Caring for tots: tips on cradle cap, tantrums and shadow puppets
Child rearing is one of the most rewarding, and probably the most challenging, of life’s journeys. These tips will make dealing with typical childhood concerns like cradle cap and tantrums a little easier. And once that’s done, you can learn how to occupy your child with some entertaining shadow puppets.
Treat cradle cap
In their first three months or so, babies may develop yellow, greasy, scaly patches on the scalp. The condition is harmless, rarely causes discomfort and usually lasts for no more than a few weeks or months.
+ Massage a little petroleum jelly, olive oil or baby oil into the scalp at night to soften the patches. Use a soft baby brush or a cloth in the morning to remove particles, then wash the hair and scalp with baby shampoo.
+ If the cradle cap doesn’t clear up on its own, or becomes inflamed or infected, consult a doctor, who may prescribe medication.
Deal with tantrums
Tantrums are normal in toddlers when they feel thwarted. They are just part of your child learning to deal with their emotions.
+ Stay calm. Don’t pick up on the anger and reflect it back.
+ Don’t remonstrate; in the throes of a tantrum a child is beyond reasoning.
+ Give neither bribe nor punishment. Send an unspoken message that tantrums are regrettable and serve no purpose.
+ Don’t give in to demands or you create a tiny tyrant who knows that tantrums get results.
+ In public, tantrums are embarrassing, but the same rules apply. If you once pacify your child with a treat to keep them quiet they will learn that this is how to get candy. Move to another place if your child is disturbing others, and let the tantrum run its course. Remember, most other parents have been in the same situation.
+ As the screams subside into sobs, offer cuddles, warmth and praise for the child calming down.
+ Remember this is just a phase — and it’s horrible for both for you and your child.
Put on a shadow puppet show
+ Shadow puppets are silhouettes of animals made by forming a shape with the hands.
+ To make shadow puppets you need only a reading lamp and an expanse of white or light-coloured wall.
+ When you put on your show, position yourself and the light source so that the shadows — not your hands — are the centre of attention.
+ Put on some music to add atmosphere. Withdraw your hands from the light as you form the puppets, so that each one enters the limelight with a flourish.
The following guidelines will help you deal with some typical childhood woes, as well as teach you how to entertain your child with a tried and true favourite: shadow puppets.