Expert Developmental Articles

Andy Eig

Dr. Andy Eig

Clinical Psychologist

Skills: Social, Emotional

Week 1: Five Elements of Successfully Disciplining Your Toddler
By Andy Eig PhD.

Moms ask me all the time how to talk to toddlers (ages 2 to 4) so that they can be understood when they are trying to instill discipline. Here are a few tips that can be very useful in trying to tame your delightful little beast.

1. An Ounce of Prevention.

The old adage is true—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A tired, hungry, or bored toddler is trouble waiting to happen. Kids listen best when they are kept to an that allows them time to play, rest, and eat. If your child is tired, irritable, or cranky much of the time, chances are he or she is not able to follow the rules of the house. Check your child’s schedule and make sure they are getting enough time to rest as well as enough time to be active and play time (especially play time with their parents).

2. Be positive.

Rewards and praise work much better than punishment. In fact, at this age, I would avoid punishments altogether. Toddlers have a difficult time understanding what a punishment is. They end up feeling confused and bad about themselves. When your toddler is following the rules, praise him or her. Motivate your child by offering small rewards such as stickers or small toys. They will gain a sense of accomplishment through earning rewards.

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Gopi K. Patel

Gopi K. Patel, MSE.d
Special Educator

Behavioral and Parent Training

Skills: Education, Emotional, Social

Week 2: Guidelines for Summer Activities
By Gopi K Patel, MSE.d

Swimming, T-ball, soccer, library, music...there are too many!

I'm struggling with trying to decide what activities to enroll my preschooler in...ballet, T-ball, soccer, swimming, library programs...the possibilities are endless. I don't want to over schedule her. How do I choose which ones are best for her age? How many are too many?

I would highly recommend trying out a few activities on a trial basis—many places now offer free trials. I would recommend only 2 and at the most 3 activities a week. That means you're out of the house 2-3 times only. Some activities call for 2 sessions a week. Many classes are now available with mommy and me so you cans start early as 2.0 to 2.5 or later at 3.5 years of age. are some of my guidelines:

You should pick activities and interest your child has and then enroll him/her. It is important that you ask your child what is interesting to him/her, and what they would like.

Once an activity starts it is important that the child stick with it for the remainder of the semester/season and not quit in the middle of the season or session. With this you are teaching your child an important lesson of commitment. That you can't quit everything because you don't like it.

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Deanie Barth

Deanie Barth

Physical Therapist

Skills: Dexterity, Locomotion

Week 3: Five Major Milestones for Early Physical Development
By Deanie Barth, MSPT Physical Therapist

The first year of a child’s life is its busiest and most important developmentally. It is at this time when they develop the muscle strength and control that will help them to hold their body up and move against gravity, to initiate purposeful movement and complete simple tasks. The acquisition of these simple skills will allow them to jump, run, play baseball, do gymnastics and clean their rooms when they get older.

There are many milestones over this first year that involve gross motor development, so to keep this piece short I tried to remember five major ones where parents called or emailed me so excited to share the good news. Or when I consoled a mother who missed the first time their child demonstrated acquisition of a milestone. It was hard to pick just five, but here goes in Letterman Style:

Gross Motor Milestone #5 — Rolling Over
At around 2-3 months, if a child is placed on his side, he should be able to roll on to his back from his sides. At around 4-5 months, he will start to roll from his back all the way to his stomach. At this time and in these positions, his abdominals, back and neck strength are starting to increase to prepare him for…

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Barbara Greenspan

Barbara Greenspan

Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Skills: Dexterity

Week 4: Learning Through Movement
By Barbara Greenspan, OT

In the last newsletter Shari Harpaz, eBeanstalk's resident Speech Pathologist, introduced the concept of how children learn by using their senses. Everyone is familiar with the 5 senses including Touch (Tactile), Sight (Visual), Smell (Olfactory), Taste (Oral) and Hearing (Auditory). But there are actually two more senses (or systems) that we don’t hear much about and they are crucial for movement and learning; they are the vestibular and proprioceptive systems (sound complicated? It’s not). These two movement systems give us information about our bodies and how we move relative to the world around us. Where’s my head? The vestibular system sits in the inner ear and tells us where our head is in relation to the ground. Where’s my body? The proprioceptive receptors are located in our muscles, joints and ligaments and this system tells us where our body is in space.

For example, if your arms are up straight in the air and your eyes are closed, the proprioceptive system tells us where our body parts are located without using our eyes. This system also tells us how much strength is needed to do a task such as how hard to throw a ball or how much pressure to apply to a pencil to write on paper. Think about that the next time you walk in the dark feeling for the light-switch.

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Shari Harpaz

Shari Harpaz

Speech-Language Pathologist

Skills: Language, Imagination

Week 5: Learning to Read Starts Young
By Shari Harpaz, MS, CCC-SLP

Most children will begin to read between the ages of 5-6 years. But before they can read they need to gain the foundation of pre-reading skills. We don't often think of reading when it comes to our toddlers, but they start hearing about the ABCs in songs and begin gaining letter recognition starting at around 2 years of age. Rhyming, recognizing first sounds in words, and syllable awareness are all phonemic awareness skills your child has before they are ready to start reading.

As parents, a great way to spend quality time with your child is reading to them and this should begin when they are infants. Exposing children to books at this young age is the first step to peaking their future interest in reading.

Your 1 - 2 ½ year old will gain familiarity with the alphabet when you sing "ABC" to them. As their language develops, they will enjoy singing along with you. Let them play with toys with the alphabet to gain added exposure to letters.

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