Forum Posts

Nanny Knows
Mar 05, 2022
In General Discussions
“COME BACK HERE RIGHT NOW! CAN’T YOU SEE THERE ARE CARS ON THE ROAD! IF YOU RUN AWAY FROM ME AGAIN YOU’RE GOING TO GET A HIDING!” When we parent from a place of fear, the message we send our children is not the one we intend to send because we react in ways we otherwise wouldn’t when in a more aware, conscious and calm state. Why do we react this way? We feel like we don’t have control of the situation Our brains jump into fight or flight response because we want to protect (either ourselves or our children). Our intention comes from a good place. We want the best for our children and we want to protect them and keep them safe. Yet we still struggle to gain their cooperation. This is because telling a child what to do invites resistance and rebellion. So how do we turn the situation around to parent from a place of love rather than fear and send the same message to our child? I will use the following alternative response as an example: “You’re having so much fun running down the road. Walking slowly is boring and it’s hard for you to wait for me. At the same time, I feel scared when I sense danger because I love you and I don’t want you to get hurt. There are cars in the road and they are dangerous. If they hit us we can get very hurt. I can’t keep you safe if you are too far away. What do you think we could do? Walk close together holding hands? I think that could work, that’s a thoughtful solution taking safety into consideration. Thank you for working on this with me.” Notice how this response doesn’t blame or shame the child, there are no threats or punishments involved for a child simply being a child, they have learnt that they are not responsible for our emotions and they are given the opportunity to problem-solve. When a child comes up with their own solution, they are more likely to follow through. Asking a child rather than telling a child invites cooperation. Let’s break it down: 1. “You’re having so much fun running down the road. (Understanding) 2. Walking slow is boring and it’s hard to wait for me. (Empathy) 3. At the same time I feel scared when I sense danger because I love you and I don’t want you to get hurt. (Explaining your "why" without blame or shame to get beneath your behaviour/emotion - in other words keeping your explanation about you and your feelings rather than using the word “you” - eg. I am scared because you are crossing the road would be shifting blame and a child doesn't learn anything from the experience. Our children are also not responsible for our emotions). 4. There are cars in the road and they are dangerous. If they hit us we can get very hurt. I can’t keep you safe if you are too far away. (Explaining danger to provide a learning opportunity) 5. What do you think we could do? (Asking - Opportunity to problem solve). 6. Walk close together holding hands? I think that could work, that’s a thoughtful solution taking safety into consideration. Thank you for working on this with me.” (If a child comes up with a solution that won’t work for you, you can respond as follows: “Hmm.. we could run down the road together. That’s not going to work for me. What else could we do?”) Win children over rather than using your power to win over children. Kind Regards, Cassandra Treges Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator Parent Support: Child Behaviour and Development
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Nanny Knows
Jan 06, 2022
In General Discussions
Saying goodbye to our children is never easy, and seeing them in a dysregulated state when saying good-bye is hard for everyone. Below are a few tips on how to prepare your little one for preschool / playschool and how to say good-bye to make the transition easier: Preparing your little ones for playgroup and for being away from mom & dad for a few hours (for some for the first time): From my experience, role play can be helpful, but can spur up feelings of anxiety within children therefore, would not recommend this at this stage. I can work WITH parents to help your little one process those feelings through play and role play in a private setting should it be necessary, so please contact me if your child's struggles with the transition if the tips below don't seem to be working. What you can do, is practise saying goodbye with teddies, with a very simple storyline: “Hello, baby bear. I’m mommy bear. You’re going to play? Ok, I give you 3 kisses and 3 hugs. 1,2,3. See you later. Ok bye. (Mommy bear walks away. Turns around and comes back). Ah, mommy bear is back. BIG hugs! I missed you baby bear. I always come back. Let’s go home.” It is important to remember with the above scenario and example that the teddies should NOT be your family - in other words you are not using your child’s name (you are removing yourselves from real life). You are simply creating a world for your little one to process what will happen in real life. How you can best prepare your child: Try not to make too much of a thing or fuss about it. Sometimes it is our own feelings we need to process of this “milestone” and we tend to make a bigger fuss of something because of our own inner feelings. Children can sense the uneasiness of our own anxiety in this regard. Simply being matter of fact about this new chapter and stating it simply and excitedly is most helpful. This can sound like: “You’re going to playgroup. Yay! Which bag shall we pack your things in? The red or yellow bag?” - Keeping in mind your littlies are in the stage of independence and transitions are easier for them if they feel in charge, in control and make their own decisions. Giving them choices within your limits helps them with these transitions. “Would you like to wear the pink or yellow dress today?” “Are you going to jump in the car like a kangeroo or a bunny?” Lastly, playing lots of peekaboo games and hide and seek can help your child to feel safe in knowing that when you leave you will always return. How to say goodbye to your littlies on their first few days at playgroup When children cry because you leave, it means they are securely attached (it’s a good thing!) It does not harm your attachment when you do leave, however sneaking off without saying goodbye or avoiding those feelings CAN harm attachment and develop mistrust in your parent-child relationship. Dismissing or invalidating those feelings can also harm the relationship. That usually sounds like: Why are you being like this? Stop crying. It makes me sad when you cry. I’m going to be late because of this. You don’t want me to have a bad day, do you? Anxious attachment quality is also caused if parents are worried or indecisive about leaving. Children sense those feelings and it spurs anxiety within them. When parents hesitate, a child’s inner voice is saying: “My parents are uneasy which means this place must not be safe, I need to cling on harder to feel safe" Spend a few minutes with your child setting them in. Say a brief goodbye and give a big hug and kiss (with their consent). Explain where you are going and that you will be coming back soon. Explain how you are going to say goodbye. This can sound like: “I’m going to give you 3 big kisses, and 3 big squishy hugs. Then I’m going to go to work and _______ is going to come and fetch you this afternoon.” If your child is crying, you can respond by saying, “I see you are sad. It’s hard to see mommy/daddy leave. I’m going to miss you also. ________ is going to keep you safe (and their attachment item if they have one) until ______ comes to fetch you. I love you.” Proceed to follow through. (3 big kisses and hugs, a goodbye, and off you go.) The caregiver will then take over and comfort, cuddle and co-regulate allowing your child to sit with those feelings and hopefully will work through it with them if they are trained in positive discipline. It might be hard to see, communicate with your child's caregiver or teacher and request that they let you know should there be a problem. Your little one may just surprise you and forget all about you with all the fun they are having! Request photos of your child throughout their day (some preschools may send photos during or after your child's day). Then, importantly, upon collection (where the attachment is built on your return - trust) you can say: “Hi my sweetheart, I am back. I will always come back to fetch you.” Or if being collected by another family member or caregiver, upon seeing your child again “I will always make sure you come back to mom/dad.” Trust and secure attachment is built on your words and actions. In this way, your little one learns that you will let them know when you leave and that you always come back. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Cassandra xx www.nannyknows.co.za info@nannyknows.co.za - Research and information based on Attachment Theory: Susan Goldberg (Attachment and Development)
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Nanny Knows
Jan 01, 2022
In General Discussions
"I have a 2-year-old who's happy to comply, IF she's the one that brushes. She doesn't let me near her teeth." Hi Mommy. When we understand a child’s developmental stage, we understand their behaviour and can then respond to it in appropriate ways. Between 18 months and 3 years of age a toddler is practising their autonomy and independence which is not only important for their development, but essential. Typical behaviours due to this are what we may perceive as not listening, defiance, stubbornness, and a toddler wanting to “do things their way”. If we meet their need for independence we can see their assertiveness and reframe those negative perceptions into more positive ones. We can then also look at how to promote their independence. I often say to parents: We can ask “Am I being RESTRICTIVE / PROTECTIVE in this situation? In your case, we could look at how not to restrict her need for independence whilst also being protective (not getting cavities). Some things to consider is to let your toddler do things on her own and not FOR her, let her make mistakes/mess, give her choices (“Who is brushing in the morning and who is brushing in the night?”). This also alleviates power struggles by putting her in charge of making her own decisions within your boundaries and loving limits. Using descriptive praise is also helpful. This can sound like “I see you brushed the top AND the bottom teeth. You took a full two minutes to brush your teeth which means you are taking the time to ensure you take good care of them.”) Also, explaining consequences to kids can be helpful, however, she may still be a bit young to fully understand the consequence at this stage. It is also important to remember to use positive consequences rather than negative ones. “We brush our teeth so that they are shiny, bright and to look after them so they last a long time.” Rather than “If you don’t brush your teeth you will get cavities”. Kids learn best through play. I would keep the task of brushing fun, playful and a game. Sing songs, read teeth brushing stories, she can brush your teeth while you brush hers, pretend to be the dentist.. etc. Lastly, I wouldn’t recommend using any sort of reward charts to get her to brush her teeth for a variety of reasons, more of which you can read in the link below: If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. You know your child mama, you’ve got this. Cassandra. xx
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Nanny Knows
Dec 15, 2021
In General Discussions
Are you finding yourself threatening that "Santa is not coming if you carry on behaving like that!" or "Be nice or Santa is not going to come fill your advent calendar today" or "Santa only brings presents to good children" or "I'm going to call Santa!" ... just to alleviate the "rude" behaviour or getting your child to (somewhat) listen to you? Let's look at more effective ways of alleviating this behaviour: 1) Create Expectations Make "rules" before any Christmas / Holiday event or gathering. Chat to your child about your expectations at the event, and if you put consequences in place, ensure that you follow through. (NOTE: Natural consequences are not the same as punishments - download the printable here). 2) Look at it from your child's perspective When kids fall into whining, backchat or being disrespectful, they are searching for meeting their own needs for power and control. If your child is struggling with manners or gratefulness, look at it from their perspective. You can say: “You don’t want to do what I’ve asked. There must be something going on here because otherwise, you’d say thank you instead of running away.” Our bodies’ reactions to a trigger like rude or disrespectful behaviour are our way of meeting our own need for power. When you’re feeling triggered by your kids refusing to say thank you or being silly during a prayer, you can use exaggeration as a tool to help meet your need for power. You can say: "Oh, I’m so frustrated right now! I think mommy monster is going to explode!! ROAR!” Roaring / stomping across the room will help you meet your need for power, brings humour to the situation and opens up the door for cooperation. 3) Validate and say what your child is feeling “You don’t want to sit at the dinner table and eat this food.” “You don’t like the present you got.” “You don’t want to say ‘thank you’ to Grandpa for getting you the toys.” 4) Offer alternatives that your child could say or do in the situation that would work better. You can say: “Calix, you can say ‘Thank you for the toys later when you’re ready. Or you could give grandpa a hug to show him that you care, write him a thank you note, draw a picture, or enjoy the toys and tell him how much fun you had later.” 5) Have a go-to phrase with family / friends If you feel the outside pressure or looks from friends and family, you can use this one phrase: “We are working on it.” 6) Step Aside Kids are far more likely to open to your guidance when they feel safe and secure. You can pull them aside and gently tell them that you would like to have a few words with them. This is a means of connection, rather than a moment for "This behaviour is unacceptable and best you pull your socks up or else..." Instead, try to get to the root cause of their behaviour, and address the underlying reason rather than the behaviour itself. Connect with your child, and remind them of the expectations you discussed in no.1. 7) Praise Positive Behaviour When you see an opportunity for praise, use it! This will encourage more positive behaviour. You can say: “You’re playing with the toys Grandpa got out for you. You must really love them. That shows you’re grateful.” ____________________________________________ For more parenting support, contact Cassandra: cass@nannyknows.co.za www.nannyknows.co.za
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Nanny Knows
May 09, 2020
In General Discussions
"Hi I’m not sure if you’ll be able to help me understand a phases (I’m hoping) my daughter is going through. She will attach herself to random objects at home and at nursery, none of which are similar. (At home it’s been mummy and daddy pig from Peppa and a bee, and at nursery it’s been fake slices of white and brown toast and a Chinese take out box) literally will not give them up, and will scream and scream for hours. When she’s in this states she wants to climb onto your knee and be super close to you, I don’t understand. She doesn’t have a comforter and never has had. It really strange how she does it and I’m struggling with how to deal with her because she’s that worked up it takes hours to calm her, never mind getting the toys off her!" - Rio Hudson Hi Rio Thank you for your message. Comfort objects remind us of feeling calm, secure and loved. For children it is a reminder of love and security. Physical contact, sleeping arrangements, and the extent to which children need to cope with frequent separations from their mothers all influence a child’s attachments to certain objects. My question would be, why are you trying to get her to give them up or to get the toys off her? What you are telling me, is that she has a need to feel safe and secure. When you are trying to take those things away from her, she feels very insecure and unsafe. She takes a long time to calm down, because she feels misunderstood. She is saying “Mom, I feel very insecure. When you take these things away from me that help me feel safe, it makes me feel more insecure when you do so. I need you to help me feel safe.” As a way forward, I would try to figure out what her need is in the moment, and then think about what your need is. If it is not necessary to take those items away from her, then don’t. Rather accommodate her big emotions, and help her to work through them by being very playful with her. Being playful helps children to process big feelings, and helps them to work through those feelings of insecurity. If she is feeling very attached to her fake slices of bread, ease her into more comfort by playing a game with her. You can say: “Oooh those look yummy! What are you going to make with those?…” (Wait for her to respond - inviting her to play with you). “A sandwich? Oh that sounds delicious, please may I have a bite?” Once she sees that you are not putting any pressure on her to “let go” of her items, but rather giving her the space and time to process her internal struggles, she may be more willing to let go of them much quicker if dealt with in a very playful way. The message she is getting from you here is: Mom gets it. She understands how I’m feeling right now. She is not putting any pressure on me, and she knows I don’t feel safe so she is coming in close and reminding me how loved I am. Let me know how it goes. Kind Regards, Cassandra
Q & A: My Daughter Is Attaching Herself To Random Objects content media
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Nanny Knows
Apr 25, 2020
In General Discussions
"Is Sleep Training the only way to get baby to sleep through the night?" -Mom (@babyk_nutrition) Dear Mom My short answer: no. Sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone. Some babies from as young as 4 months of age learn to sleep through the night, other children struggle well until they are 4, 5 and 6 years old! Here are 7 things that can help a baby/child sleep through the night: 1) Co-sleeping / Bed-sharing if it works for you 2) Watch for mouth breathing: Your child may have to have their adenoids and / or tonsils removed 3) Night Weaning after the age of 1 4) Read: Benefits of Attachment Parenting 5) Read: Secure Attachment in the first 3 years 6) Adding more protein to your child's diet 7) Sleep Training: Contact Night Night Sleep Solutions for advice I'm going to leave you with this final quote from Tracy at Raised Good: "That it is normal for babies to wake through the night, as often as every two hours for many, many months… and need their parents to help them fall back to sleep. The truth is that our western parenting culture got a little off track in the last hundred and fifty years. We no longer recognise the normal and healthy biological needs of children, day and night. We no longer recognise the importance of the fourth trimester and its ability to protect a new mother’s mental health. We no longer recognise how to help, in the way that mothers truly need. And that’s okay. We can’t undo the past, but we can learn from it. And we can rewrite the future. We can be curious. We can learn. We can question." Watch my video here that answers your question: Kind Regards, Cassandra
Q&A: "Is Sleep Training the only way to get baby to sleep through the night?" content media
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Nanny Knows
Feb 19, 2020
In General Discussions
"I would appreciate some tips about how to help siblings get along better and play peacefully. I get that sibling rivalry and arguments about toys are normal, but I would like navigate it well." -Rene (inspiredmom.me) Dear René This is a wonderful question, because most parents want their children to be friends and companions, preferably long beyond childhood. This is true, but we also embrace conflict in childhood because it can teach our children invaluable lessons. So if we can change our mindset about conflict, and not see it as such a "bad" thing necessarily, we can accomplish many things. If you haven't seen this video yet about How To Coach Kids Through Conflict: Siblings, Friends and Play dates then it's a great place to start, as I discuss why siblings fight and our role in it as parents, and give practical examples on how to coach kids through those moments. As parents, our goal as we raise self-assured independent thinkers cannot be to avoid conflict. Our goal is to work through our conflicts with our relationships and sanity intact. The way we handle conflict can present real challenges. Dr Laura Markham says: How we learnt to handle conflict when we were children created our hard-wiring for how we handle conflict now. And how we handle conflict is the way our children learn to handle conflict. I highly recommend her book: Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings (How To Stop The Fighting And Raise Friends For Life). There are 3 things we must remember regarding sibling relationships: 1) Sibling relationships set the stage for future emotionally-intimate relationships 2) We must help siblings manage their relationships and conflicts 3) Siblings need to feel unique and equally loved by us Managing Conflict at Home: Firstly, accept conflict when it arrives. It’s actually quite liberating to know that conflict is an inevitable part of the human condition. Avoiding conflict will eventually make matters worse for everyone, because conflict avoidance is the seed of passive-aggressive behaviour. Secondly, get curious. When conflict is erupting or already going forward full throttle, ask yourself: What is the conflict about on the surface? What is beneath the surface? What triggered the conflict? What does everyone involved truly want? This requires you to get involved, which flies in the face of conventional parenting advice that says you’re supposed to “let the kids work it out themselves.” As much as having siblings get along better and play peacefully is favourable, the way in which we coach them through conflict can make the world of difference in achieving just that. Hand In Hand Parenting has 15 amazing tips to Dissolve Sibling Rivalry. Check them out here. I'm going to leave you with this final quote from Dr Thomas Gordon: “Conflict in a family, openly expressed and accepted as a natural phenomenon, is far healthier for children than most parents think. In such families the child at least has an opportunity to experience conflict, learn how to cope with it, and be better prepared to deal with it in later life. As necessary preparation for the inevitable conflicts the child will encounter outside of the home, family conflict may actually be beneficial to the child, always provided that the conflict in the home gets resolved constructively.” Kind Regards, Cassandra
Q&A: How to help siblings get along better and play peacefully content media
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Nanny Knows
Feb 13, 2020
In General Discussions
You cannot help your child if you haven’t helped yourself. Appreciate yourself for what you do well regarding parenting. 3 things I appreciate about myself is my ability to be very playful with my son, my communication skills with both my partner and son, and giving my son the opportunity to reach his full potential through our focused development at home. I'm one proud wife and mama, and I'm so proud of myself for carrying on, despite some bad days and self-doubt in between! Comment below and write 3 things you appreciate about yourself and your parenting. Let's share some of our self love.
This Valentines Day, love yourself a little! content media
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Nanny Knows
Mar 20, 2019
In General Discussions
It’s good to have you here! Feel free to share anything - stories, ideas, pictures or whatever is on your mind. Here you can start discussions, connect with members, reply to comments, and more. Have something to say? Leave a comment or share a post!
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