Read what I have to say in The Washington Post about “threenagers”. If you haven’t heard this term, it’s a 3-year-old spouting an attitude like a spoiled teenager. You can read it here.
Summertime is in full swing and that affords more time for being outside. That is great news if you have a young child. Depending on where you live and what you enjoy, there are many ways for young children to be active outdoors, and they absolutely thrive outside the house. Toddlers are naturally curious and active explorers, moving and touching and running and jumping. It is how they learn. Balance and coordination are growing rapidly in these early years and outdoor movement, on a variety of surfaces and slopes, at different heights, and varying motions all contribute to this development.
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Earlier this summer I wrote about my concerns regarding children spending so much time in organized activities. As a follow up, this newsletter is about free play outside. Many parents contacted me to express relief at not being the only one with a child who protested camp or afternoon activities, or refused to go to gym class, or sat on the sidelines of activities. Others reported feeling comforted that their decision to keep summer and afterschool time uncommitted was fine, even if it went against the trends in their community. [Read more…]
Welcome back to Toddlerland where you and your family have likely shifted into a summer routine and may have already taken a family vacation. While I emphasize the importance for families to spend time together away from work, school and the daily grind, family vacations can be a mixed blessing.
If you’re approaching your summer vacation with caution or even trepidation, I understand. I’ve been there. My husband and I have traveled extensively with our three children– east coast, west coast, the Midwest and to Europe. I recall (not-so-fondly) hours of children’s screams down the highway and near wrestling matches within the airplane aisles.
WHAT’S GOING ON? Toddlers live in the here and now. They don’t wait well. They don’t understand or appreciate the concepts of soon and later, as in, “Soon we will be getting on a plane,” or “Later this month, we’ll go to the beach/lake/amusement park.” They only understand now. So again, taking a toddler POV is the key to getting from here to there with as little fuss as possible. [Read more…]
Spring is finally upon us and we are stepping outside and spending more time outdoors with our children. But then just as soon as the weather turns warm, we’re confronted with a common dilemma for many families: Should I sign my little one up for sports programs and lessons? Most recently the parent of a 4-year old asked,
“My son is very social and loves to be outside. He runs around a lot so I try to find ways to get him out of the house, especially on the weekends. We signed him up for soccer on Saturdays. His best little buddy goes so I figured he’d enjoy it. But all he does is watch. He refuses to participate. I ask him later if he likes soccer and he says he does. Sometimes he does not want to go, though. Do I take him out of it? I worry he will learn it is okay to quit things. Or is he just too young (even though the other children enjoy it)?” [Read more…]