Posts Tagged ‘raising toddlers’

Write a Review Wednesday: High Five, Touch and Feel

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Sterling Publishing‘s The Secret Lives of Princesses. I feel like I’ve been ignoring the younger set so this week I’m reviewing Chronicle Books High Five with Julius and Friends (board book ), a Paul Frank book. I have to thank Crystal at Raincoast Books for my review copy.


Paul Frank‘s monkey Julius wants to congratulate your little one on a job well done. What better way to show how awesome they are than by giving them a high-five and that’s just what Julius and his friends do in High Five with Julius and Friends, a colourful touch and feel board book.

If you have a baby or toddler in your house, you probably have amassed a great collection of board books and maybe even a few in the touch and feel category; I know we have. The touch and feel books are still popular with my now 3-year-old and Paul Frank‘s High Five with Julius and Friends is one of our favourites.

We love Paul Frank‘s characters to begin with so we were drawn quickly to seeing them in book form. Julius the monkey and all his friends simple 2-D illustrations that are very colourful and all the pages in High Five carry this fun, colourful feel all the way through. What I really like about this touch and feel book, over others we have in our collection, is the actual story. On each colourful page, Julius, with the help of his friends, praises the reader for a job well done, from sharing toys to just being a rock star. Along with the words of praise, the reader is greeted with a close-up of a friend’s textured hand for a high-five. As your child gives each character a high-five they encounter a fuzzy cat’s paw or a snail’s rubbery underside and other textures.

My 3-year-old loved giving each character a high-five and then her hand would linger as she felt the different textures. And the encouraging words put a big smile on her face. The book has made such an impression on her that after dinner the other day she said ‘I’ve eaten all my dinner. High Five!’ and went around giving everyone a high-five at the table.

You can add a copy of High Five with Julius and Friends to your personal library by visiting your local independent bookstore or visiting Raincoast Books. For more great book suggestions for kids, checkout earlier Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Toddler versus Toilet

There are many stages kids go through that are memorable: when they become mobile by rolling or crawling or walking, when they start to eat solids and feed themselves, even learning to talk with loud screeches and constant questions is a special time. Of all the memorable childhood stages there is one I don’t look forward to at all. You know the one.

Toilet Training.

I dread this. At first the idea of transitioning from diapers and pull-ups into underwear is exciting, but after months of cajoling and laundry the excitement begins to wear off.

I remember with my first-born the discussion among moms would be about how early their child was toilet trained. As a first time mom I fell into the trap. I stressed about my daughter being toilet trained by 18 months and she was, for a few months anyway. I quickly discovered that my daughter had her own goal. We were off and on pull-ups for the next year. It wasn’t until just before her third birthday that I could confidently say she was toilet trained.

When  it was time to train my son I tried to stay calm, remembering the stress of the toilet training process with my oldest. I expected he would be trained by around his third birthday so I didn’t worry too much, until his third birthday was around the corner. I wanted to book him  into summer camp but kids have to be toilet trained to attend. After a few failed attempts I decided I would book him in camp anyway. Worst case I would have to cancel. I guess that was enough incentive. My son was completely trained a few days after camp registration.

You would think with two kids having gone through this stage I would know what to expect and not get so obsessed. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. I did start well, not worry about toilet training or even broaching the subject with my now three-year-old. If she wanted to sit on the potty or the toilet I’d let her but I wouldn’t turn it into a bathroom training session.

I did buy my daughter motivational underwear and eventually she learned to go pee on the toilet. She has the occasional accident but I can usually trust her to tell me when she has to go pee. But bowl movements are a whole other story. Now perhaps I’ve given mixed messages in the beginning, like when we were out and wanted her to use a pull-up so I wouldn’t be in a mad panic to find a bathroom, but since she turned three we’ve only used pull-ups at night (night-time training is a whole other game). With her using the bathroom regularly to pee I thought the next stage would follow closely behind (no pun intended). No such luck.

My daughter has taken to hiding in a secret corner to go poop. I’ve tried all the tricks that worked with my other two: taking her to the bathroom at key times, getting her to sit with a book on the toilet. I’ve even tried incentives like sticker and treats. It’s been a real hit and miss with her. Now she only turned three in December so she does have time before summer camp and school begins. I guess I haven’t learned much from my past experiences, except for the fact that I’m a little obsessive.

I am trying to not stress over this and not stress my daughter but if you know any tricks that have worked for you, please share them. PLEASE.

A Parent’s job is a sleepless job

Nothing like a nap

When my kids were little I expected to get up at night. But waking at night wasn’t just reserved for when my kids were babies. It seemed that every time my kids were learning a new skill they’re sleep patterns would suffer.

But the sleepless nights do pass; I think knowing that is what has kept me sane. My oldest daughter and my son sleep soundly through the night, sometimes to the point that it’s next to impossible to get them up the next day. I was even starting to think that my youngest daughter was giving up her night waking too.

All that changed a few nights ago. I was awoken by my youngest daughters sobbing cries. These cries were different, they were full of fear and distress. Usually my daughter doesn’t think twice about padding down the hall to my room when she wants something, but that night she wouldn’t leave her bed. Through her cries she told me she was scared; she told me she was scared of the monsters in her room.

I’ve heard kids can go through a stage of monster fear, but we’ve never encountered it, not with either of my two older kids, so this is new to me. I tried to calm her and turned on the light a little to show her nothing was there. I sprayed a little Anti-Monster Spray in the corners. I held her until she calmed down. When she was settled in her bed I said good night and prepared to leave the room but she asked if I could stay and hold her hand. Lights off, I laid down on the hard floor beside her bed and held her hand while she drifted off to sleep. By the time I worked myself back to my bed it was almost time for the alarm to go off. I was tired, but my daughter was able to sleep for the rest of the night.

The monsters haven’t visited since but I’m sure that won’t be the last time they show up. Some parents may not agree with how I handled it; some may not be so indulgent in their child’s nighttime habits when they’ve moved beyond the baby stage, but that’s why I’m responsible for my kids and they are responsible for theirs.

I’m counting on a few more years of sleepless nights (let’s not forget when my kids are teens and are out late at night or when they’ve moved out of the house and are on their own or when they’re waiting to hear on a job interview or the night before they get married or when they are expecting a child…) I guess sleepless nights are just one of those things we endure in our role as being a parent.

Now it’s time for my nap.

Review: A Practical Guide to Raising Two, Three and Four Year Olds

Even after having three kids (7, 5, 2), I find I still don’t have all the answers on this whole mother thing. Just when I seem to have things sorted out and under control with number one, number two comes along and all my previous knowledge seems to go out the window. Toss in number three and I feel like I’m starting from scratch.

Then I read on Twittermoms about the book Triumphant Child: A Practical Guide to Raising Two, Three and Four Year Olds, I was intrigued. Leading US Pediatrician Dr. Olson Huff, together with his daughter-in-law and child development specialist, Nicole Rawson-Huff, wanted to provide parents with practical skills and steps to raising self-confident and resilient children. Working with five other experts they compiled this practical guidebook for parents.

The book is broken into seven key sections:

Section 1: About Your Child – gives you a brief overview of your two, three and four year old’s physical, language and social development, as well as practical tips, suggested books and toys.

Section 2: Parenting the Triumphant Child – details some tried and true ‘parenting skills’ parents can follow for raising a triumphant child.

Section 3: Routines – illustrates the importance of a instilling routines in your child’s day and includes some great morning, bedtime and mealtime routine suggestions.

Section 4: Challenges – addresses common challenges parents face, such as defiance, whining and sibling rivalry to name a few, and offers constructive ways to handle and in some cases avoid them.

Section 5: Changes –  talks about how and why changes, like divorce or a new baby, effect kids and how parents can work through them with their children.

Section 6: Fears and Anxieties – explains a child’s fears, like nightmares or shyness, and how parents can help their child deal with them.

Section 7: Media – deals with the ever present concerns parents have about how media, such as TV and video game usage, effects their children.

The content is organized to make it easy for parents to get the information they need, quickly. Important tips are highlighted in bullet points and the book’s structure makes it easy for parents to jump to a relevant content quickly.

Need help dealing with your son’s refusal to have his hair washed? Flip to page 88:

He may feel comfortable having his hair rinsed by a hand-held shower attachment.

Concerned about the amount of time your child spends in front of the television? Flip to page 213:

Keep the television off when you have finished watching. This seems like common sense, but many parents of young children have the TV going constantly in the background.

Looking to help your older child adjust to the arrival of the new baby? Flip to page 164:

If you are planning to move your child to a new room or into a bed, make sure you do it well ahead of the baby’s birth.

The book’s material is structured to work with parents, helping them raise their kids in a loving and caring environment. The book offers many suggestions without sounding preachy. In addition to the expert’s tips, real stories from real parents are also included to illustrate each scenario. I know that as a parent I sometimes feel that I must be doing something wrong and I’m the only one having these struggles with my kids. These anecdotes illustrate that I’m not alone, that other parents have encountered similar problems and questions and have found ways to deal with them in a non-threatening and caring way.

Whether you have one child or five, Triumphant Child: A Practical Guide to Raising Two, Three and Four Year Olds is a worthwhile book to add to your personal parenting library (available on the Sixty Second Parent website).

Want to win a copy?

Checkout Triumphant Child’s blog post on Twittermoms to find out how you can win a copy of the book Triumphant Child: A Practical Guide to Raising Two, Three and Four Year Olds, the book Window of Childhood, and the DVD A Country Remedy. Contest ends July 31, 2009.

Happy Parenting.