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All about Parenting Toddlers, Issue #028 - Reassurance: An Important Part of Parenting
August 25, 2004
Shaping the life of your precious onesAll about Parenting Toddlers
25th August 2004
Welcome to another issue of All about Parenting Toddlers .
In This Issue:
1. Reassurance: An Important Part of Parenting
You know about instilling values, teaching respect, understanding consequences and other mainstays of being a parent. But did you ever stop to think that a major aspect of parenting is simply reassuring your child?
From Birth Onward
How Much? What Kind?
Keeping It in Check
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At play, they apply what they have learned and find ways to extend their knowledge or skills to the next level of understanding. Children are active in their learning. They cannot wait passively for adults to fill them with information. When they play, they generate ideas of their own and become their own teachers.
Children learn to pick up elaborate details about relationships and how people interact when they play with one another. During play, they find out what really matters to other people and to themselves.
In play, children learn self-control. They can be spontaneous and follow their heart. But they must also restrain themselves from taking over or hurting their friends. They learn to delay gratification when they realise that it is more fun to share a turn with a friend. “You go first.” “I will follow you.” Or “What shall we do next?” are part of learning to follow before they become a leader.
Here are some ways to facilitate your child’s play sessions:
•Provide playmates that are similar in development and age. Children tend to play well with those who are at their own level.
•Teach your child how to cope with play problems. If the other children refuse to let your child play, give her some ideas to help her join in. I once told my little girl that she could be the house guest who brought lots of gifts for the family when she was told that she could not be a member of the “family” in the box house. I helped her make some pretend gifts and she gave them away.
•Allow more time for children to explore and discover new things. The role of the adult is to ensure the safety of the children and to respond appropriately to their needs. It is not your role to teach or take over playtime so that the children can learn something useful. The younger the child, the more time you need to allow him to learn through play. Children can do with the occasional support from parents. You can ask a question or two but stay away from turning the play session into a teaching class.
•Help your child learn negotiation skills during play. You can become your child’s co-player and demonstrate how you share in taking turns and expressing your opinions. If you do not prepare your child with some play skills before group play, he may end up biting or hitting his playmates when he cannot have his way. Show him how to take control and how to give in to others.
•Encourage cooperation rather than competition in children’s play. Young children learn to cooperate with one another when adults offer them support. Compliment the child’s effort in sharing or waiting for his turn instead of snatching the toy. Another effective way is to listen to your child talk about his feelings. Children who are listened to tend to express themselves better in play situations. They work out their problems amicably instead of using aggression. Their playmates trust them.
•Help your child find the right words. In play, those who can speak well and understand what others are saying tend to take on leadership roles. As they are good leaders, they are also good followers. They are popular with other children. Their language competence can help them sustain and extend their social play. If your child needs help with his language development, you may want to seek professional help as early as possible.
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See you in the next issue. :-)
All the best,
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