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Encouraging Play Encourages a Child’s Development

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We’ve all heard the term, “Oh, that’s child’s play.” It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child’s play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development.

We all know that children like to play. But what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development.

Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play.

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Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

monica-gozalo-138999-unsplashPlay enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child’s play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!


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The Hows of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 2)

Do you still remember the first 4 hows of positive parenting that we have discussed in the previous post? Let me recount them:

  1. Manage behaviour with Clarity
  2. Implement Rules with Transition
  3. Frame your Instructions in a Positive Manner
  4. Work on Your Own Mood and Transform Your Perspectives

Now, let us look into three more tips that can help you raise happy and successful children through positive parenting:

5. Validate their Feelings and Empathize with their Emotions

Is your child afraid because of the spider? Is she annoyed because of her sibling’s mischievous actions? Do not discount her emotions. Do not undermine how she feels by saying that it’s nothing or it’s not correct to feel a certain way.

We must all acknowledge the fact that all humans can become disappointed, frustrated, sad, lonely, and angry at times. Even though we are pushing for positive parenting, we cannot remain blinded by the truth that negativities can happen anytime most especially during the most unexpected times.

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When your child shows signs of anger or sadness, validate her feelings and empathize with her emotions. You can do this by uttering the following expressions, “I understand that you are sad (or mad) because of what happened. I know the feeling and it’s totally okay to feel that way. Come, let me embrace you.” Then after a few minutes of empathizing, it is now your turn to transform the negative into positive. Encourage your child to forgive and understand other people and her environment. Teach her to move forward from negative emotions.

6. Interact with the Same Level Physically

Mom and daughter talking about travel in the cityNot until when your child reaches a certain age, you would surely still be taller than her, right? But do you know that this physical gap between parents and children can contribute to misunderstanding and feelings of aloofness? In order to address this, you can actually make adjustments.

Physically, you can make sure that you are always talking at the same level as your child. Let your eyes meet hers whenever you discuss something. This will fortify the impression that you are sincere with your child. Even the very act of lowering yourself to her level shows humility and compassion and can even encourage more openness and acceptance on your child’s part.

7. Let Self-Expression Be Free Yet Proper

Your child is bored from your lunch meeting with friends then she suddenly cries really loud. Your daughter screams during your church’s afternoon service because she hasn’t had her nap during the day. Your son throws a tantrum at the mall because you didn’t buy him a toy.

Sounds all too familiar? Don’t worry, you are not alone. These kinds of circumstances are normal in almost all families in the world. That’s particularly because our children are children! They haven’t developed maturely yet. They don’t even have enough capabilities to control their emotions.

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As a parent, it is your duty to respect the way that they vent out their emotions. And it is also your responsibility to teach them the proper ways of managing them. First, look into the reason why they suddenly reacted in a certain way and resolve that. Second, create a diversion so they could move from the negative behavior to a more acceptable one. Third, talk to them calmly and clearly explain how they should behave the next time. Do not worry that your child won’t understand you because of her age. Just do the talking, and she surely has her own way of figuring out what you intend to tell her.

Positive parenting is a complex approach. It is not as simple as giving you a few commandments or guidelines to follow. So don’t be surprised if we will still have a third part for this topic. I know that you are eager for more tips.

Be updated with the most recent posts from Little Ones Life Skills by following our social media pages! The next article would surely be a gem!


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The “Hows” of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 1)

The two previous posts on positive parenting dealt with the whats and the whys… Now let us jump into the hows or the techniques by which we can effectively implement the approach. After all, what is theory without practice, right?

Here are some of the proven tips in raising happy and successful children using the theoretical and practical foundations of positive parenting:

1. Manage Behaviour with Clarity

happy family having fun together on the beach at sunset. Building sand castle horizontal view

What does it mean to enforce behavior management with clarity? This is basically about being able to let your child understand the reason for certain rules and the expected consequences from breaking such rules.

Toddlers and young children are inquisitive creatures. They do not simply do what they are told without knowing the underlying reasons for it.

For example, if you want to prevent your child from going outdoors in the rainy season because of the health dangers associated it, then you could set a mini meeting with her. Be creative in your explanation so that she can easily understand.

2. Implement Rules with Transition

Are you strict with mealtimes? Most parents would have difficulty following a strict mealtime most especially when their children are so hooked into playing. An effective way to get children easily co-operate is by considering the transition from playtime to mealtime. How do you do this? Give reminder signals.

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Reminder signals are a good way to remind your child of the need to cooperate to certain rules. Know that your child hasn’t fully developed her mental capacities yet. Rules can easily be forgotten when faced with enjoyable circumstances. A positive method of enforcing rules without risking the development of tension is by providing reminder signals.

3. Frame Your Instructions in a Positive Manner

How often do you find yourself saying the word don’t? Millions of parents across the globe have made it a habit to frame their rules using negative words without realizing that these could actually be confusing to the developing minds of young children. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to say what your child should do instead of what she must not?

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For example, instead of saying “Don’t mess up your room,” you could actually reframe the instruction into, “Put back your toys on the shelf after playing.” By doing this, you have clearly set the instructions to your child without causing confusion about what is expected of her.

4. Work on Your Own Mood & Transform Your Perspectives

623429-PNWEZC-168If you are really serious about positive parenting, then you should expect to be doing a lot of work on yourself. Positive parenting heavily relies on the ability of the parent to see the world in a positive light and to be able to control negativity in both thought and action.

Your child won’t always have a great day. There are times when she would get upset by a friend who may not share toys with her or be afraid of new events such as her first day in school. The way she reacts to these circumstances can be significantly influenced by your very own views of adversities and challenges.

Remember, light can easily radiate outside. So if you see the world positively, then you can also share the same perspective with your child.

If you want to know more check out the Learning through Fun and Play Masterclass:


 

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Getting into the Basics: The “Whats” of Positive Parenting

You all know that I am an advocate of positive parenting. But not all parents would actually understand what positive parenting is, while some would even have a misconception about it. That’s why I have decided to dedicated a series of posts that answer some of the most important questions regarding the topic.

For this article, I would like to delve deeper into the real meaning of positive parenting. What is it really?

1.What is the simple explanation for positive parenting?

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Positive parenting is basically a concept of child-rearing or the way that we bring up kids. It is an idea with the premise that our children are inherently good with the intention to act righteously. It is a method of child-rearing that builds mutual trust between parents and children, respects the unique individuality of kids, and reinforces the love and connection in the family.

2. What are the keywords in positive parenting?

  • pexels-photo-936120Individuality – This is basically the acknowledgment that your child is a unique human being with her own talents, skills, and capabilities.
  • Goodness – It is the expectation that your child has a good heart with pure intentions and a desire to always do what is good and right.
  • Communication – This is an essential part of positive parenting that emphasizes the need for connection through verbal communication and physical contact. It is the ability to be able to explain and not simply state your rules and consequences to your child. Communication is also the ability to listen to your child intently so as to understand the reasons for her actions and behavior.
  • Respect – This concept shall apply to both parents and children. One of the very foundations and beautiful results of positive parenting is the establishment of mutual respect between parent and child. It can never be one directional because respect always has to be earned and never just demanded.
  • Discipline – For every rule and consequence, there has to be a corresponding explanation of why they have to set and implemented. Also, the discipline has to be consistent, firm, and appropriate to your child’s age.

3. What are the challenges in positive parenting?

The main challenge in the successful implementation of a positive parenting approach is yourself. If you are serious about positive parenting, you have to be determined in various aspects such as in changing your perspective, setting aside your own personal issues, managing your expectations, and calming your emotional storms.

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It is normal for all parents to experience meltdown at times most especially when their children misbehave. To be able to successfully carry out a positive parenting approach, you need to work on yourself first. Be ready to take the challenge and embrace the exciting journey.

4. What are the benefits of the positive parenting approach? 

  • Strong relationships between parents and children
  • Healthy development of children’s mental, emotional, and social capacities
  • Better behavior among children in different settings
  • Children’s confidence and their ability to value their own unique individuality
  • More accepting, more peaceful, and happier relationships within the family\

 


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15 Easy DIY Meal Design Ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods. One of such effective strategies is showing your creative side and experimenting with meals, snacks fruits and vegetables.

Did you ever hear them say yuck over carrots or apples? Then what has been your initial response? Most parents would choose to keep the “yucky” vegetables or fruits out of their children’s eyes to prevent them from showing disgust over what has been prepared on the table.

But if you really want to let your kids eat a particular “yucky” food, then you better start normalizing the experience of eating such. A subtle way of doing this is by making different forms of one particular food and letting them try these. For example, if your kids don’t like simple boiled carrots, why don’t you mash them with butter, process them with burger patties, or make differently shaped carrot fries? Let your creativity fly during meal preparation.

If you do not know how to make food look attractive for your toddler we picked some adorable ideas for you.

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Isn’t it easy? here are more ideas

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