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Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Wolfson , director of our Early Childhood Development Center is an Early Childhood Specialist, who received her BA in English Communications from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University and an MA in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, both in New York City. Esther worked as a pre-school special education teacher for seven years. Three of those years were spent working in a school for language delayed pre-schoolers, which is her area of specialty. Another special love of hers is cooking with young children. One of her most enjoyable projects was developing a program for cooking with pre-school children for three special education programs. Esther and her husband Myles have three boys aged eight, five and two-years-old. While her three lively boys and her work at WholeFamily, keep her quite busy, in her spare time (if she ever has any!) she is an avid reader who also enjoys creative writing, exercising and swimming.

My three-year-old will have nothing to do with the potty. She's in pull-ups but treats them like diapers. I think we goofed because for two days we put her in panties and she only had two wet accidents. But she was afraid to have a b.m. When she finally did, it was in her panties and she was obviously ashamed. We weren't angry, but frustrated and she knew it. Now she will only go on the potty when she feels like having a candy, which we give her as a prize. I don't want to force her to try. She just cries. Can you help? AHi! I'm sorry that you have been having such a hard time with your daughter's toilet training. It is clear from the details in your letter that your daughter is ready for toilet training.

How do you know if your child is ready for toilet training? Although there are parents who swear that their one and a half year olds are perfectly trained, in my experience, most children are not ready to be trained until they are approximately two and a half and sometimes later. Trying to toilet train a child who is not yet ready, can set up a difficult physical and emotional struggle that can impact on your child's self esteem and ability to toilet train properly later on. If a child is ready for toilet training, a consistent toilet training approach such as the one I will describe, should be successful in a "relatively" short period of time.

Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I have an eight-month-old son who is bottle-fed. I have a problem getting him to sleep all the way though the night, and to take longer naps. I am also having problems getting him to drink more than four ounces at a time. He wants to eat four ounces or less and then wants more about an hour or two later. He only takes two to three naps of about 20-45 minutes each. I hear that they are supposed to be sleeping about two hours at a time. Any suggestions on getting him on a schedule? A Getting a young baby onto a schedule can be a real challenge. Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire formula, but let me give you a few practical suggestions that may help.

What's going on here? We've got a good mother, who clearly cares a lot about her daughter and wants her to eat and be healthy, but somehow instead of succeeding in feeding her daughter, the mother ends up feeling unhappy and frustrated. Here is an experience that most (if not all) parents share. You want the best for your child, you try to do what you feel is right and somehow, instead of everything working out as you planned, your child ends up ignoring you. So what should this mother be doing differently? In my opinion, the main problem here is that the mother needs to have realistic expectations and be able to adapt her parenting approach to her child's developmental level.

Do you find that your child refuses to touch her plate if the noodles are too close to the meatballs? Or that even the slightest touch of burnt crust relegates an entire plate of food to the garbage pail? Well, you are not alone. It seems to me that most families have at least one picky eater and mine is certainly not immune. For the last five years, since my son spit out his first taste of strained carrot, I have been trying to figure out the answer to this question: How Can I Get This Kid To Eat? Here are some strategies that I use to help my picky eater get the nutrients he needs to grow.

More parents than ever before are considering using medication to treat their child's emotional or behavioral difficulties. (See Who's Drugging the Children?) If your physician or your child's teacher recommends medication for your child, consider this option, but carefully weigh the pros and cons of your decision before taking action. With few exceptions, using psychotropic medication with young children should always be a last resort after all alternate methods of treatment are shown to be ineffective or inappropriate. Here are some basic guidelines and issues to consider as you make your decision.

Some of the most common questions I get from parents of young children relate to food. Does my child eat enough? What kind of foods help young children grow and get the nutrients they need? Here are some guidelines to help you make those decisions. THE FOOD PYRAMID FOR YOUNG CHILDREN In 1999, the Federal Food and Drug Association designed a special food guide pyramid for young children. You may already be familiar with the concept of the food pyramid, which has been around since we were children. Recently, the FDA realized that parents and educators need more guidelines to help them choose proper food for their young children and the result is the food pyramid for young children.

Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I am a 27 year old mother, worker and full-time student. I have a little girl who is three. My question is: How do you balance all of these things without one area lacking? (Especially my daughter and school work?) Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Everybody seems to be doing time out. Wherever I look I see articles about the pros and cons of the method and descriptions from parents of how it did or didn't work for them. But these descriptions are usually missing the next step: time in. I first saw the term "time in" used in The Discipline Book, by Dr. William Sears. He cautions parents that while time out is an appropriate method of disciplining children, no parent should forget what is equally important to their young child -- time in. What Is Time In? Time in is what should come before and after a time out. It's the time you spend encouraging your child's "good" behavior instead of just working on changing his "bad" behavior.

Q: Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I was reading your article, Making the Punishment Fit the Crime and it makes absolute sense. I have a situation however that I need help with, maybe you would have a suggestion? I have a five-year- rambunctious boy. He is very active, although he is not hyperactive or ADD. We refer to him as Dennis the Menace, because of the trouble he is constantly getting into. He does things that I would never imagine. How he thinks up this stuff really bothers me. Last night was the ultimate. I was talking to my mother on the phone in the Living Room and had been on the phone for about five or so minutes when I heard the smoke alarm going off. I immediately ran to his room and found him standing on the stairs screaming with a tea towel up in flames on the carpet.

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