Easing toddler transitions

Barbara Olinger, MSW Parenting Consultant, explains why toddlers have difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next and shares advice for parents on how to best help ease your toddler's transitions
Easing Your Toddler's Daily Transitions
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Easing toddler transitions

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Children have a difficult time transitioning in a way from playing, to leaving the house, going to bed, eating dinner. And this can be true even when you do the five minute warning, two minute warning. A key here is that young children do not want to leave their world of play and if we come in for setting the limit, dinner in five minutes, that's saying that's the priority and that's the world the parental demands and children often resist that. So instead if we enter their world letting them know how important it is to them and we know it is important and we honor it, we form a foundation in which we could be more cooperative, So if we go in saying, "wow I see you playing with trucks, you've been playing for a really long time. It's looks like your having fun and dinner is going to be ready in five minutes." That gives them the message that we can honor their world and at times that we still have to set limits.

Barbara Olinger, MSW Parenting Consultant, explains why toddlers have difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next and shares advice for parents on how to best help ease your toddler's transitions

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Barbara Olinger, MSW

Family Consultant

Barbara Olinger has her Masters in Social Work and has worked with children and families in both educational and therapeutic settings for over 35 years. This has included being a Child and Family Therapist, the Supervising Clinician in an outpatient mental health clinic, a co-founder of a co-operative preschool, and Director of Family Development at the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside. In her current private practice, Barbara focuses on parent education and support for parents of children ages 1-10 years old and preschool teacher training. She offers on-going groups, individual/couples sessions, a monthly Dads Group, workshops on a variety of parenting topics, and phone consultations. Barbara has two sons, 29 and 26 years old.

The roots of healthy development begins with having our needs met. This is a requirement for growth: to separate, to feel confident physically, emotionally and socially, to gain a healthy sense of self, to be able to become compassionate. When our needs are supported, we develop from a foundation of trust- in our relationships and in our exploration of the world.

Strong families are built on a foundation in which development is understood and celebrated, mistakes are allowed, feelings are validated and connecting with others is emphasized. Parents can set limits with behavior while supporting needs in a way which promotes learning and self-esteem.

During this whole parenting journey, it is crucial to be conscious of our own needs and to take care of ourselves. Sharing our fears and anxieties about parenting with others can help us realize we all feel vulnerable at times and this can provide a space for growth and connection. Every parent need support!

Barbara’s parenting book “Growing From the Roots” and two DVDs (“Growing From the Roots” and “Welcoming Your Second Child”) are available through Amazon.com

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