Knight Ridder News Service

Wordless praise:

A dozen easy ways to praise your child without saying a word, from "The Happiest Toddler on the Block," by Harvey Karp (Bantam Books, $14):

? Silently watch with interest.

? Smile.

? Nod.

? Give a hug.

? Tousle child's hair.

? Pat child on the back.

? Raise your eyebrows in pleasant surprise.

? Give a thumbs-up sign.

? Say "Hmmm" and "Wow" and "Uh-huh."

? Wink.

? Shake hands or "high-five."

? Tape child's drawings on the wall.

Preparing for shots:

If your child is due for vaccinations before starting school, consider warning him about the shots in advance of his appointment.

Gregory Ramey, a child psychologist at Children's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, says children, like the rest of us, don't like these types of surprises. Speak with your child in a way that is clear, realistic and simple. For 5-year-olds, telling him a day beforehand and then the morning of the appointment should be sufficient, Ramey says.

Don't make too big a deal about the shots, Ramey adds. Some crying afterward is normal, but most children do fine with reassurance and continuing with a normal routine.

Compiled by Suzanne Perez Tobias of The Wichita Eagle. Write to her at The Wichita Eagle, P.O. Box 820, Wichita, KS 67201; or e-mail Please include your name and daytime telephone number.

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