Take time each and every day to make quality connections with your children. Talking, reading, singing, and playing provide the attention and approval young children need to understand they are capable, loved, and valued. From the secure relationships established, children, feel confident to explore, discover and experiment which further fosters growth, development, and learning. When we interact with our children, we are their first role models. Demonstrating patience, attention, sympathy, and encouragement consistently provides good examples for them to emulate. Naming and acknowledging feelings, offering choices, (‘Which book would you like to read before bed?’ ‘Would you like to wear your brown or red shoes today?’) and creating environments where children can explore freely and appropriately without a lot of ‘nos’, helps set the stage for success.
Using Serve and Return to Communicate
Even the youngest of our children can carry on a ‘conversation’ with us. Recognizing that eye contact, coos, gurgles, and grunts offered by infants are conversation starters, we can return the ‘serve’ by smiling, making eye contact, and adding words to their noise-making. Communicating with your child as an active listener and conversationalist allows them to understand they are important, that their contributions are valued and that we want to know what they have to say. This is confidence-building. Model the communication style you’d like them to adopt by turn-taking, offering choices, accepting feelings and opinions, and not interrupting.
Open communication builds trust, confidence, and healthy relationships. When you offer your child open communication to talk with you, without judgment and with compassion, enables your child to talk about and work-through challenges and share successes.
Early Learning and Child Development
The early years of a child’s life are very important for their development. Learning appropriate expectations about your child’s development allows you to have appropriate expectations and to encourage healthy development by reinforcing your child’s strengths, interests, and capabilities.
Champions offers developmental screenings to provide a snapshot of your child’s growth and development. Developmental screenings help to ensure your child is developmentally on track by noting strengths and identifying potential challenges. These check-ups are free and can be completed at any time, for children 2 to 66 months of age. Learn more about your child’s milestones, how to best foster their development, and available community resources that can support you and your family. Contact Elena Medina, our Developmental Screening Specialist, to get more information and to schedule an appointment at 813-673-4646, ext. 1146 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our developmental playgroups also provide a variety of learning opportunities supporting early learning and development. To sign up for our playgroups, click here to visit the calendar on our website.
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, especially during a pandemic. Champions offers live, no-cost parenting support via our Parent Warm Line. The warm line is answered by one of our parenting experts who will answer your questions, share advice, help you enroll in our programs, or connect you hassle-free to someone who can help. Call 813-673-4646 ext. 7, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
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