For all workshops, pre-register by calling 425-4412.
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are for parents and caregivers of young children.
Here’s what’s in store for this summer:
Terrific Two’s: Learn about your 2-year-old. Focus is on their developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 1, Choctaw Library
June 16, Midwest City Library
June 22, Southern Oaks Library
June 19, The Village Library
Sibling Struggles: Learn methods to prepare children for the arrival of a new sibling and how to deal with sibling squabbles. Find out about sibling rivalry and what normal behavior is. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
June 2, Midwest City
June 30, The Village
Just for Fun: Games People Play(for children ages 8-12): Includes active games, quiet games and brain teasers. Kids will play games from the past and games from other cultures. Both are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
June 14, Southern Oaks
June 21, The Village
Toileting Triumph: Toileting doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Focus is on signs of readiness, why it can be frustrating and much more. All are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 16, Edmond Library
June 29, Warr Acres Library
July 20, Ralph Ellison Library
Making Your Morning Manageable: Time to eliminate chaos and come up with a routine. Focus is what parents can do to make this part of the day more calm and enjoyable.
June 25, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
Lullaby & Goodnight: Find a routine that includes reading to your child, to ease bedtime and naptime challenges. Sleep challenges will also be discussed. Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
June 30, Edmond
August 17, Ralph Ellison
Look Out, I’m Three!: Learn more about your 3-year-old. Focus is on developmental milestones. All are from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 7, Southern Oaks
July 8, Midwest City
July 13, The Village
July 20, Choctaw
Toddlers at the Table: Turn common concerns about toddler’s eating habits into opportunities to teach healthy habits. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
July 12, Midwest City
July 21, The Village
Those Playful Preschoolers:Focus is behavioral characteristics and developmental milestones of 3- and 4-year-olds. Activity ideas will be shared to keep little ones busy. Learn it’s OK for your preschooler to be “out of bounds.” Both are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
July 27, Warr Acres
Aug. 25, Edmond
Baby Basics: Main focus is typical concerns of parents. Colic/crying, separation anxiety, sleeping through the night and other issues will be discussed.
July 28, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Reading Readiness: Workshop will explore the necessary reading readiness building blocks and parents’ roles in helping children become readers. Both are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 9, The Village
Fun to be Four: Learn about your fascinating 4-year-old. Workshop focuses on developmental milestones. All are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Southern Oaks
Aug. 4, Midwest City
Aug. 10, The Village
Aug. 12, Choctaw
School Readiness: Facilitators will talk about support, encouragement and opportunity all children need for school success.
Aug. 10, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Warr Acres
Tripping Through Toddlerhood: Topics include, tantrums, biting, sharing and other common toddler challenges. Parents will learn how to minimize frustrations.
Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Edmond
Teaching Children to be More Cooperative: Focus is on when to discipline or ignore unwanted behaviors. Learn guidance techniques used by experts.
Aug. 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Warr Acres
To see the Oklahoma City-County Health Departments newsletters, including schedules for upcoming play groups, workshops, and health and child guidance screenings, click here .
I had the great opportunity last week to go to a class sponsored by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department at the Edmond Library, called ”Common Challenges with Toddlers.”
As a parent of a toddler, I knew I couldn’t possibly be the only one who experiences the store -induced temper tantrums, the difficulties with getting him to eat, and dealing with this little person who is constantly asserting his independence.
I was greatly assured that yes, thankfully, my child is completely normal and not a pint-sized T-Rex.
Here are seven great tips I learned:
1. Don’t ask questions that require simply a yes or no answer. Instead, give your toddler some choices. But be sure you can live with any of the choices.
2. Avoid power struggles. It takes two to argue, so take yourself out of the equation. Consider allowing him to be his own boss, unless he poses harm to himself or others.
3. Children won’t do what doesn’t work. Ignore temper tantrums. Easier said than done, but if you want the tantrums to stop, you’ll have to stop reacting to them.
4. Make a statement. When talking to him about his day, don’t ask questions, but instead make statements. I tried this and it works! Instead of “Did you play outside today?” try “So you played outside today!” You’ll get lots more response from your little person.
5. Use descriptive commentary. Like a sports announcer, talk about what they’re doing as they’re doing it. It promotes conversation, builds vocabulary and makes them feel important.
6. Focus on behaviors you want, not the ones you don’t want. Instead of “stop running” say “I like it when you walk next to Mommy.” And always be specific in your praise. Just saying “Good girl” won’t let them know what exactly they’re being good about.
7. Use humor, and keep your sense of humor. Your toddler is learning to be an independent person and it can be a fun time if you just let it happen.
The health department has a great lineup of workshops and parent talks. I highly recommend attending. Their staff is knowledgeable and they give great advice. Go to www.occhd.org and click on the Parent Express Newsletter or call 425-4412 to find out what’s coming to a location near you.
If so, a class at the Edmond Library Wednesday may be just the thing to help you.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, “Common Challenges with Toddlers” is a free program focusing on common issues of this age group, including temper tantrums, biting and trouble sharing. Parents will learn how to minimize their frustrations with these behaviors and learn solutions to help put an end to them.
The program is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the library, 10 S. Boulevard.
If you want to enroll, call 425-4412. If you can’t go, no worries. I’ll be there taking very detailed notes and I’ll be sharing what I learn and posting it here.
My son is 3, which means he’s suddenly eligible for all sorts of extracurricular activities (otherwise known as energy-burning-so-he-doesn’t-run-circles-around-the-house activities).
So there he is … signed up for everything I could get my hands on. Gymnastics: One night a week. Swim lessons: Two nights a week. Soccer: Practice one night, and games on the weekends. Yes, he’s only 3.
There may be a misconception here that I’m sort of a stage mom. A “boys-need-sports” stage mom. But really, I just want my toddler to be active from an early age and to experience various sports so that he’ll be open to more than just one activity. I don’t want him to get into couch-potato mode.
I just know that all the running around can leave me a bit running-ragged. My son seems to enjoy it but ends up pretty cranky by the time it’s time to go home or leave the activity. Carrying him kicking and screaming through the gymnastics facility’s parking lot makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.
Any thoughts? Do you have your young children in sports? How do you make sure you have enough down time in your child’s day? Comment here or email me at email@example.com
The milestones seem to come and go so quickly. There’s the weaning off of bottles. The “disappearance” of the pacifier. Getting rid of dirty diapers … for good! And then there is …
THE TODDLER BED.
For two hours last weekend, I converted my son’s crib, Transformer-style, into a toddler bed. My son was ecstatic. I was relieved. “A big boy bed!”
I dutifully padded the floor around it, just in case of an accidental roll-out. I tucked him in for a nap and he did great. No major injuries, no crying fits. Then came the real test … sleeping through the night. I put him to bed, woke up the next morning and my first thought was “Wow! That worked! How easy is this!”
Not so fast.
There they were. Two little feet nestled next to my head. My son sound asleep next to me. A middle-of-the-night escape.
OK, I thought … so maybe it would take a night or two for him to get used to his bed. Maybe he got scared. Maybe there’s dinosaurs in his closet. But now it’s Friday. And I’m still waking up every morning to a visitor in my bed.
Now, I’ve seen all the nanny shows on TV. I’ve seen parents repeatedly put their kids back into their own beds, where they belong. But what do you do when they sneak out of their bed every night and you don’t know until you have a knee in your rib or an arm draped over your head the next morning?
If you have any ideas, short of deadbolting his door shut, please let me know!
-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
Please tell me it’s not possible.
We all know about the terrible twos. They are notorious for being difficult. The sudden independence, the tirades and tantrums, the battle of wills that a 2-year-old always wins. So why is everyone telling me 3 is worse?
Because there may be some truth to it. Over the past few months, as my son inches closer to the 3-year mark, he has become … well, difficult. He seems more intent on doing things his way. Forget what Mom tells him to do. Sometimes it’s like he even outright ignores me. And the demands … “get it now!” or “I said I want a hot dog!” or “No! I won’t go to school today!” What suddenly happened to my always perfectly sweet and innocent baby?
On babycenter.com, one of their experts answers the question “Is there such a thing as the terrible threes?”
Developmental psychologist Susanne Ayers Denhams explains that 2-year-olds are eager to explore and if they come up against a barrier (like Mom) they can react with intense negativity. Their developing identity also has them testing limits and with their growing vocabulary, sometimes they still can’t voice what they want in a way parents will understand.
She goes on to say that 3-year-olds can go through the same trials of growing. Cycling through phases is common (being at peace, getting frustrated or discouraged, going through life changes) so rough patches can really happen at any time. New discoveries can make a child angry and they can start reacting to demands put on them at home and day care. They can lash out if they are aggravated and it’s a common emotion at this age.
She also offers tips on dealing with difficult 3-year-old behaviors and tantrums:
-Stay calm and don’t take it too seriously.
-Encourage your child to put their feelings into words and be patient if he or she can’t do that quite yet.
-Figure out what’s bothering your child and attempt to resolve it.
-If all else fails, and you think it may be a caused by another underlying problem, you may want to consult with a pediatrician for advice.
We’ll see how this works out. Any other advice is welcome here! Let me know how life is with your toddler. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.