First Connections

Discipline for Young Children, Part 3: Time Outs

Posted by Ellie Springer on Dec 14, 2018 2:00:00 PM

What about time outs? I am not a big fan of time outs where you just put your child in a corner by himself for a specific amount of time--a minute for each year of his age is one I hear a lot. What is he learning there? That seems to me like punishment, not discipline. I once heard someone compare time outs athletes take during a game or practice to the ones we give children. In a game, players and coaches take a time out to rest, re-group, and make a plan for the rest of the game.


If you can think about yourself as the coach and your child as a player, then a time out wouldn't be a punishment; it would be a time for you both to take a break, gather yourselves, and make a plan so that things go differently from here on out. Then you are also both working towards the same goal: a good relationship, with a calm and happy child and adult.

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Topics: Discipline, Toddlers, Preschool, Behavior, Social Emotional Skills

Discipline for Young Children, Part 2

Posted by Ellie Springer on Dec 7, 2018 2:00:00 PM

This is my second post on discipline for young children. If you want more of an overview and some key points to keep in mind when developing an approach to discipline for your family, check out my first post.

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Topics: Babies, Social Emotional Skills, Behavior, Preschool, Toddlers, Discipline

Discipline for Young Children, Part 1

Posted by Ellie Springer on Nov 30, 2018 2:00:00 PM

One thing I often see caregivers struggle with is how to discipline their baby, toddler, or preschooler. They're so little; how do you decide when to start disciplining them? And once they get to be a "Terrible Two" or a "Threenager," how do you correct, and maybe even prevent for next time, behavior that is challenging?

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Topics: Social Emotional Skills, Behavior, Toddlers, Babies, Discipline, Preschool

Choosing a preschool or child care

Posted by Ellie Springer on Sep 14, 2018 2:00:00 PM

The first time you drop your child off at school or child care can be full of mixed emotions--for you and for your child, as you are sad to be away from one another but also excited about all the new experiences s/he will have. School should be a fun, exciting place where your child learns new things, makes new friends, and feels safe and loved with wonderful caregivers. How do you find the right place for you and your child? (Remember, this has to work for the parents as well as the kids.)

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Topics: Preschool, child care

Why Sensory Play

Posted by Ellie Springer on Aug 10, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Do you see headlines everywhere about sensory play for babies and toddlers? Are you wondering what sensory play is, or why so many people recommend it? Or do you just HATE a mess, and you think that's inevitable with sensory play?

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Topics: Babies, Play, Toddlers, Sensory

Dialogic Reading

Posted by Ellie Springer on Aug 3, 2018 2:00:00 PM


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Topics: Preschool, Toddlers, literacy, Playgroup, Babies

Going to the library with your toddler

Posted by Ellie Springer on Jul 27, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Tips on taking your young child to the library:

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Topics: Toddlers, literacy, Community resources

Sorry, Not Sorry

Posted by Ellie Springer on Jul 20, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Often, when adults see a child do something that hurts someone else, intentionally or unintentionally, they immediately admonish the child, "Say you're sorry!"

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Topics: Preschool, Toddlers, Behavior

Social and Emotional Skills for 2- and 3-Year-Olds

Posted by Ellie Springer on Jul 13, 2018 2:00:00 PM


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Topics: Preschool, Toddlers, Social Emotional Skills

Play Dough Recipe

Posted by Ellie Springer on Jul 6, 2018 2:00:00 PM

To make homemade play dough:

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Topics: Preschool, Toddlers, Play

First Connections

A Blog to Connect Families with Resources to Foster Healthy Parenting

Our mission at First Connections is to equip parents with tools, practical strategies, and connections to other families and their communities to foster healthy parenting and guide them through the first years of the parenting journey.

We offer support groups and play groups to families with children from birth to age 8 in the communities of Acton, Bedford, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hanscom AFB, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, and Westford

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