Early Development and Positive Parenting: the ESSENTIALS
1. Babies are born to learn. You are their first teacher!
Every interaction matters.
“A baby's brain is a work-in-progress. It is the only organ unfinished at birth...waiting for connection.
This time period is the most important in a child’s life. It sets up their ability to form strong relationships. It sets up their ability to learn new information. It sets up their potential contribution to our society later on.
2. It's all about forming a secure, trusted bond and "serve and return" interactions (5 steps)...
3. And responding to your child's cues in a sensitive way, at each age and milestone. ("responsive care").
This response is something you can learn and practice, so it becomes your everyday norm--especially in stressful situations. If this wasn't modeled to you as a child, you may need to learn and practice even more, to give your child the best start possible.
Zero to three:
Bright by Text sends no-cost parenting tips on a range of topics to families and other care providers, timed to the age of their children. Recipients can choose to receive texts in English or Spanish.
4. Create consistent routines for love & learning.
activities at same time, same way, each day...
Learning through routines
5. Set age-appropriate limits & rules for babies, using positive language to guide, instill healthy habits from the start.
Babies learn by watching what you do, so set examples of behavior you expect.
Use positive language to guide your baby. For example, say, "Time to sit," rather than, "Don't stand."
Save the word, "no," for the most important issues, like safety. Limit the need to say "no" by putting dangerous or tempting objects out of reach.
Distracting and replacing a dangerous or forbidden object with one that is okay to play with is a good strategy at this age.
Instruct, give directions (rather than ask, request)
6. Foster organized thinking and build "executive function" in your child by following these 5 steps:
Give everything a place
Practice Forward thinking
Promote Problem solving
"Organized children do not suddenly appear – they are raised. Training the brain to think orderly begins during infancy and continues in adolescence and into early adulthood. When children are young they learn where things go and when to do tasks, but as they grow older, the expectations of life become increasingly complicated. Planning and problem solving skills are needed to navigate school, work, and relationships."
--Damon Korb, MD (developmental Pediatrician