Category Archives: potty training

The Magic Three

My darling B:

You are now 33 months. Just 3 months to go before you turn 3 years old! Everyone warned me about the terrible twos, but the year turned out to be pretty terrific instead. Hopefully I don’t jinx the remaining months ūüėģ You had your moments of wild, irrational flail-on-the-ground tantrums, but through it all I kept the 3 Ts in mind:¬† Tank up on love, Transition gradually, and Timing matters!

In light of your and mama’s developments this year, here are 3×3 things to celebrate about you!

3 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU

1) THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE: You love reading. You bring books¬† to our bed in the morning, want to read at mealtimes, and negotiate the number of stories for bedtime. ¬†You are ever curious. You’ll ask “What happen, mama?” when I’m reading the news or listening to the radio. The library is like your second home where you can occupy yourself flipping through books or telling stories to friends (imaginary or anyone nearby). Your face lights¬†up as you associate what you read with what you see in real life. When your gears start spinning, you turn to me to say “Remember the [book/event/person/item]?” and a wonderful process of discovery ensues. When you see text, you track the words with your fingers as you “read.”¬† You like to call out numbers,¬†upper and lower cases that you recognise from Letterland phonics, and even Chinese characters.¬† It’s truly a delight to watch you learn!

Watching the night sky from our balcony got him intrigued about space so we’ve borrowed many books about it (like this one).¬† Here he’s simulating the moon rotating around the earth ūüôā

2) A SONG IN YOUR HEART:¬† Since you started carrying a tune, you¬† haven’t stopped making music. Even as a baby, you’d often hum and move to the rhythm and beat.¬† These days, we don’t need alarm clocks because you wake us up with your singing at 7a or earlier! You make us laugh with silly adaptations and lead your friends in rousing renditions of songs from Majulah Singapura to Wheels on the Bus to “šłÄś≠•šłÄś≠•ŤĶįŚēäŤĶį‚ÄĚ.¬†¬† This year we tried some structured music learning at home, and we’ll continue to look for ways to help you hone this gift now and beyond.

3) PASSION FOR VEHICLES: Be they in the air, on the road, on water, in print, real or toy, rides or stickers Рyou like them all! You  observe routes, recall directions, names of roads and who stays where. Your pretend play is getting more creative too. You manipulate everyday things at home, LEGO and wooden blocks, toy vehicles, tracks and figures to form construction sites, accident and rescue operations, traffic jams on the highway, neighbourhood multi-story carparks Рall with sound effects and commentary.

One activity you initiated is to lay out your vehicle flash cards and we take turns to find the right one as we¬†play “I Spy” and ŤŅôśėĮšĽÄšĻą?”

Sometimes I need to set time limits so you don’t get too obsessed (i.e. kick a fuss when it’s time to stop or leave). But this shows me¬† you’re capable of focusing and innovating on what interests you. If only we could figure out how to replicate this for other stuff¬† ūüėČ

3 AREAS YOU’VE GROWN IN

1) (SELF) HELPER: Although I still prompt you to eat faster or finish up, I’m thankful that you continue to help yourself at meal times and have a healthy appetite, drink well, (mostly) eat greens, fruits and are willing to try variety – Asian, Western, Middle Eastern, mild herbs and spices. You even ate durian!

Since we started our first sticker chart on toilet training, you also have less accidents and better control.¬† You let us know when you want to pee and poop instead of us asking or taking you regularly.¬† There’s still occasional overnight bed wetting and leaks (esp. when you’re too excited or shy) but you’ve made great¬†progress that we’ve moved on to a new chart for wearing/undressing clothes and shoes.

Out with the old, in with the new sticker chart

Lastly, although you need reminding, you do help to clean up after play, unload dirty clothes into the laundry bag and bring your dishes to the kitchen after meals. Well done!

2) FINE MOTOR SKILLS:¬† Thanks to your current preschool, you’re constantly encouraged to experiment and express yourself through art and craft. Mama is so thankful for the amazing teachers there!

Our little artist at his first school exhibition

Although there’s less¬†opportunities for us at home together, I cherish the times when we play simple number and finger games and do crafty activities that build your fine motor skills.¬† Of course, you still treat glue like paint, colour all over the¬†page, use brushes, pencils, markers and crayons like stamps, wield the scissors and chopsticks with two hands when your fingers are tired… But you’re getting there. Just persevere and keep up the great work!

Our art wall is constantly full even though mama recycles often

3) THE GREAT OUTDOORS:¬† We now do more things outside and for¬† longer before you ask for a “śäĪśäĪ‚Äú!¬† You’ve always been a cautious toddler and not a big fan of being under the hot sun.¬† Yet as you grow, you now scoot with more confidence and speed, are eager to get wet and play in the sand (caveat: area must be “clean and cool” enough), jump in the¬†pool at your weekly swim class, pedal the tricycles at school and ride your balance bike to deliver items and messages from¬†place to¬†place.¬† I only wish you’d wear your safety helmet more often so mama doesn’t worry … too much.

Getting out and about

So here’s to you, my little big baby, who’s becoming a big little boy. Love you to the moon and back!

We are Singaporean

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Our first sticker ch(art)

We introduced B’s first sticker reward chart last month and it’s become an ongoing work of art and lesson in self-control for all of us.¬† The sticker chart tackled two areas that I felt were within B’s reach but he wasn’t consistent and/or disciplined enough about:

1) Self feeding and sitting down for meals (snacks not included) – I was so excited when B would use his spoon or fork to eat porridge, yogurt, oats/cereal, fruits around 16 months.¬† He’d eat pretty much everything in his first 2 years.¬† Alas, that didn’t last ūüė¶¬† Now there are times when a mealtime battle looms, sometimes for a reason (sick), sometimes for no reason (aka #terrific2s). Besides stickers, I’ve tried reducing¬† snacks, reasoning with him, even a “join us, eat what you can.” When B eats slowly and gets picky, he still needs prompting and bite-sized food to make it easier (and faster), but all this has helped without¬† needing a rotan!¬† Yet.

2) Going to the potty – B started gradual potty training around 18 months. We first introduced potty books and a standalone¬†potty, then wore trainers at home, moved to a kids potty seat (on the big seat) by 2 years as he was tall enough then. We’re now seeing increasingly diaper-free days and he’s comfortable standing up or sitting down to pee, when the boy urinals are too high (or there are none). The sticker chart is helping to minimise accidents outside, transition to diaper free in school, and when he needs to do his big business coz for some reason, he doesn’t like to sit and poo!

For both areas, I try not to make a big deal out of it and affirm the positive, though I admit, I’m not a¬†patient mom…. As he’s young, I didn’t want us to be too fixated on any “final big reward” so I kept the design fun and open, with him having the freedom to choose and add stickers to celebrate his accomplishments. It’s nice to hear him say “Mama, I pee, so now get sticker!” or “I am big and strong!” (after eating) as he enjoys and understands what this sticker chart means.

Hmm ... where shall I put my sticker?
Hmm … where shall I put my sticker?

Here’s how we did it: For my vehicle loving boy, I chose a design that would appeal to him – hand drawn, copied and adapted from here. I explained what, why and how – even got B to help¬†paint the background while I wrote out how the system would work (with tiny images for our non-reader to see). We stuck it at height level along the corridor between his bathroom and our dining area. As he adds his stickers, he’s also adding to his work of art aka the sticker chart!

B squirting out watercolours for the background
B squirting out watercolours for the background
Our first sticker chart art (as of today)
Our first sticker chart art (as of today)

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No time for flashcards?

This month, we covered TIME. ¬†Thankfully, I managed to save time (hah!) searching for, making and¬†adapting material for B as the theme coincided with the Gymnademics weekly¬†home material. ¬†It allowed us to reinforce numbers as B’s been sporadically saying 0 to 20 (in English) and 1-10 (in Chinese). We also dived into the concept of day and night, seasons and weather¬†patterns as B loves pointing to the moon, sun, stars, rain,¬†clouds, etc.¬†ūüėČ

Books.¬†There are soooo many good books about time, numbers and weather. Reading books is even more fun now that he repeats most words and memorises familiar¬†phrases that he likes.¬†Here’s what worked well for us among the titles we could find in the library and had at home.

 
BTW, we really enjoyed “Only My Mom and Me” by Alyssa Satin Capucili which covers the days/seasons that a mom and child spend together. ¬†But I had to return it to the library¬†and haven’t bought it online yet ūüė¶ ¬†Also, there’s many book-based activities from Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon,”¬†a classic bedtime fave that shows how time¬†passes before bed.¬†Maybe we’ll try that in Sept….
Craft. We made a weather/week/time wheel to complement the theme.¬†¬†B loves¬†spinning it while saying the words and numbers. He’s also slowly learning how to manipulate the wooden clothespegs.
Music and Movement.¬†When we reviewed the days and months,¬†B would get stuck on Wednesday and had a tough time associating the months with “concrete” things. ¬†These music videos helped! (Note: There are many out there online, these were the ones we liked more)¬†¬†
 
Chinese?! One day, B¬†re-discovered our stash of bilingual flashcards, gleefully exclaimed “WOW!” and brought them over to read together. ¬†Whenever there’s time at home, he would open¬†box after box to flip through. I try not to repeat the cards and end leaving him wanting more. ¬†He tends to say the English word when he sees/hears me read out Chinese characters, but he does vocalise some Chinese, esp. those he hears frequently¬†from songs, conversations and his first set of Chinese storybooks.
 
Art: ¬†Since this was mommy’s first year as a Singaporean, we¬†hosted a casual¬†National Day BBQ, jet flypast and fireworks watching at our¬†place. B excitedly says¬†“boom boom fire” and “zoom zoom airplane¬†when he sees his artist¬†impression¬†proudly displayed on the art wall¬†ūüôā
 
Outings and Special¬†Projects:¬†This month, B visited¬†Megabugs Return!¬†and the Science Center (rather underwhelming, seriously in need of upgrading), the Art Garden @ SAM¬†(again!) and theIstana Open House¬†for Hari Raya and National Day. We also returned to the Esplanade for¬†Hello Ling, the second in the¬†PLAYtime! series, which dramatised the effects of light or in B’s words “sunlight, starlight, moonlight … and rainbows!” To cap it all,¬†B made his first (?)¬†science discovery, i.e. a simplified “taugeh”¬†project to grow green bean¬†plants¬†over time (i.e. the 7 days in a week) with the help of water, air and sunlight.
Personal:
– When asked “What’s your name?” ¬†He’ll say it all in one run-on word “bwxy!”
– Mr Manners. B calls “Hi, Thank You,¬†Please, Good Morning, Bye, Day, Night (and Sleep Tight)” if prompted though once in while we’ll get a spontaneous “Morning/Bye uncle/aunty!” while in the lift, charming our neighbours (and some strangers). The family tree will come in handy for those Chinese titles and names!

–¬†Potty training steps. ¬†B regularly voices when he needs to¬†pee and¬†poop, does it in the toilet more often and has fewer accidents. Even though we’ve not yet gone¬†all-in (i.e. he wears diapers/trainers when sleeping and when outside for extended¬†periods), this has been so encouraging for us all.¬†Yes!
– Hello, tantrums. Our gentle, observant 21 month old B has finally succumbed to his undeveloped cortex ūüôā¬†Thankfully the tantrums are not frequent and rather¬†predictable (i.e. he’ll say “No like! No want!” or throw a fuss when he’s upset,¬†tired at end of day or had a¬†poor nap, or wants to be independent). ¬†I guess a happy, stimulating and secure environment with a balance of love and discipline is no longer enough at this age! B needs his autonomy, and we should¬†‚Äúnever help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.‚ÄĚ ¬†Maria Montessori said this best
– Gimme freedom! That’s perhaps why B likes music and movement so much. ¬†I flip¬†through the newspaper with him in the mornings,¬†let him choose how many and which books to read, have regular¬†messy, art and music¬†playdates. ¬†As his vocabulary expands,¬†he’s¬†forming more and more¬†2-3 word¬†phrases to better express himself and is gradually overcoming his shyness to¬†say words in Chinese and Malay too
“Today is Monday” everyday according to B, and it’s a delightful day!

śąĎÁąĪśąĎÁöĄŚä®ÁČ©

July saw a big leap forward in B’s cognitive, and in particular, speech development. Words started to “click” and it was great to be there with him along the way.

Theme: Animals! ¬†It started with us doing an extended craft activity around Margaret Wise Brown’s “Big Red Barn” when we were stuck indoors during the¬†worst of the haze. ¬†The rest of the month was spent on tonnes of¬†books, songs, art and craft,¬†puzzles and outings. We even managed to make this bilingual as B’s new Chinese term was all around the¬†ŚÜúŚúļ¬†(Farm)

ABC or Art, Books and Craft: Maybe it was a matter of time but I felt like we found a key to unlock his brain¬†by engaging in more kinesthetic learning this month.¬†We expanded upon a few fave books with a big red barn diorama, a zoo numbers and colouring activity based on Eric Carle’s “123 To The Zoo,” and built our own family tree after reading “Who’s Like Me.”¬†¬†Some highlights¬†below:

Music and Movement:¬†I finally brought all 6 kids CDs into the car to play on repeat whenever it’s just B and me.¬†¬†From the classic Old MacDonald (he loves the E-I-E-I-O!) and Incy Wincy Spider actions to his¬†Chinese Playclub’s ditties like “śąĎÁąĪśąĎÁöĄ” and “śĮćťł≠Śł¶ŚįŹťł≠” as well as¬†Kindermusik’s Morning Song¬†(with different greetings for animals/people). ¬†It was nice to see him not only sing to the words and rhythm but overcome his shyness to move and dance along.

Outings: No surprise, we went back to the zoo¬†to¬†check out the Breakfast With Orang Utans with friends (overpriced, not worth it!) and the new Frozen Tundra polar bear exhibit (cool!). Next time, we’ll visit in the afternoon as B is up longer and can catch more live shows. ¬†We also went to the¬†Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium¬†(nice, esp. the spider crabs, jellyfish and dolphins). Here’s¬†other animal adventure places we hoped to/will visit as there wasn’t enough time to see them all!¬†

Personal:
– Hearing B say “I love you” (sounds more like “I low you”) melts my heart ūüôā
– I know I’ve said it earlier, but the Big Red Barn opened up a world of language, esp. speech for him. ¬†He comes up with 3-word descriptors like “big purple ball” (i.e. my yogilates ball) and “dark blue sky” (the view from his window when he wakes). Loves to make animal and vehicle sounds, say opposites thanks to Dr Seuss (big/small, in/out, up/down, high/low), colours (primary+secondary+some tertiary), numbers (1-10)¬†and family names. His thirst for books seemed to have grown exponentially too. He demands to read “more, more books” every time and delights in finishing up familiar sentences or words. Of course, he repeats interesting new words in English, Malay, Chinese and especially, my in-car swearing :0
– Self feeds when hungry and when he likes his food. ¬†Otherwise, he’ll eat with distractions and/or help. ¬†Developed a temporary bad habit of throwing down his spoon/fork/food when done or cranky, but that’s stopped now since I told him off with frequent reminders to put it down on the table (practicing les gros yeux!)
– Naps are still too short but nights are great so we’re rolling with it. I get my downtime or work done at night, spend quality time with him in the mornings, try to take him out each day with a special/ family outing once a week
РPotty training still ongoing, slow and easy.  Undies at home, diapers when out
– All in, it’s been a pretty awesome though tiring month. ¬†Gratifying to see the effort pay off, esp. when I wonder what’s become of me and where I’m headed this year….

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I did what I knew, and when I knew better, I did better

June was an exercise in child-led learning. Forget about class or mommy’s “lesson plans,” our theme was on B’s all time favourite things…

Theme:
(1) Things that go: ¬†It started out with us reading Brian Biggs’ excellently¬†illustrated vehicle series, esp. ¬†Everything Goes: In The Air¬†for days up till (and after) B’s first flight to Phuket. ¬†Shortly after, his Chengzhu holiday program took the Playclub tots on the Duck Tour¬†bus AND boat. ¬†Then we ended up flying again (aka the unplanned haze-cation) to Penang. For a boy already crazy about wheels and diggers, it only seemed natural that this ended up as our special monthly theme

(2) Shapes: Learning shapes is fun and easier as B recognises his rainbow colours (he calls indigo “dark bool” ūüėȬ†Besides the hand-me-down shape sorters, blocks and a timely Gymnademics home package set, we reinforced shapes through bean bag games, geometric foam pictures and¬†playdough

Routine:
We used lots of puzzles this month given B’s growing interest (and affinity) for this. Besides the¬†wooden peg puzzles, we took out slightly harder board and magnetised¬†ones. ¬†It¬†takes him some time to get the alignment right even if he knows where it should go. But he takes them out from the boxes himself to work at it almost every day. ¬†For a boy that can’t stay at a task too long, this is quite a feat!¬†We also used more representative learning to support what B would see in real life, i.e. block building a “duck bus/boat”, drawing the jet pilots and helicopters flying by for National Day rehearsal, browsing through books, transportation art and flashcards with photos and/or illustrated print, role playing with toys and sound effects, etc.¬†We even tried threading with his Good Night construction site set. Speaking of which, B can thread in and occasionally flips it over to thread out but doesn’t quite know? have patience? to keep threading the next sequence.

Art and Craft: ¬†So many this month given the special occasions, but no time to complete a big special project (that one’s already WIP for next month). Our faves were:

(1) Fathers’ Day card (done at one of our home playdates)
B made 3 this year, 1 for dad, 1 for each grandpa!

(2) Garden montage to reinforce shapes and colours

Using ziplocked paint, bubble wrap prints and cut-out shapes

(3) B’s first¬†personalised photobook. To make reading (pages, prints, photos) more personal and fun, and also as an alternative to flicking through photos and videos on my smartphone. He seems to enjoy flipping through it and it grounds him esp. when we are away from home and as we have more periods of separation. Worth continuing and building on…

Includes pictures and a few sentences about our home, family, friends, places we frequent like parks, library and outings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outings: ¬†June was children’s season and school holidays. ¬†So… You guessed it! ¬†We went back to the Singapore Art Museum (awesome Enchanted Garden kids exhibit) and Gardens By The Bay (Flight of Fancy’s hot air balloons). We also visited the Philatelic Museum to see geek!mom’s Star Wars exhibit. ¬†With the Singapore Duck Tour, Phuket and Penang trips, B is slowly touring his way through Southeast Asia ūüėČ

 

 

 

 

 

Personal:
– Mealtimes are back to normal, even better in fact since our Penang trip. ¬†B feeds himself, has a robust appetite, is keen to try new things, and most importantly, happily eats fruits and veggies again!¬†At his 18.5 month check in/jab, B weighed 12.5 kg. ¬†He couldn’t stand still to measure the height, but based on his ex-pants shorts and pajamas, he’s definitely over 86 cm!

– Sleeps well overnight (~11 hours straight) but his naps have gotten shorter (~1 hour average) even on days when he’s so tired and nodding off by 1130a! ¬†He tends to wake up crying from his nap yet will only sleep longer if we rock and hold him. ¬†Another regression? Separation anxiety again? ¬†Just roll with it?
– Resumed potty training which I started / stopped earlier this year. ¬†This time, we are going the distance ¬†i.e. no diapers while at home and playdates. ¬†Also bought another, lighter single piece “portette”
– At times, he shows a little stubborn and willful streak so I’ve been more firm with discipline, insisting he continues with the basic home “routine” (incl. helping out, cleaning up), and not giving in to his temper tantrums. So far,¬†nothing unmanageable (yet! yet!)
– Steady progress language and cognition wise. He’s started to fill in missing words from familiar stories and songs,¬†repeat new words that he’s able (willing?) to vocalise and put 2 simple words together like “eat/no more”, “back door.” ¬†Oh, and he’s asking “WHY?” ūüėČ It helps that I’m reading more specific books with big fonts, few words like the Dr Seuss and Margaret Wise Brown classics, in addition to our usual dialogic, fun but variable stories. Besides English,¬†he seems to find Malay/Bahasa easier to pick up but that could be b/c I’ve been quite negligent with Chinese since our holiday break!¬†Of course, if I were honest, for a verbal mom like me who talks, sings and reads to him constantly, I do wish at times that he could say more earlier! But he’s developing at his own pace and all is well
– We STILL haven’t committed to 2014 nursery for B next year …. Talk about kiasu! ¬†Yet even with my sporadic homeschooling efforts (longer task/wishlist than actual), I still feel we’re doing ok and giving B a better experience at this age
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Secrets of the toddler whisperer

Tracy Hogg’s book was full of gentle yet sound parenting advice. I liked her approach, fun acronyms and practical examples on how to manage those tricky toddler years. She’s not an advocate of spanking – I’m not sure where I stand on this yet as it’s¬†quite a change for those who were raised with Asian parents/homes.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers

Everyday H.E.L.P with tots:
Hold Back.  For the purposes of observation, which is not the same as being detached, rejecting or ignoring your toddler
Encourage to Explore. ¬†Ensure there are many opportunities a day for exploration, including let him play quietly with another child, try to solve puzzles or¬†stack blocks¬†on his own. ¬†Don’t constantly direct, monitor and instruct.
Live with Limits. Too much of anything is usually not good. Don’t give too many choices, allow too much stimulation or participation in non-age appropriate activities. ¬†Don’t wait too long before reining in tantrums, aggressiveness or other high emotions. ¬†Curtail activities that aren’t good in big doses e.g. sweets, TV.
Praise Appropriately. Praise to reinforce specific acts of cooperation, kindness or behaviour

Routines and Rituals (R&R) continue to be important, perhaps even more so at this age. It provides security, cuts down on struggles, helps tots deal with separation, supports all kinds of learning – physical, emotional control, social behaviour, avoids problems by helping parents set clear consistent boundaries, allows everyone to slow down and connect. ¬†Tailor R&R to your family — starting with waking, eating, bathing, exits and entrances, clean up, nap and bedtimes. ¬†Everytime you repeat and reinforce an act, you are doing R&R — for better or worse!

H.E.L.P also applies to potty training which should begin between 18 mos – 2 years.
Hold back until you see signs he’s ready. E.g. Some stop dead in their tracks, stand still, focus and suddenly move on.
Encourage him to connect bodily function with words and actions. Narrate what’s going on when you change the diaper, invest in a freestanding potty and his fave toy “go to the bathroom”
Limit his time on the potty. No more than 2-3 minutes
Praise widely when something is deposited!

4Ps aren’t limited to Marketing either ūüėČ ¬†They’re also critical to potty training success:
Potty – one that fits his size and pants/panties once they go on the potty at least 3x/ day
Patience – never rush the process or look disappointed when he doesn’t pee or poop or causes an accident. All kids progress at their own speed
Practice – as much as he can
Presence – sit with him and cheer him own

The rate of language development is determined by exposure to language and interaction with talkers (constant conversation, eye contact), gender (girls tend to talk earlier), other developmental gains taking precedence (esp. walking, manual/social growth, etc.), birth order (younger tends to talk later) and genetic disposition. Also setbacks may occur if there’s a sudden change in the home (new baby, mom goes back to work, relocation, etc.). A different sort of TLC also applies during these critical years: Talk, Listen, Clarify. Pay attention to non-verbal and verbal signals. Look him in the eye when you talk/listen. Talk in short, simple sentences. Ask simple, direct questions to allow him to express himself. ¬†Play word games to foster interaction, practice and learning. Exercise restrain and patience.

Common speech milestones and red flags by age below.
8-12 mos: Can speak and associate mama and dada. ¬†Respond to 1-step commands (“Please give the car to mama”). ¬†Watch if: child doesn’t respond to her name, babble (long/short groups of sounds), doesn’t look when people talk to her, doesn’t point or makes sounds to get what he wants

12-18 mos: Says first words: simple nouns (“dog,” “baby”), names of special people, action words/phrases (“up,” “go”). May follow 1 or 2-step commands (“Go into your room and get the towel”). Watch if: child doesn’t say a word or two, even unclearly

18-24 mos: Says up to 10 different words, understands 30 or more. Speaks lots of gibberish ūüôā Watch if: Child can’t say more than a few words clearly, follow simple requests (“come here”) or respond to simple questions with a “yes” or “no”

2-3 years: Has a word for everything! Combines words into sentences to express thoughts and feelings. Extensive vocab even though grammar isn’t perfect. Can converse with adult. Watch if: Child uses fewer than 50 words and has no word combinations. Can’t understand opposities/different meanings (“up/down”) or follow 2-step commands. Doesn’t notice or overacts to environmental sounds, e.g. horn

Last but not least, it’s important to teach your tot self control. I thought Hogg’s approach here was a little wishful thinking so one possible application would be to first try Karp’s prehistoric parenting where parents speak (not act) like the little Neanderthal to get their attention and show empathy, and THEN try Hogg’s suggestion of conscious discipline and offering choices through statements and questions. Rather than resort to demands/threats which (admit it!) come immediately to our minds,¬†do/say if he’s:
– Overstimulated and/or running inappropriately/too much. ¬†Stop/restrain him, pick him up and remove from the activity if needed. “I see…. Let’s take a walk outside. You can’t keep running here. We’ll leave once you’ve put your socks/shoes on.”
– Throwing a tantrum in public for something he wants but can’t/shouldn’t have. Ignore it. “Wow, that’s impressive. But you still can’t have it.¬†¬†Do you want to come over here by yourself or shall I get you?”
If that doesn’t work, remove him. “You can’t behave like this here.”
– Refuses to cooperate while dressing or diaper changing. Stop, wait a while/calm him down, try again. “When you’re ready, we’ll dress up.¬†Shall we change your diaper now or after you finish this snack?”
– Shouts, lower your own voice. “Let’s use our quiet voice”
– Whines, look him in the eye and imitate a best (non-whiny) noise. “I can’t hear you unless you use your best voice”
– Kicks/hits when you pick him up, put him down immediately. ¬†“Do not hit/kick. It hurts.”
– Grabs another toy from a kid. Stand up, go near and encourage him to give it back. “If you can’t let go of M’s toy, I can help you… M was playing with that. You should give it back to him. Thank you — what good cooperation. Now would you like to hold/play with this?”
– Throws food. ¬†Take him down from the chair. ¬†“We don’t throw food at the table.” If he doesn’t want to finish/wants to go out. ¬†“When you’ve finished eating, then we can go to the playground.”
– Pulls another child’s hair/hits another child. Put your hand on his hand, stroke gently. Restrain him or take him outside if agitated. ¬†“Be gentle. No pulling, no hitting. That hurts!”¬†Worse case: Go home.