The Oklahoma City-County Health Department has scheduled free parenting sessions at the Edmond Library on Wednesday, July 8. The sessions are for parents and caregivers.
These individual sessions will last about 30 to 45 minutes and will be with a speech/language pathologist and child development specialist. They will go over what’s normal in early development and discuss any questions and concerns parents or caregivers may have about speech, language development and behavior. Children do not need to be present (although they may attend) and sessions are by appointment only.
Call the child guidance program at 425-4412 to schedule an appointment. For more information, call 427-8651 or go to www.cchdoc.com.
A couple of weeks ago, I described instances where my son can be a little more outgoing than I would like or feel comfortable with.
He has tried to tone it down for me a bit since then … even reminding me, “Mommy, remember don’t say hi.”
But Shari, a Hiccups reader, offered me some perspective on it. Her daughter, Penelope, was also a chatty one growing up. She tried methods I’m pretty familiar with … no eye contact, directing my responses only my child, trying to hurry in stores. Not only because she didn’t feel like talking (much like me) but also for her daughter’s safety.
Growing up, Penelope continued to be social, meeting interesting people and being able to share interesting stories.
Her advice: Watch my son closely, but allow him the joy of being friendly. She said he’ll go far in life with an outgoing personality.
Thank you, Shari. I sincerely hope I’m not stifling my little boy. Maybe I just need to relax a little and be more willing to sacrifice my own quiet time to let him be himself.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
It’s so easy to read 8 books in a day to a 3-year-old so we decided to do that this week to reach our second goal in the Metro Library System’s Summer Reading Program. What an easy way to not only make sure your child is getting read to every day, but it’s a great way to earn great prizes.
Just for completing Goal 2, we received a ticket to Frontier City/White Water Bay, 2 tickets to an Oklahoma City RedHawks game and a ticket to Oklahoma Children’s Theatre.
Sign up today, get reading and get rewards!
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
If you visit one of the libraries of the Metropolitan Library System and haven’t enrolled your child in the summer reading program, you’re missing out on some neat prizes.
“Be Creative @ Your Library” is a free program for children and teens. Just to get you and your child started, you’ll get a packet with all kinds of free goodies: stickers, a coupon for free tots at Sonic, a couple of bookmarks, a reading log, free admission to local attractions and a chance to win tuition from Oklahoma College Savings Plan.
Then all you need to do is read 8 books to your child to reach your first goal. Do that, and your child gets a really nice award ribbon, and coupons for free food at area restaurants.
For each goal met (8 books, 8 hours or 800 pages read) , your child is entered in drawings for really cool prizes. There isn’t a list of books, and you don’t have to just read books checked out of the library (although kids do love getting new books to read).
So sign up today at your local Metro Library branch or go to www.metrolibrary.org for more information.
~Erica Smith, copy editor
My son recently turned 3. At that very moment (literally!) everything changed.
At 3, most toys are somehow instantly safe. Go down any toy aisle, and the recommended age for toys is 3 and up. Sure helps not to have to worry about him choking on small parts anymore. Or having to order the “3 and younger” toy at the drive through.
At 3, toddlers have their first dental appointment. My son will go Monday. The best part? Parents are told to wait in the waiting room. I don’t have to be the one to restrain him while he’s throwing a fit during his cleaning.
At 3, they see the pediatrician for the annual checkup. Best part? No shots. That changes on the 4-year-old visit, but that’s a whole year away.
At 3, they get to start all kinds of sports. My son and I are very excited about him finally being old enough to be on T-ball and soccer teams at the YMCA this year. Let’s burn off all that extra energy.
At 3, they are officially out of the mommy-and-me swim classes. In fact, parents are not allowed anywhere near their 3-year-olds during swim class. Hooray! No more bathing suits until summer. Which gives me another 2 months to get in shape.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
So my 3-year-old son has been getting in a bit of trouble at day care lately … for saying (gasp!) a four-letter word …
Yep, heck. Now at first, I thought maybe he shouldn’t be saying it so I didn’t really respond when his teacher told me (well, spelled out) what he had said and how she handled it (she put him in timeout).
But over the weekend, as we watched the kids’ movies Madagascar and Cars, I realized that they say “heck” in those movies (both of which they’ve actually watched at day care).
So what do you think? Do you think his teachers are overreacting or do you think “heck” should be considered a bad word?
Comment here or email me your thoughts.
~Erica Smith, Copy Editor
If you’re anything like me, you want to give your child the best possible chance of being a successful, happy person. Most of us can probably recall being involved in some activity growing up, whether in school or not, such as sports, acting, singing or playing an instrument.We see the Olympic medalists, who started training as early as 3 or other professional athletes who are shown with a football or golf club in their hands at 4 years old. We hear of musicians who picked up the guitar or started playing the piano at the age of 2. And sometimes, as parents, we think we need to get our kids involved in something that early, just so they can be one of the few who make it big.
But how early is too early? I’ve been browsing some of the activities I can get my 2 1/2 -year-old involved in. So far, pretty much everything is offered to kids that age. I’ve seen tennis lessons, acting lessons, instrument and singing lessons, gymnastics coaching, T-ball teams, rodeo coaching and even golf lessons.
So how do I choose? And more importantly, how early should he start? I don’t want to be a pushy mom and have my child give up his childhood before it even starts (gymnasts come to mind, who as children, seem to spend every waking moment in the gym). And at 2 or 3 years old, do they even have the attention span or desire to be a participant? Or is it more for the parents’ satisfaction?
On the other hand, it also seems that getting kids involved early on may pave the way for them to crave being on sports teams in school or want to be first clarinet in the school band. They’ll know and want life outside the daily routine of home and school.
So I’d like to hear from parents on this. How early did you get your kids involved with activities? What made you decide to start them at that age?
Leave your comments here or email me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.
My son and I are involved in a program called Parents as Teachers (PAT). Ours is through the Putnam City School District, but this program is available statewide. This is a FREE (yes, free!) program that really has helped shaped the way I teach my son and interact with him, and allows me to focus on areas with him that will get him ahead of the curve once kindergarten starts.
We have a very nice teacher from the school district, who comes over to our house once a month to play and interact with my son. She evaluates where he is as far as learning and development. She charts his progress and gives me tools that are relevant to his age. This program is for any parent of an infant or toddler who wants to give their child the best chance of being ready for school, by taking the opportunity to start learning at home.
Here is a description of the program, from their national website, www.parentsasteachers.org :
Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a parent education and family support program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually age 5.
Parents are supported by PAT-certified parent educators trained to translate scientific information on early brain development into specific when, what, how and why advice for families. By understanding what to expect during each stage of development, parents can easily capture the teachable moments in everyday life to enhance their child’s language development, intellectual growth, social development and motor skills.
As a Parents as Teachers family, you receive:
-Personal visits during which your parent educator will share age-appropriate child development and parenting information, help you learn to observe your child, and address your parenting concerns.
-Parent group meetings which are opportunities to share information about parenting issues and child development. Parents learn and support each other, observe their children with other children and practice parenting skills.
-Screenings to assess your child’s overall development as well as health, hearing and vision.
-Resource network that links your family to other community services.
The program is offered throughout school districts in Oklahoma. To find the contact for your district, click here.
I can’t recommend this great program enough. This is a resource that is free and its benefits are priceless.
My four-year-old son earlier this week brought home his school’s first fundraiser (sort of): a Scholastic Book Club flyer.
While it provided a great opportunity to buy inexpensive books without leaving my house, I also felt somewhat guilty.
I assumed there will be other club flyers this year, so I only bought three books. I also assumed his mother would buy books.
However, would I be a bad parent if I didn’t buy at least one item from my son’s school fundraisers, including $1 books from the Scholastic Book Club? I’m a newbie at the whole public school thing.
Any help would be appreciated.
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— Brian Sargent
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My youngest child started preschool yesterday, and Mom was the one who learned the lesson. The drop-off was traumatic, even though he moved from one room up to the next — the oldest — in the same daycare center that he has attended all year.
But I made a big deal about it, just like I did when my older two started preschool. Then, I was a stay-at-home mom so the transition from home to school seemed big. Now, I’m a working mom, and the transition in childcare to pre-K simply means changing rooms and teachers with all your friends.
But wherever life takes you, I still believe preschool is a big deal, an exciting time, a time that marks the formal start of what hopefully will be a lifelong desire to learn. It’s monumental, major, a milestone, amazing and all that. The first day of preschool deserves special attention, a photograph and as much fuss as my older two got for the start of their elementary school grades this week.
I learned yesterday that piling on all those hopes and dreams is too much pressure for a 4-year-old.
He cried and cried and hugged and hugged me during drop-off as he felt the full weight of all that pressure and those expectations. While he usually marches in smiling, greets his friends and disappears with them onto the playground, on the drive to school that “first” day he hid himself underneath his favorite green blanket, known affectionately as “Green.”
On the long prison walk down the hall to his new classroom, he sucked his thumb – usually an act reserved only for naps and bedtime – clutching “Green” as if it were his only friend.
He had been a little unsettled all week.
If I had just gotten him up and said “Yea! You’re starting preschool today!” he would have been fine as I took a picture in his class.
Instead his first-day-of-preschool picture in the classroom doorway shows him holding onto “Green” for dear life, wadded up in his arms as he hid his worried face partially behind it. Getting ready to launch his lifetime love of learning.
By the time I picked him up, he was smiling and having a great time as he took me on a tour of his classroom and chatted about his friends and about what he did that day. He skipped into his classroom today with a smile and a quick hug.
The pressure is off – preschool is back to being just a normal part of everyday life.
Yesterday’s milestone, I realized, only belonged to me as my youngest one grows up.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman