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Effective parenting quiz: How much do you know?

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Why are games important during baby's first year?

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Why are games important during baby's first year?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Games may help your baby sleep by tiring them a little, but their key role is aiding development. Until your baby is about 9 months old, he doesn’t understand you are still with him if you cover your face. So, your disappearing act in a simple game of Peek-A-Boo will thrill and captivate him. Babies learn to read sounds and facial expressions at this age, so songs, rhymes and games like Mummy-See, Mummy-Do, when you copy his smiles or cooing noises, lay the groundwork for social skills and communication. As he gets older, clapping games like Pat-a-Cake can reinforce motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

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You should start giving baby “tummy time”:

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You should start giving baby “tummy time”:

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  • Correct Answer:

Lying your baby on her front develops her neck and back muscles, encouraging her to support her head and stabilise herself when she’s being moved about. As long as she is always supervised and never left alone, you can start this as early as possible, but wait until the umbilical cord stump has come off to avoid irritation. At first, tummy time can be on the parent's chest instead of the floor.

Not being potty trained by 3 years old is a sign of developmental delay.

Not being potty trained by 3 years old is a sign of developmental delay.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There's no fixed timetable for potty training. Every toddler is different and being later than others is not a sign of a developmental delay. On average, potty training starts between 18-24 months, but the child continence charity ERIC says some toddlers are nearer to 3 years old. Boys are often slower than girls. Don't force the issue. Your toddler may let you know he's ready by anticipating his need to go, or telling you he has a dirty nappy. Some experts suggest summer is a good time as there’s less clothing to wash, and drying is easier. Be patient and ready to deal with accidents, and bear in mind 1 in 6 five year olds wet the bed.

The best way to react to bad behaviour during the 'terrible twos' is:

The best way to react to bad behaviour during the 'terrible twos' is:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There's no single way to deal with temper tantrums or bad behaviour. Effective parenting combines techniques that nurture trust, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility, while setting limits with logical consequences.

It’s fine to:

  • Ignore attention-seeking behaviour like tantrums as long as she isn’t harming herself or others
  • Let your facial expression and body language convey your disapproval
  • Use distraction, like a toy, to redirect a child who is acting-up
  • Make the consequence fit the crime, so remove privileges, but be fair
  • Reward good behaviour to foster respect and reinforce positive consequences

When is it OK to smack your child?

When is it OK to smack your child?

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  • Correct Answer:

There's no evidence that physically punishing your child by smacking them is an effective parenting measure at any age. In fact one study even suggests a link between corporal punishment of children and mental problems later in life, although the study had some shortcomings and more research is needed. The support group Family Lives says parents often resort to smacking when they are frustrated, angry or out of control, which doesn’t work. The group says children need clear boundaries from an early age. Parents should be consistent in their approach with more positive, alternative forms of discipline, like withdrawal of privileges and praise for good behaviour.

If your 5 year old tells lies a lot, she may have a behavioural problem.

If your 5 year old tells lies a lot, she may have a behavioural problem.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's perfectly normal for children of this age to tell fibs. She may be testing your limits, or simply afraid of getting into trouble or disappointing you. "I didn't do it" is a common refrain at this age and doesn’t mean you child is destined for delinquency. Avoid an over-harsh reaction and bear in mind, that 5-year olds don’t fully comprehend that lying could make the transgression worse. Watch how you question your child. If you are clearly angry and accuse her of something, you may scare her into a knee-jerk, dishonest response. Explain what she did is wrong and the importance of telling the truth. Then, reward her when she is honest to reinforce the message.

Sending your naughty 7-year old to bed without supper won't do any harm.

Sending your naughty 7-year old to bed without supper won't do any harm.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You may want to teach him a lesson, but withholding a basic need, like a meal, is not fair. Experts say food shouldn't be the focus of parental power struggles, plus a hungry child is only thinking of his hunger, not what he did wrong. It's better to look for an appropriate penalty like withdrawing a toy he likes if he doesn't take proper care of it. Children under 6 need immediate and appropriate consequences for actions, rather than threatening punishment 'when Dad gets home'. There's a good chance they’ll have forgotten the transgression and will simply be confused, rather than learning a lesson.

It's good to set limits for your school age child by:

It's good to set limits for your school age child by:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A successful parent sets appropriate boundaries for their school age child to keep her safe. While, it’s good to make sure your 6-year old doesn’t gorge on sweets and pizza, there’s no need to control everything she puts in her mouth by the time she turns 10. Allow her some freedom to define her own appetites, within reason. Similarly, be diligent by setting parental controls and checking the ratings of films and video games, but eventually you shouldn’t babysit her the entire time. Reassess her limits as she grows and assumes more responsibility. Reward her for good choices by discussing limits and allowing her a say. That way, she gradually develops her own self-control and learns to set her own limits. Above all, be a good role model and lead by example.

You should talk about alcohol with your child:

You should talk about alcohol with your child:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you wait too long to talk to your child about alcohol it could well be too late. Drinkaware recommends talking to children about the issues around alcohol as soon as possible, ideally while they are still at primary school. Talk openly about the dangers of alcohol and addiction. If you haven’t had the conversation yet, catch-up soon.

Which of these signs may indicate your teen has a drug problem?

Which of these signs may indicate your teen has a drug problem?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Changes in behaviour and appearance can be an indication that something is not right. It's important not to panic and jump to conclusions or accusations. All of the above could be connected to other problems, like bullying or the hormonal challenges of puberty. Stay calm and talk openly to your child. Make sure you listen, rather than judging or becoming emotional. If your child is involved with drugs, he will need your support. Prepare ahead by seeking out resources to help. FRANK's information on drugs and Adfam's resources on how families can be affected by drugs will help if you need to tackle a difficult discussion.

You should insist teens do what you say under your roof.

You should insist teens do what you say under your roof.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Good luck with that! It may be what your parents said to you, but picking your battles is probably a smarter choice. Just like babies and toddlers, set boundaries early on and be consistent. Rather than setting an unrealistic expectation of a perfectly tidy bedroom, set ground rules like:

  • Vacuum at least once a week
  • No dirty clothes on the floor
  • Change your bed and do your own laundry

Ask them to leave the kitchen or bathroom as they found it. Rather than nagging or yelling orders, make polite requests like: "Please stack the dishwasher when you finish eating." The idea is to encourage responsibility, respect for other family members and self-control.

What does FAST parenting involve?

What does FAST parenting involve?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

FAST stands for Families and Schools Together. It’s an early intervention programme that helps underprivileged children in the UK build stronger ties with their school, family and community. The initiative encourages a positive attitude to school and helps parents get more involved with their child’s life. One goal is to spend at least 15 minutes a day focused solely on your child with no distractions at all. Save the Children says thousands of UK families have already been transformed by the initiative.

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