Research shows that reading to young children has many benefits. Not only are you building an early foundation for literacy and language, but the quality time spent together reading enhances attachment and strengthens the relationship between the reader and the baby. Parenting educators talk a lot of about early literacy during our classes, but that does not mean we expect babies to read!
As parents, we often talk about how to help our little ones manage their emotions. It is a task that we help them practice when they have big feelings or encounter difficult situations. However, we sometimes forget that the way we handle our own emotions is just as important.
You have likely heard how important naps are in the first few years of life – this much needed downtime is essential for brain development and emotional regulation. However, successful naps are not always easy. Age, temperament, and opportunity are just a few things that can impact the quality and quantity of naps; and what naps look like for one child will most likely be different than another.
Because the concept of “sorry” is not something children can hold in their hands and touch, it is very difficult for them to understand. Children first have to understand empathy in order to be able to genuinely apologize.
Our language is a complex system of sounds, rhythms, pitches, and syllables. In an effort to engage babies in learning and understanding language, parents and caregivers often create their own way of communicating that we know as “baby talk” or “motherese.” Babies seem to prefer listening to this “sing song” speech; but parents may wonder if baby talk helpful in teaching children language.
Sharing is a very difficult concept for children to learn! Generosity and empathy- the foundation for sharing – are qualities that emerge over time; and considering all the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development that takes place in the early years, children do not have the ability to fully understand the idea of sharing until about 4 or 5 years of age.
The excitement of the holidays can pose a challenge to your child’s sleep schedule. Traveling, spending time with family and participating in late night gatherings likely means that there have been some missed naps and stretched bedtimes. While it is fun to have more flexibility with naps and bedtimes during the holidays, you may have started to see the effects that less sleep has had on your children. As you start the New Year, this is a great time to bring back regular sleep routines and make sure that your child is getting the sleep that they need. After all, well-rested children tend to be happier children!