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Reading to your preschooler and language development

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 06:35pm
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The latest science tells us that reading to our children does much more than please and delight them.

It helps them to build a large vocabulary and a range of language skills such as good listening and comprehension skills, which will help him learn to communicate and which are also related to children's reading ability as they grow.

As a parent, you can do many things to turn story time into learning time:

Open a book and read to your child to introduce her to basic aspects of reading, such as the way to hold a book and how to turn a page.

Read favourite books again and again. This will help her learn vocabulary. With enough repetition, she may also learn to tell the story on her own. Praise her for the new words she has learned and for her good memory.

Stop often and ask your preschooler questions about what you have just read, and what might happen next. This will help him develop listening skills and increase his comprehension of what you are reading. He'll also begin to learn how stories are organized.

Give clues about how reading works. Point to the words and pictures on the page as you read aloud to show him how the words go from left to right across the page, how words are separated by spaces, how words are made up of letters, and how pictures of objects correspond to words.

There are other ways you can promote language and pre-literacy skills in your child, such as pointing to and naming objects around the room to increase comprehension and vocabulary, saying nursery rhymes and playing rhyming games to help him manipulate sounds, and having conversations during everyday activities.

Knowing you are teaching your child as well as pleasing him, is one of the real rewards of parenting.

Content provided by the Canadian Language and LIteracy Research Network.

 

Video Alert!
For more information on reading with your preschooler, watch our Reading with Your Preschooler Comfort, Play & Teach Video.

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Comfort, Play & Teach and Your Baby's Social Development

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 12:57pm
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Every day, there are plenty of opportunities to use Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting. The following examples from our experts show how you can support the social development of your baby while doing your routine errands.

When you are running errands with your baby, he often gets lots of attention from the people around you. He sees many new faces and hears new voices, so make sure to talk to him and let him see that you are close to him so he feels comforted by your presence. This will help him develop a sense of security and give him the confidence to face unfamiliar people and surroundings.

You will also find that your baby is interested in the other babies you meet along the way. Don’t hesitate to stop for a few minutes and let your child interact and play with them; they may “socialize” by making eye contact and communicating through sounds or gestures.

When you leave the house and return, say “Good-bye” and “Hello” to other family members. Over time, this teaches your baby that he always comes back to his family, and that he can trust them to return when they go out too.

Did you use any of these strategies with your baby? How well did they work? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents.

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Finding quality time with your preschooler

by Maxine
Posted December 20 2010 12:21pm
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Work, household chores and social activities all put a strain on your time with your preschooler. It's really important to spend quality time together. This will help build a trusting relationship, and reassure your child that he can count on you. But you can't turn on quality time like a light switch. It comes sometimes when you least expect it, if you spend enough relaxed time and do enough things together.

You will, no doubt, start by looking for things that you can do to free up more time for family, such as:

  • Deciding which household chores can be left undone or be done imperfectly in order to make more family time.
  • Leaving certain things until after your child has gone to bed to make the most of your time together.
  • Turning some routines, such as driving to daycare or doing the dishes, into quality time by singing together or talking seriously about what is happening in your lives.

There will be occasions when the time you spend with your preschooler may have to be juggled around a bit, but try not to skip them entirely. Also, try to spend time alone with EACH of your children.

Remember that children like things that are predictable. So plan your quality times so that they can take place regularly. Maybe you can eat dinner together, or go to the park first thing every Sunday morning.

 

How do you find quality time to spend with your preschooler? What advice would you give to other parents? Leave a comment and share your story below!

 

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Helping your toddler cope with bedwetting

by Maxine
Posted December 17 2010 11:48am
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Remember, no child purposely wets the bed. And while it can be frustrating or upsetting for both of you, there are ways to make it easier on everyone. Here are several of them.

Try to decrease the amount of fluids your child has before bedtime and especially drinks that have caffeine. Make a routine of having your child go to the bathroom immediately before bed. 

Put a plastic sheet on your child's bed and keep extra sets of clean sheets and blankets close by.  You can even place a towel on top of the bottom sheet to help absorb any urine when your child doesn’t wake in time to go to the bathroom. This makes clean up in the middle of the night a lot easier on both of you, and you don't have to worry about ruining the mattress. 

Use training pants instead of diapers. Diapers can interfere with your child’s motivation to get up and use the bathroom. 

Make access to the bathroom easy. Place a nightlight in the bathroom or leave the hall light lit.  If the bathroom is a distance from your child’s room, consider using a portable toilet in your child’s room.

Be supportive. Tell your child you know it's not her fault and let her know that many children take longer to develop this kind of control.  Other family member such as siblings need to be supportive and not tease about bedwetting.

Don't expect too much too soon, or punish or shame your child for bedwetting. If you do so, things will only get worse. 

If your child is becoming embarrassed about wetting the bed, or you think bedwetting is going on too long, consult your child's physician for more specific strategies. Most children stop by age 5-6 years.

 

Did your toddler have issues with bedwetting? How did you help him cope? Share your story below by leaving a comment. 

 

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