Does time out work?

Yvonne Siphuka, who is a mom to three-year-old Nonhle, says time-out does work for her but only when she is stern and serious about it.

“Time out has worked for me with both my daughters. Sometimes it doesn’t work but it really depends on the child and parent. If you are going to give your child a time out you need to be serious and see it through or they won’t take you seriously.”

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So does time-out really work?

Advocates for time-out have said that it is beneficial when removing a misbehaving child from an activity. This results in the parent being able to explain and show why the naughty toddler had to be taken to a time-out session and to discuss why what happened was not appropriate and to set out how your child can behave better in future.

Other ways to discipline your child without using time-out

Spend time together

Rather than separating yourself from your toddler, spend time with them, one on one and chat according to their level of understanding of what the problem or issue is. This is also a great way to get your tot to calm down, listen and comprehend why what they did was not okay.

Create a comfort corner

In this corner, have things that bring a sense of calm and peace to your child. Add their favourite toys, teddy bears and things that make them feel at ease. The comfy corner should have a calming effect and that should correspond with your temper. Speak gently and try not to raise your voice so your toddler can know the comfy corner is for raising truces.

Remove a privilege

In this instance, you would negotiate with your toddler and take away a privilege. So you would both make the choice that having a snack before bed is out because of their previous misdemeanour.

Allow your child a chance to make decisions

With time-out, you want to empower your toddler to see the difference between right and wrong, the best way to do that is to give them a choice. Let them make a decision between two or more choices for making up for the wrong that they did.

Redirect your toddler

When your child is out of control and jumps on the couch, instead of shouting and making a scene, try approaching the situation form a positive situation. Tell your child what he can do. Give him a safe and healthy alternative to channel his energy into something positive.

Five must-have products for toddlers

The toddler years are some of the most amusing as your baby begins to crawl, walk and explore the world around him.  During this time where he is active and curious about his surroundings, bag five must have products that you can use while on the road or out in public.

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Hand sanitizer 
Toddlers are active and love touching and exploring, putting their hands all over the floor and putting things in their mouth. The best way to keep them clean and safe from bacteria is by keeping a hand sanitiser close by so you can give them a quick waterless wash.

Body cream and wipes
For those days that you find yourself with a toddler who has a spotty face and dirty hands, a quick visit to the nearest bathroom to wash off the dirt and lotion to moisturise their face will help.

An extra set of clothes
With all the playing and outdoor activities that toddlers engage in, it’s best to always keep a spare set of clean clothes that your toddler can change into.

Snacks for the road 
Toddlers enjoy snacking especially when they have nothing to keep them entertained but keep it healthy by stocking up on dried fruit, all bran muffins, fruits, low sugar juice, yoghurt and crackers.

First aid kit
You never really know when unfortunate incidents can happen so it’s best to be prepared and have a first aid kit in your car or in the bathroom. Brief your nanny about what to do if you are not around and ensure that you and your partner both have individual first aid kits in your cars.

These are free ways to keep your tot entertained

By: Bernice Maune

Indulge in free fun and save while at it with our list of free ways to keep your tot entertained. From spending time in your own backyard to baking in the kitchen and visiting museums, spending time with your toddler can be varied and more importantly expense free.

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Food markets usually have play pens and this is the perfect place to keep your tot entertained while you take in the market or enjoy the company of friends. These kiddie areas are free and you can enjoy a day out without spending a cent.

Park dates
Pack a snack basket and go have fun in the park. The utilities come at no cost and your toddler can run and play under your watchful eye.

Swimming in your own pool
Use the opportunity to expose your toddler to some water activities. Let them don a pair of floaters and splash about in the pool.

Start them early with green fingers by planting some easy growing herbs and flowers.

Treasure hunts
This is an activity that the whole family can join in and have fun. Pick a treasure, it can be food or notes that lead to a message and hide these all over the house and garden. Set a time and give your children a deadline to find all the hidden treasures.

Bring all the adventure to your backyard and set up your own tent together. Bring camp supplies, torches and although you may not spend the whole night there, your toddler can freely enjoy the experience of camping.

Most museums are government owned and entrance is free. Take your tot on a tour of a museum so he can explore and see all the interesting artefacts. This is a great way to get your child familiar with culture and the arts.

Make an event out of baking and let your toddler join you in the kitchen. Bake simple cookies and add colour and sprinkles to make baking time a creative affair.

Not only are libraries a quiet place where your child can read and enjoy looking at the images in books but they can also use paper and crayons to draw and express themselves artistically. Plus libraries can be accessed at no fee.

Collage making
Pick a theme and use magazines to create a collage based on your theme. This is a great and free way to let your toddler express themselves with pictures. All you need is paper, scissors, magazines and glue. Supervise them to ensure they don’t hurt themselves if you allow them to do the cutting themselves. Otherwise ask them to show you which pictures they want to use and you do the cutting and they can paste.

How to tell your toddler is ready for the potty

Your toddler will begin to indicate that his diaper needs to be changed by pointing at his nappy or by walking around uncomfortably. Whichever way your toddler chooses to express himself, you can look out for several signs to see when it’s time to introduce the potty.

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Copying others behaviour 
If your child goes to day care she may already have seen other kids using the potty and this may pique her curiosity and prompt her to start copying by pulling at her diaper and squatting.

Waking up with a dry diaper
This is a sign that your child is starting to understand the difference between taking a pee in their diaper and waiting to use a potty.

Follows you to the toilet
Your tot may start following you to the bathroom and watch you pee to see what happens. This is an indicator that he is ready to start potty training.

Stays dry for two hours or more
If your toddler stays dry for longer than usual then it may be time to start them on the potty.

Complains about a wet diaper
Pulling at their diaper and indicating that their diaper is wet or has poo is a sure fire sign that they are ready to begin using a potty.

Mommy moments:

Mokgadi Maloba, mom to five-year old Kgodisho says her son used pamper pants to begin training.

“I used nappy pants and he lead us. He started using it to pee in the toilet. The nappy pants gave him freedom.”

Dikeledi Mfecane, mom to two-year old Lilitha and five-year old Olwethu had two different experiences with her children.

“I couldn’t tell with Olwethu but he took a keen interest because he was already at day care and his peers were starting with potty training so it was a natural process for him to get into it from there. With my daughter, she shows signs like when she has made a poo then she’ll make us aware that there’s a stinky. It means she understands that she needs to change her nappy.”

Tips for taking a plane trip with a 2-year-old

Travelling with small children doesn’t have to be a nightmare anymore. Instead it can be a stress free, smooth experience for the whole family.

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Have a chat with the flight attendant before lift off

Speak to an air hostess and find out if there is anything you need to know about ensuring that your child is safe and adheres to flight standards and regulations while travelling. Stewards are also equipped with additional tips to make your travel less complicated. They may recommend tips like playing your child a song before lift-off to calm them.

Tell tall tales

To make the flight interesting and to make it seem like it won’t last too long, tell your toddler some quirky stories that they can understand. Read them a book of short stories to buy you some time and when they ask when the trip will end, this is where you’ll have to tell some tall tales and act like the journey is coming to an end very soon.

Do not over pack

If you are the only parent with your toddler, pack lightly so that you can handle your luggage, your child and all their extras and baggage. This will also make entering and exiting easier for both of you.

Get to the airport early

Get to the airport at least 30 minutes to an hour early so you can check-in, get your boarding pass and prepare your toddler for the trip ahead.

Check in online

This might seem like a simple tip but many people forget to take advantage of an early check in which opens up to three days before your trip. The point is to reduce as much admin as possible when travelling with a young child.

What to pack onboard on the plane

Snacks – Take an assortment of snacks which your toddler can enjoy as often the food on the plane will not have a variety which will interest your toddler. Pack your child’s favourites and add fresh fruit which isn’t readily available on flights.

Hand sanitiser, wipes and diapers – Take a good supply depending on how long the trip will be. Hand sanitisers and wipes are good for wiping down everything, especially in the bathrooms.

Digital entertainment – Stock up on videos, movies and games on your smartphone or tablet for your toddler to watch and be entertained during the flight.

Crayons, paper and colouring books – Have several options so that your toddler has loads to do. Their attention span is quite limited so keeping them busy is the best way to keep them out of trouble.


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