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Parenting Issues Message Board

Parenting Issues Board Index

1. It's one thing to force very young children into potty-training. When I say "young," I am talking 1.5 years or younger. Their bladders often have not developed and potty-training is impossible. However, your daughter clearly can successfully use the toilet on her own. My advice? Don't put those diapers back on her. If she has an accident in her panties, clean her up and put a new pair of panties right back on. Be consistent in your decisions. Going back and forth between panties and diapers (when your daughter is capable of wearing panties and going potty on her own) will only send mixed messages.

2. Replace the pacifier with another object that makes her feel secure. In fact, let your daughter pick something on her own (a blanket, a stuffed animal, etc). Same thing as the panties--be consistent. If you take the pacifier away, do not give it back (even if this leads to tantrums). After a couple days of the pacifier being gone, she will probably have forgotten all about it. Be prepared for her waking up in the night and throwing a fit when she cannot find her pacifier. Remind her that her blanket or stuffed animal is there. She will eventually calm back down.

3. I'm wondering if she saw another small child kill bugs or saw something about this on tv. Everybody's comfort-level here will be different, but I'd explain to her the situations when it's okay to kill bugs: "If they are in the house, it's okay to kill them. But if they are outside, we need to leave them alone. It is their home." I would not be worried about this. She is probably just mimicing behavior she saw or heard elsewhere.

4. From my experience, kids learn best with repetition. Take 15-20 min. everyday to work with her on her numbers, alphabet. The routine and repetition will be very important. Also, putting her into a pre-school (if you have not already) will help out tremendously. Here's one idea for encouraging her artistic abilities and creativity: You mentioned that she likes to make-up stories and that she is an excellent artist. Why not have her illustrate the stories she makes up? For instance, have her draw pictures of what her "pink shark" looks like or draw what it will be doing at her birthday party.

5. Be as honest as you can with your daughter about your grandmother's situation. If she is not going to get better, don't say she is. If you are not sure, tell her. Do tell her that no matter how sick she gets, she is still the same grandmother on the inside. Many children will associate a changed appearance as it not being the same person any more. I also might see if there are any good books out there about teaching children how to deal with illness and death. I'm sure these would be extremely helpful. If you practice a religion, this might be a nice time to discuss the idea of God and that God is taking care of granny in a special way that no one else can.

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