Healthy Kids    

Helping kids help themselves one step at a time.

As children grow gradually, so grow their abilities to handle increasingly complex tasks.

Parents can help this process by maintaining reasonable expectations of the child's present abilities - but also anticipate growth and expect just a bit more from the child.

For example, when your child is attempting a new task alone and becomes frustrated, don't rescue her right away. Instead, gently remind her of the next step in the task. Speak sparingly but offer your encouragement. A word or two may be the only clues she needs to finish the job.

Another way to encourage growth is to teach in steps. You can begin a task for the child, then hand over the project. For example, you can set out the pitcher, sugar, measuring cup, spoon, and drink packet, and then have the child take over and make the fruit punch.

Tasks should be geared toward the child's age, remembering that children are not little adults - but they do want to learn new tasks geared to their level.

Courtesy Growing Child,; Dennis Dunn, Publisher, Growing Child, P.O. Box 620, Lafayette IN 47902; 800-927-7289;