Sometimes when my son eats he will just hold the spoon with his right hand but not use it, and then picks up the food with his left hand to put in his mouth. He uses most of his left hand when doodling or painting and his right hand when playing. So I'm not sure at this point whether he'll be a leftie or a rightie. I remember as a little child, my playmate who was using her left hand more was encouraged by her mom to use her right hand instead. I didn't realize that this will do the child more harm than good. Though right hand is the right hand for a majority of the population, it is the wrong one for 5% to 10% destined to be a leftie.
Parents should trust nature and time to reveal the handedness of their children and not encourage them to use either hand while still very young.
Here are the reasons why:
The hand a child favors is genetically determined. When both parents are lefties, there's more than 50% chance their children will also be left-handed. When just one parent is left-handed, the chance of a left-handed child drops to about 17%. When neither parent is left-handed, it's down to 2%. Since it's nature, not nurture, at work here, encouraging your toddler to use his right hand won't help and could hurt.
Handedness is not usually apparent until at least the age of 3, and some kids keep parents guessing for several years beyond that birthday. During these early years, it's common for children to appear ambidextrous, freely switching back and forth between hands until they decide which is the more facile. About 20% of children never settle exclusively on one hand or the other, but remain to some degree ambidextrous. Some ambidextrous children use both hands equally well and can employ either for almost any task: other switch off for for specific tasks - for example using the right hand for eating and the left hand for throwing.
Research suggests that when parents try to "force" a child into using the hand he's not genetically programmed to use, handwriting and other problems can result. Consider, after all, how tough it is for you to try to write with the "wrong hand" just for fun; imagine how tough it would be if your were required to use that hand all the time.
There is no foolproof that will predict the handedness of your child, but parents can see some clues already even in young toddlers. Some clues will be the hand that a child uses to draw or throw a ball are better predictors of handedness than the hand he uses to hold a spoon.
I came across a blog talking about spanking as a form of discipline and some bloggers commenting against it. This is a very delicate matter to discuss and yet an important issue to tackle. While parents have different style of disciplining their children, the question still remains - is it right or wrong to spank our kids? What do the experts say?
This is what I read from the book of Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway of "What to Expect the Toddler Years" and I want to share it to all moms.
Spanking as a means of discipline has been passed on from generation to generation in many families. Nevertheless, most experts agree that spanking is not effective. Children who are spanked may refrain from repeating a misdemeanor rather than risk a repeat spanking, but they obey only out of fear. Instead of learning to differentiate between right and wrong, they only learn to differentiate between what they get spanked for and don't get spanked for. And they rarely learn self-discipline.
Spanking also has many other negative aspects:
It sets a violent example. Children who are spanked are more likely to use physical force against peers, and later against their own children.
By teaching children that the best way to settle a dispute is with force, spanking denies them the chance to learn alternative, less hurtful ways of dealing with anger and frustration. It also represents the abuse of power by a very large, strong party (or bully) against a very small, comparatively weak one.
Spanking is humiliating and demeaning to both the parent and the child, often shattering self-esteem and morale.
Spanking can also lead to serious injury, particularly when it happens in the heat of anger.
Spanking after the anger has cooled may cause less physical damage, but seems even more questionable. It is certainly cruelly calculated, and in the long run is less effective in correcting behavior, since the punishment is so far removed from the offense.
Some experts (and parents) believe that a smack on the hand or the bottom may be warranted in a dangerous situation to get an important message across to a child too young to understand words. For example, when a young toddler wanders into the street or continues to approach a hot stove following a stern warning to stay away. The idea is not to inflict pain, but to quickly call a child's attention to the seriousness of the situation. Such a slap should be followed by an explanation: "If you run into the street, a car could hurt you." Once a child shows that he or she understands what you say, however, physical force is no longer considered justifiable even when safety is an issue.
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WHEN SPANKING BECOMES AN ABUSE:
It is very rare that a parent will intentionally hurt a child. Most child abusers inflict physical punishment either out of anger or because they believe they are doing it for the child's benefit. Most were disciplined the same way themselves. But anything more than a smack on the botton (well-padded with a diaper) can injure a child, especially a young one. Even something as seemingly harmless as shaking can cause serious damage in the infant or toddler. Certainly, using a belt, ruler, or other weapon is extremely dangerous.
If you ever feel as though you can't control yourself and want to strike your toddler, get help immediately. Call a neighbor or friend who lives nearby or your local child abuse hotline. ( it will be listed in the white pages under Child Abuse and may also be listed in a special section, such as Community Services Numbers, in the front of the book. Do the same if anyone who cares for your child or lives in your home attempts to or actually does hit your child. To have the number handy should you ever need it, fill the number in now under the "Emergency Numbers" listing on the inside back cover of the book.
Winter is my least favorite season of all, not only because of the cold weather but also because of the heavy winter outfit we have to wear. It's so frustrating when we have to go somewhere and my son acts up and won't wear his winter jacket, boots, hat and mittens, not to mention he's arching his back sometimes when you sit him in his car seat too, whew! I would sometimes literally drag him just so we won't be late for an appointment. It's always hard to head out in time when things like this happen.
Here are some common problems that moms encounter everyday and suggested quick solutions:
PROBLEM: Your child screams uncontrollably when it's time to get dressed.
HOW ABOUT: Making it a matter of choice: "Do you want to wear a dress or jeans?
NO LUCK? TRY: A change of scenery. Getting dressed in the kitchen might be more fun
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PROBLEM: Your child clamps her mouth shut at the sight of a spoon.
HOW ABOUT: Taking a bite yourself. It will look less like you're forcing something on her.
NO LUCK? TRY: Giving up - for now. She won't starve, so pick your battles.
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PROBLEM: Your child refuses to share at a playdate
HOW ABOUT: Putting her leadership skills to work: say "Teach Kristen how to play with the toy."
NO LUCK? TRY: "Two more minutes, then it's Kristen's turn. Decide what to play with next.
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PROBLEM: Your child won't go to bed.
HOW ABOUT: Letting her rest on the floor of her room.
NO LUCK? TRY: Turning off the lights and TV's. With no reason to stay up, she may go to sleep.
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