Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Daddy Magic: Use Time-Outs for Tantrums

Some parents are willing to do a little discipline with time-outs. I've heard of parents who limit their time-outs to a few minutes.

Limit your time-out to when your child calms down. If that happens in one minute, then great! What do you do when your child has been screaming for two hours? Simple, he falls asleep. You don't do anything.

Also, please note, this doesn't really happen. It may possibly happen once. I've never seen it. Your child stops, and he learns for next time. But if you go in, then you're teaching him that all he has to do is scream for five minutes, and you'll go in. If you aren't teaching him that, then he won't learn it.

The best problem to use time outs for is for fits. It teaches your child that if he throws a fit, he goes to his room until he calms down. I don't recommend it for anything else, because he won't be able to associate it. For example, if he throws his food on the ground and you discipline him by sending him in his room for a time-out, then he won't know why he got sent to his room. However, if you slap his hand and then comfort him, he will learn the lesson VERY quickly.

I've heard of people sending a child to a corner or to sit on a chair for a time-out. Depending on the child, this can be a reward. Instead, remove the child from human contact.

Time-outs can be pure magic. Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: Hold your child after a spanking

Many people want to avoid discipline like spanking and hand-slapping.

If you do spank your child, then I'd recommend loving him and hugging him afterwards. It tells him that you care about him.

If you spank him without loving him afterward, then the spanking may confuse him.

You need to make it very simple so that he knows what he did wrong.

If you are avoiding spanking or hand-slaps, you're going to have to deal with a LOT of tantrums.
The easiest way to avoid this is to establish discipline as soon as the child is willfully doing wrong (tantrums count; see time-outs). It's a lot of work, but the riches are evident as they get older.

In fact, the riches are magic. Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: Let people hold your baby!!!

What??? Are you crazy??? Let people hold your baby!!!

You think you're being protective, but do you know what you're doing to your child??? Everything you do is teaching your child something. By going around and always holding your child, not ever leaving your baby, and not letting other people hold your baby, you are teaching your baby one thing:

He is not safe in anyone else's arms and in anyone else's care.

That's right! You're teaching that to your baby!!!!

Do you know what that means? That means that you cannot have someone else watch your child. Your child will throw fits because the baby sitter isn't you. What if you have to go to the bathroom? You can't hand the baby to a friend. The baby trusts no one except for you! What about the other spouse? Is your spouse going to watch your baby sometime? It's not possible if the baby isn't used to it!

This is what happens when you are the only one who holds your baby:

1. The baby throws more tantrums because you can't always hold him.
2. The baby becomes a toddler who still throws tantrums.
3. The baby doesn't feel comfortable with your spouse.
4. The baby won't sleep as well unless you are holding him. He won't put himself to sleep.
5. You will have to wake up constantly or sleep with your baby in your bed. Either one will be bad for your marriage relationship and sex life.
6. You can't get away from your baby. You can't go out with your friends, go on a date with your spouse, or do anything, really.
7. Your baby won't trust people. He will throw tantrums in public places. Not good.
8. People think you are being a little uptight. Well, guess what? They are right. You are.

What to do:

1. This is hard to do (to trust others with something so precious), so do it from day 2 or 3. When visitors come to the hospital, let some of them (especially the ladies) Purell their hands and hold your newborn.
2. When you get to church, let a few people Purell their hands and hold your newborn.
3. When visitors or family comes over, let them Purell their hands and hold your newborn.
4. Let female trusted family members or female trusted friends watch your infant while you go out.

What this does:

1. Your baby will trust people. You are helping shape her personality.
2. Your baby will be interested in people. You are helping shape her personality.
3. Your baby will be comfortable around people.
4. Your baby will smile at people.
5. Your baby will be friendly to people.
6. Your baby will learn how to share much easier.
7. Your baby will not be as violent to other children.
8. Your baby will learn social skills much sooner.

These are all good things! These are Daddy Magic!


Daddy Magic: Should you teach your child to trust people?

Should you teach your child to trust people?


Why would you want to, since people can do really bad things?

Well, not all people do. If you teach your child how to trust people, then your child will learn about trust, love, and contentment much sooner than the other children. It's worth it! Do it! The sooner your child will trust and love people the more it will shape his life.

The primary concern here is that this could lead to a stranger (or family or friend) doing an evil thing to your child. That could happen. However, you can mitigate that risk!

- Always watch your child.
- Only leave your child with a trusted friend.
- Only leave your child with a woman. About 95% of sexual abuse is by men.
- We leave our children in our church nursery, but we know them, and the men cannot watch children alone, they can't change diapers, and they can't take a child to the bathroom. Our church has already thought about all that.

Here's the thing, teach your child how to love everyone when you really can't communicate very well with your child. Once you can communicate with your child, teach him to be cautious and give him rules without giving him reasons until he's ready. This way you can teach your child to be loving and cautious. That's Daddy Magic!


Daddy Magic: Smile for your baby!!!

Smile for your baby!

Who is the happiest baby in the room? Well, she's the one who is smiling and always in a good mood. How does that happen?

Well, have been smiling with your baby?

How do children learn anything? You do it with them and slowly teach them. It's the same thing with smiling.

It's simple, just smile with your baby. Smile all day with your baby. Smile for hours. Smile until your face falls off. Okay, those are exaggerations. Don't smile that much.

But you should smile so much that it hurts. You should smile every chance you get for extended periods of time. You should sacrifice your time and comfort to teach your baby one important thing:

How to smile

If you can teach your baby that, then you'll notice that your baby smiles more. A baby who smiles more, doesn't throw tantrums as often. A baby who smiles more is pleasant to be around. A baby who smiles more is the happiest baby in the room. She loves people. She trusts people.

Should your baby trust people? YES. More on that in another blog. This one is ONLY about smiling.

Play with your baby. Do a very slow version of peekaboo. Tickle him under his chin. Make soft sounds and sing. Whatever you do, always smile! Grin ear to ear whenever your face is in front of his face. He will learn how to smile.

Another thing will happen too. He will know that you love him. It is very important to teach your child how much you love him, and this is a wonderful way to do it.

Loving your baby is purely Daddy Magic.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Daddy Magic: Pump the bottle

When feeding your baby, pump the bottle.

Bring it in and take it away. Repeat this until the baby sucks to resist it when you pull it out of his mouth. The earlier you teach him this, the better. You're teaching him how to eat healthy.

Be sure to stop when he stops drinking. Then burp him and return. If you feed him agressively, he will eat agressively and be healthy.

So far, this has worked like a charm for our two children. They both are very healthy eaters. This discipline you teach them carries over to their toddler food as well.

That's some sweet Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: Chase your child

Nothing is more fun to a baby and toddler than a good chase. As soon as your child can crawl, you should be playing this with her.

Make sounds and slowly crawl toward her. You can growl, bark, hum the Jaws song, or make loud thumping sounds. When you catch her, give her a good tickling and an opportunity to get away.

Keep playing this with your child until you're tired of it. I have some relatives that the dad and mom both chase around their son. I know one guy that uses really deep and scary growls, and his son squeals with delight.

Have fun with it! This is Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: Sign Language works!

Sign langauge works!

You might as well use real sign language, so that your child learns a valuable skill.

When teaching your toddler sign language, use the word and the sign at the same time. Some people think that the child will learn the sign instead of the word, but it helps the child learn the word and the sign better. Then the child can better remember how you communicate each specific topic.

Our toddler says the word and does the sign at the same time.

Some great signs to teach:

- More
- All Done
- Banana
- Cracker
- Cereal
- Milk
- Eat
- Drink
- Thank you
- Up

Now that my daughter can communicate a little, she walks around signing cracker.

I think a reason why they call it the "terrible twos" is that your child is frustrated because he can't communicate with you. Make the terrible two's easier on him and you by teaching him how to communicate.

You may tell him no if he asks for a cracker, but at least he's not frustrated that he can't communicate with you. Plus this makes eating a lot easier when he can communicate.

Now that's Daddy Magic!

But don't teach him stop! See this post for that:


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Daddy Magic: Instead of Stop, use Don't Touch

We don't use "Stop!" Many parents use Stop and use the sign language for "Stop." However, every time I've seen that, the child is learning how to tell parents how to stop. It's good to know what the child is thinking, but the child may not be thinking that if he didn't know he could communicate it to you.

Instead of "Stop," we use "Don't Touch." We sternly say, "Don't Touch" and wave our hand near the area she isn't allowed to touch. When she touches it, we slap her hand or foot that touched it. Eventually, we started saying "Don't Touch" less stearnly so she wouldn't think we were mad at her. However, the hand motion and words still worked.

Don't use Stop. You are teaching your child how to talk back before you can properly reason with him.

Instead, use "Don't Touch," say it firmly, slowly wave your hand next to the object, and enforce it by slapping his hand or foot. He will learn.

That's Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: How to get your toddler to not stuff his face with food

Our toddler doesn't stuff her face with food. All her friends do.

Why is that? I actually stumbled on this one by accident.

I started handing her things (coasters mostly) to teach her how to share. I saw that a friend of mine was doing it, and his daughter knew how to share. So I started doing it when my daughter was younger.

This is what I did:

  1. Hold out item #1 for her, "Would you like this?"
  2. She takes it. "You're welcome."
  3. Hold out item #2 for her, "Would you like this?"
  4. She takes it. "You're welcome."
  5. Repeat for about 10 items.
  6. She now has the items in a pile next to her.
  7. I hold out my hand, "May I have one, please?"
  8. She didn't give it to me at first. I take one. "Thank you!" I sing-song the phrase and sign it.
  9. I hold out my hand, "May I have one, please?"
  10. Eventually she gets it and hands one to me. "Thank you!" I sing-song the phrase and use sign language to say "Thank you!" at the same time.
  11. Once I have all 10 items, I hand them back to her, one at a time.
  12. I did the back and forth process about three times every day. My wife got sick of constantly hearing, "May I have that please?" "Thank you!" "Would you like this?" "You're welcome!"

Eventually, a lot of cool things started happening:

  1. My daughter learned how to share, beyond what was normal. When another toddler dropped his hat, she immediately picked it up and handed it to him. She constantly looks for her baby sister's pacifier, burp rag, and bottle, and hands those things to us or to her sister, because she knows those belong to her sister.
  2. She learned how to be entertained with us doing a simple game of handing things. Even when she is with herself, she will be entertained by picking things up and making a pile.
  3. She learned how to sign Thank You before all her older friends.
  4. She learned how to say Thank You before all her older friends. The sing-song tone was catchy.
  5. She began eating like this, only taking one thing at a time. All her friends stuff their faces. She eats sequentially. This allows us to give her smaller portions at a time so that we don't waste food.

All of those are very cool effects, but I still get people who are blown away by #5. I trained her on a habit that carried over into her eating habits.

Is it magic? It's Daddy Magic.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Daddy Magic: The Pacifier is only for night time

The pacifier is only for night time!

Well, first you train your infant to love the pacifier. Then you slowly take it away from her. Only give it to her during naps and at night time. Only use it otherwise after you tried everything else.

Train your toddler to hand you the pacifier when she wakes up. Hand it to her when she goes to bed. You are teaching her that the pacifier is only for bed.

Why is this important?

  1. You can get her to smile more.
  2. She isn't walking around all the time with the pacifier.
  3. You won't have to worry about her dropping it or losing it.
  4. She will talk sooner because she is able to practice.
  5. It will be easier to ween her off of it.
  6. It teaches her discipline.
  7. It teaches her obedience.

Pure Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: The Toddler Tools

You need tools. Tools are good.

Take one of those snack containers with different departments. Not only are they good for portioning dried formula (for infants and babies), but you can bring a variety of easy-to-get-to snacks.

Bring the portable booster seat. That's an amazing tool!

Take an umbrella stroller. They are lighter weight and easy to haul.

Bring a Pack-and-Play. Teach your child to sleep in one so that your child can sleep anywhere!

Use a pacifier to help your child sleep at night.

Children love digital toys, like the cell phone or Mypod toys for toddlers. They have buttons, make noises, and they have visual stuff.


Daddy Magic: Teach your baby how to fall asleep

I think a key that many people miss is that you need to teach your baby how to fall asleep.

Your baby doesn't learn anything on his own. You need to teach him how to fall asleep.

The first step to doing this is to lay him down to sleep in a swaddle, with a pacifier, when he is close to sleep, but not asleep. Lay him down when his eyes are half full. He may be more likely to cry sooner for the first few days. Endure this.

After he cries for five to fifteen minutes, try again. Make sure he has his swaddle and pacifier. Then rock him near sleep. And lay him down before he falls asleep. You'll only have to do this a few times.

Gradually lay him down sooner each time. Eventually you'll be able to lay him down, and he will be awake and content. He'll fall asleep on his own.

I know parents with toddlers who still can't fall asleep on their own. What--the???

Don't let this be you!!!! Embrace the Daddy Magic.


Daddy Magic: Run with your baby

How do you get a baby to calm down instantly? Simple! Run with your baby!

That's right! This is even more effective if you are using the swaddle, side, and suck technique. Shh helps some too, but not as much.

Run with your baby!

It's simple. Your baby is going to fall asleep when you're on the freeway. But the moment you stop at a traffic jam or stop for gas, what do you get? Crying!

Apply that lesson to your home!

If you are using too much up and down motion, then you'll notice that your baby is getting tense. His whole body will tense up, he'll bring his knees up, and his face will get tense. So, stop immediately when that happens!

However, you can hold your baby tightly and take off running down the hall. Instantly quiet baby! Do a few runs down the hall.

It will also give you some exercise. Use this method to calm down your baby, infant, or toddler. Your baby or infant will get closer to sleeping after a few runs.

This is pure magic. Daddy magic.