2 Years 10 Months BoyTeasing
Teasing is a fact of life, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Most preschoolers’ teasing is calling names like “dummy,” and defining social groups by saying things like, “Go away, you can’t play with us!” About this age, your child really understands and is hurt by these kinds of words and attitudes. Even the gentle teasing of older kids and adults hurts. Almost three year olds don’t have the ability to laugh at themselves or see others have a laugh at their expense. They don’t have the vocabulary or fluency to answer back or to express their hurt.
Here are some ways you can help your child when he gets teased:
- Sympathize with your son— let him know you know it hurts to be teased.
- Teach him to ask for help— don’t expect him to be able to take teasing at this age. It is good for him to talk to an adult (you or his care provider) when the teasing becomes too much.
- Don’t retell his teasing experience—Retelling his experience in his presence only magnifies it in his mind. It may make him more timid and fearful.
- Don’t rescue too soon or too often— He may assume he cannot handle teasing and needs his parents’ presence to protect him. This will undermine his self confidence.
- Keep your cool—Listen to your child, comfort him, and redirect him to another activity. Not over-reacting has the best chance of minimizing the harm in having been teased.
- Parent’s presence— An adult’s presence will discourage teasing and bullying. Be available to redirect play or introduce a new activity when teasing threatens to break out.
When your child is the teaser:
At this age, your son notices everything and announces what he sees loudly. He may not mean to tease, he is just vocalizing differences he sees. He may have learned to tease another child so they run off crying instead of playing with a toy he wants. If your child has been teased by older children or adults, he may have picked up some really mean teasing. He is mimicking what he has heard and testing to see how others react.
Here are some things to do if your child is the teaser:
- Reduce the rivalry— He may be teasing because he wants more attention. Give him lots of attention when he is not teasing and show him how to help instead of tease. This will make him feel important and less likely to tease.
- Encourage empathy— Talk to him about how he would feel if someone said he was “funny looking” or called him “dummy.” Make sure your comments about others are positive and not negative.
- Make sure you don’t tease—Your son will be much less likely to tease others if he is not teased himself. Don’t joke about issues he is struggling with, like potty training. Calling him pet names in front of his friends can also hurt his feelings.
Your son’s overactive imagination can now create all kinds of monsters. Dark or semi-darkness can convince your child a common everyday object is a terrible creature.
Ways to help calm your child:
- Take his fear seriously. Never belittle him for being afraid.
- Skip the logic. Saying, “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” won’t help. He won’t believe your explanation anyway.
- See from your child’s point of view. From his angle something ordinary may look weird in the shadows.
- Reassure with light. A nightlight or light in the hallway can be calming.
- A happy bedtime routine. A routine that’s calming and happy, not tense, is helpful.
If your usually good sleeper wakes up suddenly, crying and clingy, especially in the last half of the night, a nightmare is the most likely reason. Something he heard or saw before bed could trigger a nightmare. Stress from being sick, separated from a parent, or big events also can trigger bad dreams.
Rather than start a habit of him crawling into your bed, it is better for you to go to him if he wakes up screaming. Telling him, “It’s only a dream,” will be no comfort at all. Hold him, rock him, or rub his back until he calms down. Follow your usual pre-bed routine: check the lights, soft toy, kiss, and say “night-night.” Your reassuring touch and voice will be the best help.
Some kids only have an occasional night time accident after being potty trained and other kids seem to have more frequent or regular problems with bed-wetting. It is more common for boys and for those more recently potty trained. Very deep sleep keeps some children from awakening in time to use the potty. A small bladder or a slowly developing central nervous system may be other causes. Bed-wetting seems to run in families. Bed-wetting usually stops on its own around 5-6 years of age.
What you should do:
- Don’t blame or shame him. He really cannot help it.
- Try limiting liquids after dinner.
- Continue to use pull-ups until he is dry a number of nights in a row.
- Use a mattress cover.
- Have clean sheets and pajamas ready to minimize the disruption of everyone’s sleep.
Preparing for Preschool
This is the continuation of our series of steps to prepare your child for preschool.
Practice Listening Skills
In preschool children must learn to sit still and listen. This is a skill you can be practicing with your child now. Ask him to sit still, close his eyes, and tell you all the different sounds he hears. Talk about what is making the sounds and where they are coming from.
Another listening skill practiced in preschool is listening and following a series of directions. You can be practicing this with your son now. Ask him to do a series of things like, take his dirty socks upstairs and put them in the hamper. Gradually increase the number of steps like, go to the bathroom, wash his hands, and come help set the table for dinner.
Games that help with these listening skills are: I spy, “I spy with my little eye something that is . . .round.” He must ask questions until he can guess what you see. Simon Says, only following the command if it is preceded with the words, “Simon Says.”
Is your child ready for preschool?
- Has he spent time away from you? He is better prepared if he has been cared for by a babysitter or a relative semi-regularly or if he has spent a weekend with grandma or a day with his aunt and cousins.
- Is he fairly independent? Is he potty trained? Can he wash his hands on his own?
- Can he work on projects on his own? Does he get engrossed in puzzles or arts and crafts? Encourage solo play while you prepare dinner. He should not require your constant attention during play.
- Is he ready to join group activities? Can he sit and enjoy library story time or participate in a tumbling class.
- Is he used to a regular schedule? He will feel more secure with the regular schedule in preschool if he knows each day at home has a regular rhythm of mealtimes, naps, and playtimes.
- Is he down to one afternoon nap?
If he is not yet ready for preschool, consider other options.
It is better to take more time to prepare your son, if he is not ready, than to have him develop a bad attitude about “school” before he even really starts.
- Plan quality time with you or a caregiver that is more scheduled and begin practicing skills necessary for success in preschool.
- Enroll him in some group activities like gym or swimming, toddler music, and library reading hour.
- If he is not physically ready for potty training or down to 1 nap/day, wait a little longer to start going to preschool.
Fresh Snack Ideas
- Cut cheese or lunch meat with a cookie cutter
- Spread peanut butter on a tortilla or chapatti instead of bread
- Mash fruit and mix with water and freeze as ice-pops
If your child does not yet have a tricycle, don’t delay getting one now. There are so many physical skills he learns in riding a trike and also lessons in time and space.
What kind of a tricycle should you buy?
- One where he sits upright, not where he leans back. Sitting up gives him a clear unobstructed view of where he is going. This helps him match what he sees with what he is doing.
- Buy a tricycle where his feet reach the pedals comfortably. Don’t try to economize and buy one he will “grow into.” If he is not comfortable, he won’t learn all he can from his tricycle experience. If his inside leg measures 17– 20 inches (42– 50 cm.) his front wheel diameter should be 12– 13 inches (30– 32 cm.) If he is shorter he may need a 10 inch (25 cm.) front wheel.
- Choose one with a wide wheel base in relation to its height so it is less likely to tip over.
Lessons he learns:
- He learns he has two different sides. This is a necessary skill for reading. He begins learning to sort out his two sides when he has to push first with one foot and then the other and when he has to shift his weight from one side to the other.
- He learns to organize directions in space. When he knows what up and down and right and left feel like in his body, he will more easily recognize it outside his body.
(If a child is not aware of the difference of his left and right sides, he will have more difficulty learning that we read from left to right. The difference between saw and was or the difference between b and d use the left-right and up-down understanding. You will be giving your child the foundational skills for reading by teaching him to ride a tricycle.)
- He learns lessons about time. He learns that he must shift from side-to-side at precise times. As he learns to ride smoothly, rhythmically, and efficiently, he is learning to organize his movements in time.
(In order to learn to spell efficiently we must learn to get the letters in the proper time sequence. One of the best first steps to learning to spell is learning to use our bodies in a proper sequence and rhythmically in time.
- Don’t try to teach him to name left and right yet. He can learn this much later. Right now help him learn the feel of shifting from left to right and how they work together.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me this child and thank you for giving me the wisdom I need to deal with his ever-changing needs and interests. I want to be a good caretaker of this precious gift. In Jesus’ name, Amen