot of encouragement and a watchful eye. You will want to catch him beforehand needing to go. Suggest the two of you go to the potty. I would make sure you stay in there with him. Bring a book or even a video to watch. Pick a time when you know he typically has his bowel movements. So if he always has a bowel movement in the morning or afternoon that would be the perfect time. Right before he actually goes in the potty he will suddenly get anxious and want to get off the potty. This is why you have the books and or videos in there. You will use them to distract himself or pass the time until he goes. In the beginning it make take a little time. So pick a time when you are not going to have to rush him, as this could only make him more anxious about it. Once he is successful celebrate! He will like be very relieved and going on the potty gets easier with time
Thank you Dr. Anderson! You too can ask any personal question with the Ask Bundoo feature!
What tough question would you ask at Bundoo.com?
I am a Bundoo Blog Ambassador. This post is part of a sponsored campaign. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.