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NANNY NOTES



Published: Wed, February 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NANNY NOTES

Here's Jo Frost on raising children:

Giving in to a tantrum is the best way to ensure there'll be another. Put the child in a safe space and remove attention. Do not bargain with a child having a tantrum.

Establish a daily routine and tell the child in advance of the next event so nothing becomes a surprise, even if you come to feel like a talking clock. "In five minutes, it will be time for a bath."

Meal time and bed time are the cornerstones of the daily routine. Early mealtime, say 5:30 p.m., is best for small children.

Praise in a happy, high-pitched voice, opposite from the voice of authority.

Don't offer too many choices to a small child. Don't ask, "What shirt do you want to wear today?" Ask, "Do you want to wear the green or the blue shirt?"

A set bedtime and bedtime routine are clear boundaries that tell the child you're in charge. Stick to the routine; don't make exceptions to accommodate the TV schedule.

No noisy cartoons or computer games before bedtime. It overstimulates the children.

One of the most important things you can do for the children is carve out quality time away from them to focus on being a couple.

USING NAUGHTY MAT

Create a detention space -- a mat, a step, a stool. When the children misbehave:

Crouch to their level and make eye contact.

Speak with the "voice of authority" -- a low, calm, firm tone.

Communicate clearly what is wrong: "We do not hit people. Do not do it again, please."

When it recurs, repeat the explanation and issue the ultimatum: "If it happens again, you will go to the naughty mat."

When they disobey again, explain what they did wrong and put them on the "naughty mat" for a few minutes.

Before releasing them, require them to acknowledge what they did wrong and apologize. Then leave it at that and invite them back into the activities of the moment, offering a chance to start fresh.

From "Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children," Hyperion, $14.95

'SUPERNANNY'

10 p.m. Mondays, ABC




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