Getting Your Toddler to Sleep in Their Own Bed

19 Aug

It’s a topic that inspires much discussion and great variety of opinion, but getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed is often tricky. Well known experts such as Dr. Spock and Dr. Sears have very different views and approaches. As parents you need to consider your family needs and that of your toddler to determine what works best in your home. Children sometimes become nervous and insecure once the sun goes down, and parents end up reactively co-sleeping, in order to avoid battles when they are trying to rest. Giving our children the confidence to be independent as they grow begins with learning to sleep on their own.  At Bluebonnet Schools, we foster an environment that allows our children to feel safe, which encourages independence and confidence.  The following are tips for getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed.

Establish a bedtime routine. Transitioning from being active to sleeping is not something most children do easily without a cool-down routine. One part of the routine may be to have a regular story time every night before bed.  Being consistent is the key to success in getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed. Creating a picture chart of your “night-night” routine can be very helpful when discussing with your little one what happens next. It should be bright and colorful and have pictures of the child doing the various activities with the time and title. (A really fun project for you to work on together and hang in their room). Visual reminders are extremely useful in getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed.

Remain steady and stand your ground. This is the tough part, but it’s necessary. Lying down with your child or rocking them to sleep will only serve to set a different routine. Once you have completed your routine, tuck your toddler into the bed and assure them you are just down the hall and will check on them in a little while. If they come into your room, return them to their bed, tuck them in again and reassure them you are just down the hall. They may resist, and it may take time, but firmly and lovingly stick to your guns: Mommy and Daddy have their bed, the children have their beds, and everyone stays in his or her own space at night. If they get out of bed, put them back in their own bed, gently but definitively. Getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed may require some internal fortitude on your part, but it’s worth it.

If your child is used to sleeping in your bed every night, your work will be harder. Once a pattern is established, getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed can be an arduous task. For the first few nights, you may need to sit near but not on their bed, in the child’s room until they falls asleep. No talking necessary. This offers reassurance that you are near. After that, move a little further away from your child, until you are finally able to give it up entirely.

Rewarding efforts and bravery. Rewards can be helpful in establishing desired behaviors. Try a chart, with stickers for each night they stay in their own beds, and prizes earned for a few nights in a row. Another ingenious idea is to leave love notes from mom or dad, or the stickers for their sticker chart under their pillows when they sleep in their own beds. The excitement of a personalized note or getting to place the sticker on the chart may help curb the desire to sleep with mom and dad.

Getting your toddler to sleep in their own bed is just one step in creating independent children who grow into strong and capable adults. Another step is finding the right preschool, where they can interact and thrive in a warm and nurturing environment that helps children reach their full potential. Bluebonnet School is such an environment which provides opportunities for learning through play and growing in confidence. Visit www.bluebonnetschool.com  for more information, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

Managing Sibling Rivalry in the Home

17 Jul
managing-sibling-rivalry

Managing Sibling Rivalry

Of all the challenges of parenting, managing sibling rivalry can be one of the toughest. Brothers and sisters offer us our first lessons in personal interaction, and parents overseeing these interactions can often feel as though they’re referees rather than guardians. Fortunately, managing sibling rivalry is not impossible, at Bluebonnet School, we work together with our families to give our children the skills and attitudes they need to build caring relationships. The following are few suggestions you can try at home.

  • All things are not always equal in managing sibling rivalry. Understand that you will never fully succeed keeping everything equal among your children.  Knowing this allows you to explore their individual needs as opposed to wants. Remembering to respond to your children as individuals and loving them for who they are, helps lessen competition for your attention. Helping children learn to share, to wait their turn, and that they may not always have everything everyone has, helps them with skills that prepare them for the outside world.
  • Plan separate dates with each child. One of the best methods for managing sibling rivalry is to plan special one-on-one time with the children, where each child can feel important, and you can form a stronger bond. This does not have to be expensive or elaborate; a trip to the library or park can be just the thing to build parent-and-child memories. As published in Siblings Without Rivalry, “Children don’t need to be treated equally. They need to be treated uniquely.”
  • Enlist some help. Family members and friends can assist you in managing sibling rivalry. Ask extended family members to spend time with each child, too, perhaps while you‘re having your special date with the other. When a new baby arrives, make sure that visiting friends make a fuss over the older children, too, in order to head off jealousy. Make sure to work as a team with your spouse; taking equal responsibility for nurturing good relationships in the family.
  • Avoid comparisons. It may be the hardest thing to do as a parent but avoiding comparisons lessens the need for competition. It may be as subtle as asking a child “Why are we always waiting on you?” Remember to guide or praise your children without reference to their sibling(s.) This is tough but a skill set that will help you in managing sibling rivalry.
  • Encourage conflict management. Spend time talking about feelings with your children, and helping them find ways to manage disagreements and negative emotions. Let them handle minor squabbles themselves, and notice when they get it right. Then praise good behavior, because managing sibling rivalry is best accomplished through positive reinforcement.

Managing sibling rivalry can be a challenge, and so can choosing the perfect preschool for your children. Bluebonnet School offers a warm and nurturing environment, where a sense of wonder is developed by learning through play, and children have room to grow and thrive. For more information, visit the website, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

Introducing Music to Your Child

29 Jun

The importance of introducing music to your child early cannot be overstated. Experts encourage a “rich sensory environment” for young children, and that means providing a wide variety of experiences that stimulate the senses and create new neural pathways and helps to develop both sides of the brain. Music can be a huge part of that, and there is research to indicate that it helps children with language, reasoning, creative thinking, and spatial intelligence. A paper published by Johns Hopkins magazine referred to research

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Introducing Music To Your Child

Introducing Music To Your Child

that indicated “exposure to music might ‘excite and enhance the cortical firing patterns’ used in spatial-temporal reasoning … and is required for higher brain functions such as chess, mathematics, and engineering.” Here at Bluebonnet School, where we nurture children’s minds, we offer the following suggestions for introducing music to your child.

  •  Listening to music builds brains, but it doesn’t have to feel like homework. Music should be fun and creative and even silly at times! Dance with your children, play music in the background while you hang out together, and incorporate it into your everyday life. Introducing music to your child by making it a part of family life makes it part of your child’s identity, and learning happens organically.
  • Try different genres. Share the music you love with your children (As long as it is appropriate for young ears). It will further the connection between you and your little one. Classical music is always great for the developing mind, but there are benefits to other types of music, as well.  Find events that expose children to music too; often the local ballet or symphony will have child-oriented performances that are entertaining for the entire family.
  • Do what comes naturally. Music is all around us… in nature, in machinery, and in the voices of a child and his parents. Learn to listen for it, and teach your child to do the same, pointing it out in the song of the frogs or the whir of the air conditioning. Sing, even if your voice isn’t great—your child will love it, and you will not only be introducing music to your child from the point of view of a listener, but also teaching him to enjoy it without reservation. Children who participate in musical activities derive more benefit than passive listeners, so encourage your children to play instruments, sing, and dance. Teaching songs with motions, like “Wheels on the Bus” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” is a good way to start.
  • Use music to create routine. Music can make transitions easier for little ones. Use soft music at bedtime, play a certain song to signify that it is time to wind down a play-date, or sing a clean-up song each time you tidy the play room.
  • Music can create lifelong memories. Children carry in their hearts the memories of listening to mom play guitar, or dancing with dad in the kitchen.Talk about how different songs make you feel, and weave music into the fabric of your family life. When my children were little I sang to them every night their very own special lullaby that included their name. Now they are 8 and 7 and still ask for their “Night-night” song.

 Introducing music to your child is part of the early education that will make a successful adult. Bluebonnet School incorporates music in all aspects of our curriculum as well as provides a formal music class once a week. We encourage learning through play, and provide a warm and nurturing environment where our children can grow and have a sense of wonder that leads to lifelong learning.

Make Time for Imaginative Play

25 Jun

Bluebonnet School of Cedar Park explains the benefits of setting aside time in your child’s schedule for play. Imaginative play has many benefits for the social development of children.

Join us on our YouTube channel for more informative, parenting videos. Also, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek Now Open

4 Jun

Bluebonnet School of Cedar Park now has a sister school. Bluebonnet School announces the opening of Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek in the Canyon Creek neighborhood, 10321 Boulder Lane (just off 620 adjacent to the Church at Canyon Creek).

Families seeking exceptional preschool and afterschool care who travel 620 should check out this beautiful facility.  Convenient to Canyon Creek, Grandview Hills , Riverplace, and

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Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek

Steiner Ranch, Cedar Park & Anderson Mill, Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek is located just off the southern end of Boulder Lane at 620.

Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek will maintain the high standards of care and small group sizes that are so familiar to Bluebonnet families.  The new facility will offer infant, toddler, preschool, pre-kindergarten and school-age summer camp.  Beginning with the new school year in August, after-school care and even a private kindergarten will be offered.

Bluebonnet at Canyon Creek ’s private kindergarten will accept children who turn five after September 1, unlike public schools which limit enrollment to children who turn five prior to September 1.

According to Bluebonnet owner Nancy Chick, “Our primary goal has always been to provide the highest quality care possible, and we are looking forward to providing that same level of quality at both Canyon Creek and Cedar Park.”

The original Bluebonnet School at Cedar Park is recognized nationally in several ways.  It received the National Child Care Center of the Year Award in 2007 by the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP).  The facility has been accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) since 2004 and by NAC (through NACCP) since 2008.  It is the only facility in Texas to be accredited by both agencies.

The new facility at Canyon Creek will immediately begin self-study, the first phase of accreditation for both agencies. “Accreditation by a rigorous national accrediting body raises the standards maintained by a facility enormously.  Accreditation by two national agencies keeps a facility constantly monitoring the teachers’ interaction with children, policies, curriculum, safety practices and even administrative practices,” Chick said.

To learn more about Bluebonnet School of Canyon Creek, call 512-219-5100 or go to www.bluebonnetschool.com.

Mobile Apps for Moms: Stay Connected

30 May

Mobile apps for moms are a rapidly growing segment of the mobile app market, and with good reason. Today’s moms are constantly on the go, and yet they need  to stay connected in order to balance home, work, and personal life. With so many mobile apps for moms available, the main challenge for most moms will probably be choosing one! Here, we offer a few suggestions.

  •  Connecting in a fast-paced world can be challenging. Mobile apps for moms from sites like BabyCenter provide access not only to other moms, but also to expert advice and interesting content. HootSuite and TweetDeck may not be targeted directly at moms, but they can help you stay connected while you are on the go.
mobile-apps

Mobile Apps For Moms

  • Mobile apps for moms can help you multitask and save you time like never before. Want to do your banking from the doctor’s office waiting room? Find a recipe while attending your child’s soccer game? Take notes on an upcoming project from the reception area of the dance school? Done, done and done! From AllRecipes, Pinterest, Groupon, to Evernote, there are scores of apps available that can make life easier for busy moms.   Itriage can be a great help and time saver when your family needs medical care.  You can search for information on medications, the nearest urgent care facility and the wait time at the nearest emergency room.
  • Some of the more entertaining mobile apps for moms can occupy the kids, too. Who doesn’t love Angry Birds? Sometimes a long wait or a boring car ride can be instantly changed into fun playtime by handing your child the phone or the tablet! If you want games that are targeted specifically to the kids, there are plenty of those, including Make Me a Princess,  Zuma’s Revenge, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure and Madcoaster, to name a few.
  • If you are looking for mobile apps for moms and kids that educate as well as entertain, you have a plethora of great options. Picasso helps kids exercise their creativity, while Kiboomu Kids’ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star can even help them learn to play piano! Memory games are easy to find, as are games that educate kids on geography, science, and even space.  Letter Quiz, Shape Builder, and Toddler Teaser Quizzing are great especially for preschoolers.  Kindle even has an app for mobile devices that enables you to carry your Kindle library in your pocket, for impromptu story time, wherever you are.

Of course, kids need more than technology for a well-rounded education, and child-focused mobile apps for moms are only supplementary to their child’s growth and learning. If you are looking for a quality child care center that encourages children to reach their full potential by learning through play, you owe it to yourself and your children to check out Bluebonnet School. Visit the website for more information, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Taming a Toddler

29 May

Taming a toddler can be among the most trying tasks of motherhood. Toddlers’ natural urges to explore and discover can help them learn more about the world around them, but they can also wreak havoc on your house. If you have reached the stage of parenting where you always feel like you are running, and you cannot wait for bedtime, you may benefit from some tips on taming a toddler.

  •  Get your house ready.Childproofing is extremely important, for your child’s sake and the sake of your home. Put away your knickknacks, at least for the time being, and put safety latches on everything that may present a hazard. The goal istaming-a-toddlerto minimize the need for supervision, so that you can let your little one safely explore.
  • Taming a toddler may mean taming your own temper. Yelling is ineffective, and the best way to handle your little whirlwind is with calm but firm authority on a consistent basis. Do not phrase your wishes in the form of a question, but assert your authority, stating clearly and calmly what you want to see happen. The best way to communicate is to get on the child’s eye level, so that he will understand you clearly.
  • Plan ahead, to avoid catastrophe. What if you could find a way to eliminate the need for taming a toddler? Sometimes, you can! Make sure your child’s needs are met before you attempt an outing. For instance, a tired, hungry child is sure to be more of a challenge than one who is content. Once you know you have his needs under control, proceed with a plan in mind for how you will handle a problem if it occurs.
  • Discipline without hesitation. Discipline does not mean punishment; it means guiding a child into changing his behavior. Timeouts can work wonders for an unruly tot, but make sure to enforce them at the first infraction. Multiple warnings teach a child that you do not mean business, and he is more likely to test your limits if he is unsure where the boundaries lie.
  • Keep the screen time to a minimum. You may think that plunking your child in front of a television is a viable way of taming a toddler, but in reality, TV shortens children’s attention spans. If you are not willing to forgo the electronic babysitter completely, limit television viewing to under thirty minutes per day. Your child needs interaction and exploration, not passive entertainment.
  • Choose toys that spark the imagination. Blocks, construction sets, dolls, toy kitchen items, and other things that draw a child into imaginative play will help to build his IQ. Children learn best by playing, because pretending helps them learn more about the world around them. Reading to your children is also a great way to offer stimulation, while occupying them in a quiet activity.
  • Keep quiet time sacred. Many toddlers still take naps, but even if yours doesn’t, it is important to institute a daily quiet time. If you have a non-napper, allow him to look at books or listen to soft music, as long as he stays still in his bed for at least thirty minutes.
  • Find a school that shares your goals. The right preschool can give your child the stimulation, and you the break, that you both need. Choose a school that allows children plenty of time to learn through play, has a good ratio of adults to children, and that communicates with the parents effectively.

Taming a toddler may seem like a daunting task, but the joy your little one brings is sure to surpass the challenges. The right school can be a partner in taming endeavor. Bluebonnet School is well equipped to help you manage the toddler years, offering nurturing childcare that helps children reach their full potential. To learn more tips about raising a toddler and to learn more about Bluebonnet School, visit our website and join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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