Children’s social and emotional skills are developing all the time and those skills may develop differently for different children. Children benefit from having many learning and practicing opportunities. Babies are born communicators and are capable of experiencing and expressing a wide range of emotions. Through their many positive interactions with caregivers, they learn to feel good about themselves and to enjoy relating with others. They also learn how to manage a range of feelings and to communicate effectively to get their needs met.
Ways to stimulate development include:
- Having skin to skin contact with new-borns for as long and as often as possible.
- Always respond to crying within one or two minutes.
- Hold babies, touch them in a loving way, and make eye contact with them.
- Respond to babies’ coos, babbles, and cries with love and warmth.
- Talk and sing to children from the time they are born. Describe to a baby what she is seeing and doing, and what you are seeing and doing.
- Read out loud to children every day, as soon as they are born. Make reading fun. Have children sit on your lap or next to you so they can see and point to the pictures. Have children find objects that begin with the same sound — bat/ball, dog/door, milk/Mom, and so on. Read poems and storybooks with rhyming words.
- PLAY and ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY. It's in the ordinary magic of happy family relationships that healthy, happy children grow, learn and develop.
- And most of all – have FUN!