What to do (mini Guide)
What to do to guide your little one to…
Part Two, section one embraces the first year. During that year, a foundation can be erected that will provide a core to support all the challenges life has to offer.
I have highlighted some of the simple and uncomplicated things a parent (or caregiver) can do when she thinks, “What can I do to help my little one…?” Or maybe you know someone who fits that description: you can help without appearing nosy or prying. The following mini guide is offered as a partial reference point: These points appear throughout part two (the action portion of our “Bridge to Success”).
What can I do to help my little one Adjust to his/her new world?
“Try to establish routines early on, they help her adjust to her new world.” For example, at first she is either asleep or awake, so, you might want to establish definite nap times. During those times, insure that sounds and activity around her are at a minimum. On the other hand, during the times you want her to be alert, plan trips, lots of talk and other activity; especially some kind of music (especially the kind you want her to become accustomed to).
What can I do to help my little one know, enjoy, & Explore her/his body?
[“Teach her about her body and how different parts relate to each other. In addition, teach function of individual parts of the body. Andy Griffiths has written a delightful book titled, ‘What Body Part is That?’”]. Not only can you teach your Little One about parts of the body, but you can have lots of fun doing it (especially dispelling comments of misinformation).
What can I do to help my little one Be more creative?
“It is best to help him be creative by motivating him by reducing the TV time that he spends alone. I know oftentimes it’s difficult, but for the most part when he watches TV, it reduces his creativity because producers of TV shows are seeking to identify what is, as opposed to what things could be. For example you could develop an animal that has a deep, deep sound have the appearance of a mouse, or conversely, a soprano sound come from an elephant, or a hippo.
What can I do to be most effective when I critique my child’s behavior?
“When you say “No,” critique the behavior, not your Little One. For example, when she does something inappropriate, you might say, “You are a wonderful little girl and I love you very much, but you should never do that: and this is the reason why.” Always look her in the eyes as you talk, always explain your reasoning, and end the talk with a caring hug!
What can I do to solve the problem when my child cries?
“The one thing your little one never needs is punishment. If he cries, it is for a reason. He is either uncomfortable (in pain, hungry or afraid), or he simply wants attention. Identify the reason, then respond accordingly.” Take a look at the section, “Birth to six months.”
How can I encourage my child to do things when he can’t seem to do anything right?
“The best way to encourage him is with praise; he won’t be perfect in anything he attempts, but he’ll make progress and that’s when acknowledgement of his advances is of paramount importance. If he “can’t seem to do anything right,” no problem. As the parent, your job of molding him is to establish a starting point from which you can measure his progress, even if it is minimal. Never lower your standards, simply identify his starting point. An example: start with selecting the king of bonding games: “catch”. If he is absolutely, positively terrible at trying to catch a ball, no problem! Your starting point is to establish a point from which he is in complete control, that he can do, even if he’s alone, and that he can measure his own progress. That point is the act of throwing an object (it can be a ball, a rock, a stick, etc.). If you don’t feel comfortable teaching throwing, no problem! Just access “Bridge to Success” Games and recreation Archives (that’s the Saturday ARCHIVES, “How to throw a ball.”) You, the parent, teach him the fundamentals, then say to him, “Now that you know the proper way to do it, let’s practice.” You can add, “The best thing I like about this game is that we can do it together, but since sometimes I’m at work or otherwise busy, you also can do it by yourself.” The other thing I like about it is, since you are in complete control, you are safe. The only thing to be careful of is, don’t injure anybody else or any property: then you can add, “if you hurt someone else, or damage someone else’s property, then both of us could face painful consequences! Now, let me teach you how to throw a ball.”
On the other hand, maybe playing with a ball is not his “cup of tea.” Don’t give up too soon, but that’s not a problem. How about tic tac toe, checkers, chess, Uno, Old Maid, putt putt, marbles, etc.
How can I energize (have more energy) during every hour of each day?
“There are things that you can do to energize every hour of each day and get the most out of what life has to offer. The single most effective thing you can do is to plan what you are going to do a day (or longer) in advance, that way you will appear to have much more energy and time at your convenience.”
How can I cause my child to enjoy interacting with other people?
“To learn about the world around him, he needs to see, hear, smell, and touch things and people: especially people. Be careful, don’t be overly friendly; however, do be friendly: carefully allow others (those of whom you are familiar) to hold him, hug him, and talk to him.”
How can I get him to want to help doing things around the house?
“If you are performing activities around the house, don’t hesitate: encourage him to “help you” do things with you. Remember the two key things you have at your disposal: first, you are in control, second, he/she wants to please you. The formula is, don’t be demanding (remember, he/she wants to please you), even in extreme situations: for example, “Sweetheart, I know you want to go play, I know you’re going to have a lot of fun, but can you help mommy/daddy (make the bed, empty the trash, sweep the carpet, put away your toys, etc.) right quick?” The key here is, don’t impose your will on your child unnecessarily, on the other hand, never shy away from asking for help when you need it. Good things come in three’s: 1) make it of short duration (an hour is about max for this group: if it requires more, just say, “We’ve been at this for a long time, how about we take a break — how about a (soda, ice cream, card game, walk in the park, etc), we’ll finish this when we get back. That okay with you?).” 2) make it happen, 3) make it fun.
How do I promote the most important educational skills for him to master?
“Reading is undoubtedly the single most important educational skill for him to master: mainly because it is the key to all the other subjects he will learn: in school and in life. Plus, it is the key to worlds of pleasure and information via books, magazines, and newspapers.” Read to your Little One at least fifteen minutes a day, every day. Also, read books, newspapers, magazines yourself: the most important is to make reading fun, it’s especially easy to make it fun because you are in complete control and he wants to please you, which means, start with finding something you enjoy. If that doesn’t float his boat, then find something that does! Make sure there are lots of pictures he can look at.
How do I motivate him to want to read?
“You may not know when your child is ready to read unless you begin reading to him. On the other hand, you can speed the process and motivate him to want to read by having fun as you share the reading experience. Keep in mind, having fun within the “barrel of fun” life has to offer, is a motivating experience in and of itself. Remember our motto, “Make it Happen and make it Fun!”
How do I help my child develop his personality and mannerisms?
“Continually talk with him, especially as you talk with other people during your travels. That way he’ll become more secure, more positive, and more persuasive in his personality and mannerisms. Make sure he is aware to never interrupt you or others when they are talking (unless an emergency arises). That way, he’ll become more adept at communicating with a wide variety of people.
How do I be relaxed and at the same time teach rhythm, music, love and caring?
“When my two boys were in this age group, we would listen to music and dance and sing along with a program Worldbook had developed called “letter people.” They no longer provide that program; however, the TV program “Sesame Street” provided something similar to it. It was fun for all of us, and it helped teach rhythm, music, love, caring and sharing.” The key is to relax and share different kinds of music with your Little One, plus encourage dancing to various tunes and rhythm that turns him on.
When is the best time to start establishing rules of behavior with my child?
Immediately; however, that’s not the complete answer. The reason is, when your child does not adhere to your previously established rules of behavior, he must suffer the consequences: consequences involve degrees of pain. The point to be made here is, when you can look deep into your Little One’s eyes and know she knows exactly what she is doing, it is time to start establishing and enforcing rules of behavior. A parent never needs to punish his child; however, consequences involve corporal persuasion (not “corporal punishment”). There is never a need to punish your child: keep in mind you caused your child to be like he is, if there is any punishing to be had, look in the mirror: you may need to make personal adjustments.
What do I do to teach my child a practical sport?
“Whether you do or not, by all means, insure that your little one is taught to swim even before he can walk (it is much easier that way). A YMCA near you can provide classes or information for swimming lessons (it is probably the most practical sport in life: it’s usually fun too!).
How can I be sure my child is safe and is aware of safety rules around water?
“Insure he is taught to swim! Most babies are naturally cautious; on the other hand, they are also naturally extremely curious, so keep an eye on them at all times, especially around water.”
How do I teach my child about love and security?
“To learn about love and security, primarily he needs to be cuddled and gently cared for. Remember what we said earlier: continuously talk with him, give him lots of hugs and kisses. However, don’t overdo it, remember the “Smile Index” (SI).”
What is the best way to teach my child to talk?
“To learn to talk, he needs to be talked to. Talk to him, no baby talk: talk as though you are talking to a close friend. It doesn’t matter what you talk about; in fact, it doesn’t have to be meaningful at first, but try to make it meaningful to some degree.”
How do I teach my child about the world around us?
“To learn about the world around him, he needs to see, hear, smell, and touch things and people: especially people. You, as well as his observation of what people say, compared to what they do is educational. On occasion, talk with your child, compare what people say compared to their appearance and manner. In other words, compare the words people use with the actions they actually present.
What is the most effective way to improve the quality of time with my child?
“The quality of time is much more important than quantity of time. In other words, giving of ourselves does not mean a day is more important than an hour, nor does it mean giving material things represents caring and concern. What it does mean is that an hour of caring and sharing of one’s self can equal many days, even months, of simply accompanying your child in body alone.”
What is the most effective way to establish routines for my child?
“Help her learn about time by talking about the daily schedule: “Grandma is coming over tonight for dinner, but first, its naptime; in other words, teach her to expect certain routines every day: a certain time every day for naps, bedtime, meal time, etc.”
You might have noticed, there are quotation marks around each answer. The reason is, the answers appear in concert within the content of this effort; in other words, no need to be concerned that you might have missed something. In many instances, there will also be other references where you can obtain much greater detail. “Bridge to Success” is simply the Cadillac of parenting guides (modest me)!