Parenting is truly hard. There’s no real manual to follow, no Dummies book, no K.I.S.S. book. Heck, it’s even tougher than programming (yes, I was into it before I became a SAHM). There’s no concrete “If this, Then that”. It’s all trial and error and continuous adaptive learning.
It’s a good thing that there are the likes of Smart Parenting that holds parenting workshops to help us by. I was fortunate enough to attend the first leg of Smart Parenting’s Mom Workshops last May 21, 2016 at Richmonde Hotel in Ortigas.
The topic was so apt for me as it was All about Toddlers, covering feeding and nutrition, effective storytelling tips and disciplining children.
Feeding and Nutrition
- Speaker: Velvet Escario-Roxas. An international resource person who holds regular classes and seminars such as Tamang Kain: Infant and Child Feeding and Nutrition. She is also the Deputy Executive Director of Arugaan, a support system for women with infants and young children.
Formula Milk is NOT Necessary
I was surprised when the speaker shared that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it’s not actually necessary to give our children formula milk. That is, if you’re able to give the same nutrition from their food (Did you know that sesame seeds are a good source of calcium?). It’s better to get the nutrients the natural way, without the formula and without all the added sugar that comes with it.
A parent from the audience even asked what to do if his toddler refuses any other food but milk. Ms. Velvet was quick to answer that he can cut out the milk and let his child try real food. The child eventually will if he does not have any other source of food and he gets hungry. This will be beneficial in the long run as chewing is a precursor to talking.
Let Children Play with Different Textures
What the child plays with actually affects his food preference. A child who is sensory deprived (e.g. only plays with plastic toys, does not get his hands dirty) may have trouble trying out certain food textures. Ms. Velvet’s advice is to let them play outside, feel the floor, smell the air, play with wood – let their senses be fully engaged. Along with this, introduce different kinds of food to them.
Effective Storytelling Tips
- Speaker: Gutch Gutierrez. An author and illustrator of children’s books, whose most noteworthy work, Day of Darkness, won a Kid’s Choice Awards at the National Children’s Book Awards in 2014. He is also the man behind the YouTube channel StoryTellerMNL, where they read children’s books from the Philippines.
3 E’s: Emphasis, Emotion, Enjoy
I was nodding my head the whole time on this because I tend to do that when I read books to my kids, much to my husband’s discomfort. He thinks I’m crazy when I do it. LOL! Animate your voice, live with the characters. It’s more fun that way. As for the emphasis, depending on where you put the emphasis on your sentences, you can highlight to your child the lesson you want him to learn.
Have a Happy Marriage
The greatest story you can ever tell your children is a great marriage. Period.
- Speaker: Michelle Lichauco-Tambunting Ed.M. Co-founder and Directress of Young Creative Minds Preschool.
Toddlers are like Cavemen
She based this on Dr. Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. I actually have read the main parts of that book so I was nodding the whole time also. I seem to have forgotten to use the lessons there though as I am having trouble with my second toddler.
Anyway, toddlers are indeed like cavemen. They have poor control of emotions. They shout, they grunt, they go wild. Whenever they have a meltdown, no amount of reasoning from us can make them understand. What we need to do is to mirror their emotions. If they’re angry, act like you are one too. Vocalize their emotions. “You’re angry. You want ice cream…” I’ve recently been trying it and it does work. It catches their attention. My son would nod a yes amidst his crying. That’s the time that I would inject “but you need to eat dinner first”. It’s actually effective. Give it a go.
I was so glad to have joined. Apart from the experts’ insights, I also learned a lot from the experiences of other moms who shared a question or contributed an answer. All throughout the program, there were tons of raffle prizes given away. ALL the participants took home super cool prizes from the sponsors. It sure made the registration fee of P400 super worth it!
Just to mention, the sponsors for the event were: Major: Belo Baby, Calpol, and Insular Life, Minor: Scott’s, and partner concessionaires of Smart Parenting – Baby Mama, Fatty Brainy Toys, Giant Carrier, Home Suites, Mr. and Mrs. Green PH, Potty N Tubby, Sweet Creations by MUMS, The Eco Bag Boutique, Tiny Buds, Smart Steps, and Cudsly.com.
I won this Chateux folding bed from Home Suite, by the way.
And inside the loot bag are more exciting stuffs.
Do watch out for the next leg of Smart Parenting Mom Workshops! I’m watching out for it myself. 🙂