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«17-18 months Oshkosh - 930-233-6630 Appleton - 920-831-1138 EXPLORING.. RUNNING Menasha - 920-739-4226 TESTING.. PLAYING DEVELOPMENTS In the next ...»

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17-18 months Oshkosh - 930-233-6630

Appleton - 920-831-1138

EXPLORING… … RUNNING Menasha - 920-739-4226



In the next couple of months your toddler may...

• Remove an article of clothing by herself

• Begin to walk up steps

• Build a tower of 2-4 blocks or cubes

• Be able to run

• Use a spoon or fork in addition to his hands

• Point and recognize a body part when asked

• Begin the imitative and symbolic use of toys

• Begin to throw a ball overhand.


Try to develop a playgroup for your toddler with nearby families that have children the same age as • your child. This helps to encourage his social interaction in a group setting.

Continue to read to your child on a daily basis. While you are reading to your child, point to pictures • and say the names. Your child will begin to recognize and put a name to common objects.

Catch your child being good. Let your child know that you would rather give her attention for being • good as opposed to being naughty.

Toddlers at this age begin to recognize body parts. Ask your child to point to his nose, mouth, eyes, • and ears.

Have your toddler repeat the correct body part names when dressing in the morning or during bath • time.


If your child tends to interrupt you while you are trying to talk on the telephone, you may want to • find a toy phone for her so she can keep herself occupied. Make a game out of it, so that every time the telephone rings her phone is also ringing. It will help to give you a few minutes to focus on the person on the phone.

Remember that toddlers have a tendency to test our patience. It is important to know your limit and • to take a few minutes to yourself when you feel yourself reaching the “boiling point”. As long as your child is out of immediate danger, take a moment in the bathroom, splash some water on your face, count to 20, or just take a deep breath.


Dear Mom and Dad, You may notice a lot of changes in me during the next couple of months. I may start to show more independence, but don’t worry — I still will be looking to you as much as I have before for my basic daily needs. You will probably notice that I like to imitate both of you — it is my way of learning.

Over the next couple of months, I will probably “latch” onto at least one comfort habit or object — like sucking my thumb or carrying my favorite blanket around the house. My world is changing so fast around me, so I need to cling onto something that makes me feel safe.


I will begin to use more words as long as you continue to interact with me. When you read to me, please point to the pictures and tell me the names of the objects. You may want to try to read the same books to me for awhile, so I can begin to learn the names of different things. Also, remember to speak to me in short sentences since my attention span is relatively short.


At this age, you may notice that I would rather be playing with one of you as opposed to myself. Please be patient with me when it seems like I am asking for your constant attention. You may want to try to involve me in a playgroup with some other boys and girls my age, but please do not push me to interact. I will learn to socialize with others when I am ready.


Even though I have begun to eat more solid foods, you will start to discover some very interesting parts of food in my stool. It is very common to find whole pieces of food in my stool, because the teeth that I do have cannot do a lot of grinding of my food. Please be sure that the foods you give me are relatively soft and in small pieces. You can also start teaching me how to chew my food very well before I swallow it.


Since I love to be on the go at this age, getting me to go to bed at night may start to become a real challenge. You may want to establish a routine for bedtime that relaxes me and calms me down. You may also need to adjust my naptimes so that I am ready for sleep when the two of you want me to go to bed. Unfortunately making me go to bed isn’t necessarily going to make me sleep if I am not tired. Sometimes soothing music will help me to become sleepy at night. I just may need some help to wind down after an exciting day of play.

Foods for Your Child Every Day

–  –  –

The child needs to be allowed to decide how much he or she is able to eat.

You can help your child stay healthy by:

⇒ choosing healthy foods for meals and snacks.

⇒ Planning regular times for meals and snacks.

⇒ Having active play times every day.

Characteristics of Children Little Kids characteristically…

1. Seek out things that are fun to do, or else they find a way to have fun at what they are doing;

2. Spontaneously jump from one interest to another, giving themselves permission to leave one activity where they feel bored or more interested in something else;

3. are curious, usually eager to try anything once;

–  –  –

5. experience and express emotions freely;

6. are creative and innovative;

7. are physically active;

8. are constantly growing mentally and physically;

9. will take risks often — aren’t afraid to keep trying something that they aren’t initially good at and aren’t afraid to fail;

10. rest when their body tells them to (and if they resist nap time, they become cranky and have shorter attention spans);

11. learn enthusiastically;

–  –  –

♥ Hug your child — acting out often is really a question of “Do you love me?” “Show me you love me, pay attention to me.” ♥ Take a deep breath. Or two or three.

♥ Put yourself in your child’s place, what would you want your mom or dad to do or say to you?

Would you like a finger shaking at you and someone in your face saying, “What is wrong with you anyway?” ♥ When children are fussy, add water! Let them do dishes, put them in the tub with a bowl of water to splash.

♥ Count backward from 10 before reacting.

♥ Call a friend (and not a friend who spanks or yells.) ♥ Set up a quiet corner when kids lose it, they can go and do a quiet activity until they calm down — Play-doh, coloring, clay.

♥ Time out for the parent — sit in a chair, or if the kids are safe, leave the room for a few moments to regain composure.

♥ Post a list on the fridge of reasons why spanking doesn’t work.

♥ Read it often and every time you feel angry.

♥ Press your lips together and count to 20.

♥ Use self-talk, repeat your chosen phrase to yourself when you feel the urge to hit. Perhaps, “people before things” or “hitting isn’t love”.

♥ Model calmness, even if you don’t feel calm. Often if you model a behavior or a state of mind, you soon become like what you are modeling.

♥ Look for the humor in the situation. Ask yourself, will I look back at this in five years and laugh?

♥ Ask yourself why you are angry? Are YOU too tired, hungry, or lonely? I tell my daughter when kids tease or are mean, it’s often because they feel bad about themselves inside, not because of anything she has done or said. Is your child the closest target for your anger?

♥ Remind yourself that any lesson you provide is only effective if both you and your child have your dignity intact once the lesson is over.

♥ Look in the mirror to remind yourself you are the grown-up. Grown-ups don’t hit little people (or any people) and they don’t have to yell to be heard.

♥ If you promise yourself to quit hitting or stop yelling, but you find you can’t stop, seek help. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Asking for help is an act of bravery.

–  –  –

Raising children is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world– and one for which you may feel the least prepared. Here are some ways to tackle your child-rearing responsibilities that will help you feel more fulfilled as a parent, and enjoy your children more, too.

Nurture your child’s self-esteem.

Children start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through your eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your child. Your words and actions as parents affect your child’s developing self-image more than anything else in his world. Consequently, praising your child for his accomplishments, however small, will make him feel proud; letting him do things for himself will make him feel capable and independent. By contrast, belittling your child or comparing him unfavorably to another child will make him feel worthless.

Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons: “What a stupid thing to do!” or “You act more like a baby than your little brother!” Comments like these bruise the inside of a child as much as blows would the outside. Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your child know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love him, even when you don’t love his behavior.

–  –  –

The more effective approach is to catch your child doing something right, and praise him to the skies: “You made your bed without being asked — that’s terrific!” or “I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient.” These statements will do more to encourage good behavior over the long run than repeated scoldings. Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards– your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find that you are “growing” more of the behavior that you would like to see.

Set Limits and be consistent with your discipline.

Discipline is necessary in every household. The goal of discipline is to help children choose acceptable behaviors and learn self-control. Children may test the limits that you establish for them, but they need those limits to grow into responsible adults. Establishing house rules will help children understand your expectations and develop self-control. Some house rules might include: no TV until homework is done, and no hitting, name calling, or hurtful teasing is allowed.

You may want to have a system in place: one warning, followed by a consequence such as a “time out” or loss of privileges. A common mistake that parents make is failure to follow through with consequences when rules are broken. You can’t discipline a child for talking back one day, and ignore it the next. Being consistent teaches your child what you expect.

Make time for your children.

With so many demands on your time, it’s often difficult for parents and children to get together for a family meal, let alone spend some quality time together. But there is nothing that your child would probably like more. Get up ten minuets earlier in the morning so you can eat breakfast with your child, or leave the dishes in the sink and take a walk after dinner. Children who are not getting the attention that they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they are assured of being noticed.

Many parents find it mutually rewarding to have prescheduled time with their children on a regular basis. For instance, tell your child that Tuesday is his special night with Mommy, and let him help you decide how you will spend your time together. Look for other ways to connect with your child — put a note or something special in his lunchbox.

Be a good role model.

Children learn a great deal about how they act by watching you. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: is that how you want him to behave when he is angry? Be constantly aware that you are being observed by your children. Studies have shown that children who hit, usually have a role model for aggression at home.

Make communication a priority.

You can’t expect children to do everything simply because you, as parents, “say so.” Children want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. If we don’t take time to explain, children will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether or not they have any basis. Parents who reason with their children allow them to understand and learn in a non-judgmental way.

Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it to your older child, express your feelings about it, and invite your child to work on a solution with you. Be sure to include consequences. Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to your child’s suggestions as well. Negotiate with him. Children who participate in decisions are more motivated to carry them out.

Be flexible and willing to adjust your parenting style.

If you feel “let down” by your child’s behavior, it may be because you have unrealistic expectations for him. Parents who think in “shoulds,” (for example, “He should be potty-trained by now”) may find it helpful to do more reading on the matter or talk to other parents or child development specialists.

Your child’s environment has a major impact on his behavior by changing his environment. If you find yourself constantly saying “No” to your two year old, look for ways to restructure his surroundings so that fewer things are off-limits. This will cause less frustration for both of you.

As your child changes, you will gradually have to change your parenting style. Chances are, what works for your child now, won’t work as well in a year or two.

Teenagers tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models. Continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your child to earn more independence. And seize every available moment to make a connection!

Show that your love is unconditional.

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