Today I’m excited to share with you one of my most special morning tea experiences, one in a beautiful home with a great company of moms, and with OzSuperNanny helping us with parenting tips. For those of you in Singapore, you’d be seeing more of Angela Jacobsen, as she’s in town (more often) to promote her second book Baby Food and also to prepare for her TV show.More on Angela Jacobsen – Angela has worked with children in different countries for more than 15 years, including for celebrities and also ordinary parents needing help. Angela has studied child care, personality development and pediatric first aid.
Parenting for Children with Special Needs
As always, every post in this blog is on eczema and so I’ve asked Angela if she’d any experience taking care of children with special needs and does she use a different parenting tactic for these children?
Angela replied that she’d worked with children with autism, ADHD, and these children would, like all children, benefit from boundaries. Parents shouldn’t cut the child undue slack, and still need to reinforce that the parent is in-charge and not the child.
Parenting by Distraction
Another of my question is should parents distract the child from doing naughty stuff and occupy them so that they have less time to get into trouble? The reason why I’ve asked this is because parenting by distraction is my favorite technique! In fact, maybe I should trademark this phrase. As readers to this blog would know, eczema children scratch and distraction is an effective technique to divert their attention elsewhere. Overtime, distraction becomes a technique I use often, even if not for scratching. For more on habitual scratching, do refer to this series with a psychologist Dr Bridgett.
Angela replied that distraction can be used for scratching, or when there’s say a glass or dangerous object that we don’t want the child to go near. However, distraction shouldn’t be practiced too frequently as children ought to experience real life scenarios where there would be time they would fail or do something not right. Structured learning and activities, however, are perfectly ok and Angela shared how she’d always organize the child’s environment to include different stations for them to engage in their own activity and move on to another to try something new.
Another mom shared about her child wanting her involvement in play, and Angela stressed that activities for the children ought to be substantially completed by the children, rather than to have the parent or helper or maid to do it. After all, an activity is for the child to learn and not to monitor the adult doing!
On Food: Formula Milk Differences
Now, I’ve got curious because I saw some of my friends whose child likes formula milk a lot seem to have grown way off the growth chart. So I asked Angela whether in her work in so many countries, there’s a noticeable difference between children who are breast fed versus formula fed and whether different countries’ formula milk seem to be spurring different growth rates?
Angela replied that no such difference noted, and another mom (who is a chef and nutrition/food geek) said it’s like more to do with overfeeding from what she observed. Angela suggested letting the child try fresh milk once reaching 12-month old, a common practice in Australia.
Truck Driver and Hairstylist!
Other stuff that I’ve learnt from Angela are:
- Don’t fall into the trap of children’s tantrum, breathe, countdown from 10 and then get the child to apologize and discuss with the child, helping him/her to understand why something is not right.
- Use a story at bedtime to reinforce the lesson you want the child to learn.
- Outside of home, timeout can be modified to be taking an object (of luxury) away from the child
- Routine and boundaries are important, school is non-negotiable ought to be reinforced to the child.
What I’ve learnt about Angela are:
- She not only works for celebs, but also for ordinary parents like truck drivers and if you meet her, you’d love her down to earth nature.
- One of her activities with a girl she’s babysitting is letting her be an hairstylist – Angela would sit down, let the girl spray her with water and do up her hair. I’m going to try this at home! (but ouch! My hair’s too short!)
So, I’ve a wonderful morning tea and met other moms, and in a nutshell, we’re moms trying to be a better mom! Have you got a question for Angela? Leave a comment and I’ll ask her for you.