Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

Kids in the middle years are great game players, and games help to develop many kinds of social and intellectual skills. Allow the kids to be flexible about rules; there’s no reason they can’t make up their own as long as all of the players agree on them.

• Keep a deck of cards on hand; they’re good for dozens of games and lots of learning. Cards are easy to carry too for those long waits in doctor’s offices. Also remember, kids love those little miniature decks. Help a small child hold a handful of cards by attaching a clipped clothes pin or place the cards in a slit of an aluminum foil box which can hold the cards upright.

• Teach chess by playing one kind of piece at a time, pawns first, then bishops, then a combination. And then slowly move up to other pieces.

• Devise handicaps that will even up kids chances of winning when they are playing with adults and teenagers. In checkers, for instance, you can turn the board every third move.

• Don’t deny or diminish your child’s disappointment over losing. Acknowledge it by saying, “it does feel bad to lose.” And when a child is truly tired of always losing, look for games such as Word, Bingo, even Candyland.

Vicki Lansky’s practical, common sense approach to parenting is familiar to millions throughout the world. Vicki’s first book, Feed Me, I’m Yours, published in 1974, and still one of the most popular baby/toddler food cookbooks in the country, was followed by The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. Monster, a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her other titles include: Toilet Training, Birthday Parties Best Party Tips & Ideas For Ages 1-8, Dear Babysitter Handbook, Welcoming Your Second Baby, Getting Your Child to Sleep … and Back to Sleep, Trouble-free Travel with Children, Baby Proofing Basics and Games Babies Play From Birth to Twelve Months, Koko Bear’s New Potty, A New Baby at Koko Bear’s House, Koko Bear and the New Babysitter, and Koko Bear’s Big Earache. Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath


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