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Tips with Toddlers
Photo: Monty Winters
Infants begin bonding with their siblings during the first year of life. All siblings are fascinating simply because they are kids, says Judy Dunn, author of “From One Child to Two.” Her research shows that when older siblings try to entertain them, babies enjoy their brothers and sisters as early as six months. They are often much more amused by their brothers and sisters than they are by their parents! There are shared interests and shared sources of what kids find funny, even in the second year. Dunn’s research suggests that sibling relationships can give children a developmental head start. She says kids with siblings have a much richer experience with the whole range of human relations, including competition, rivalry, negotiation, and just getting along. “It may mean that their whole way of understanding other people is different.” Rather than the typical bleak view of sibling rivalry, we can focus on the developmental advantages that carry over into later life.

Tips with Toddlers

You may be worrying unnecessarily if your child between the ages of 18 months and three years doesn’t want much to eat. The rapid growth of infancy slows down considerably during this time and toddlers just don’t eat as much. Keep your toddler’s food portions in mind. A good rule for serving a toddler is to make portions one-fourth to one-third of adult sizes, or about one tablespoon per year of age.

You can also be assured that good sources of vitamins A and C are available from fruit which children at that age usually prefer to vegetables. If there is dessert try serving it with the meal, as toddlers will most often eat a little of everything. Saving dessert as a reward after telling them to clean up their plate is teaching the child to overeat, say M. Hammelgarn and B. Willenberg of the Agriculture Department’s Extension Service at the University of Missouri.

A New Hide-and-Seek Game

When the kids are stuck inside, try this updated version of hide-and-seek. It can work with any number of children and in any indoor location.

Rather than hiding people, try hiding objects such as pencils or spoons. Seekers stay in one room while the hider stashes 10 of the same objects in another room. Then, the child who finds the most objects becomes the hider!

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By Susan E. Murray. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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