All posts by Ana Sofia

Separation Anxiety: Get through it in a fun and insightful way

Just around their first birthday, most kids develop separation anxiety. It’s different for every kid, but, in general, it means that children get upset when a parent wants to leave them with someone else. This is a completely natural part of early childhood, but it doesn’t make it any less troubling!

If their needs are being met, most babies younger than six months have no problem being around other people. But between four and seven months, babies develop the notion of object permanence. Therefore, they begin to understand that things and people exist even when they are out of sight. That’s when your baby begins to realize that when he can’t see you, it means you have decided to go away. Since babies don’t understand the concept of time, they don’t know if or when you’ll return and it makes them rather uneasy.

Understanding what your child is going through and having a strategy to deal with it can help you both. Here are some tips to help you and your baby get through separation anxiety. Continue reading

Teach self-control through books!

Reading to your child for a few minutes everyday is extremely beneficial for her brain development, language skills, and social skills! Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged pediatricians to constantly remind patients about this!

Books can become useful tools that help your child identify and make sense of feelings, and they help parents teach children how to deal with difficult emotions and situations. Many times, books simply offer an easy and productive way to teach children about things like friendship, diversity, and self-control –a fundamental ability.

It is well known that self-control is very important for a child to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Self-control is the ability to stop and think before acting –maintaining composure in challenging situations. Therefore, to have self-control you must be aware of your own thoughts and emotions. For parents, teaching self-control becomes a priority, and it is an ability that requires practice to be learned. However, you should keep in mind that babies’ and toddlers’ prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with self-regulation and control) is not fully developed; therefore, it is not reasonable to expect a kid to have self-control like an adult does. If your child is very young, she will have trouble effectively controlling emotions, thoughts, and actions –and that’s completely normal! That’s why you need to establish limits according to her developmental stage.

Books can be a great way to talk to your little one about self-control! She will learn through the different characters and situations in the stories, and talking about it afterwards can help her compare and relate them to real life. Have you been introduced to Leslie Patricelli’s books? They are a must -very fun, light, and great for learning about self-control! Look out for these: Continue reading

The go-to tool to teach emotional intelligence

Books can be effective tools to help your child identify different emotions and learn how to cope with complex feelings.

The first years of your child’s life are normally an incredibly happy time for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that he does not experience other feelings. Current research suggests that a baby is born with around nine different emotions: interest, enjoyment, surprise, distress, anger, fear, shame, disgust, and dissmell. Over time, those feelings are combine with each other and with experiences to form more complex ones. At times, babies and toddlers have trouble expressing more difficult feelings and, as they grow, they have to cope with anger and fears. Those feelings can stem from challenging experiences, like moving to a new home, losing a loved one, or having a new sibling join the family. These changes often cause confusion.

As a parent, it’s tough to not be able to understand how your child is feeling –after all, he is not able to put into words what he is going through. That causes frustration. Imagine not being able to explain or even understand what you are feeling! Books can be useful tools to help your child identify and make sense of those feelings, and they help parents teach their children how to deal with difficult feelings and situations. There are a lot of great books out there that were designed to help babies and toddlers begin to distinguish between different emotions. Reading them, and then talking about them together will certainly help!

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Reading to your baby – Why the American Academy of Pediatrics urges it!

In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement asking pediatricians to talk to parents about the numerous benefits of reading aloud with their children, and how critical it is for their brain development, language skills, and social skills. Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, was the lead author on the new statement. She says that reading to your child everyday helps build a healthy parent-child relationship, because it’s an opportunity for one-on-one interactions. Kids who are read to everyday have stronger language skills when they reach kindergarten, and are therefore more prepared to learn how to read. That then predicts that those kids are more likely to graduate from high school.
So, reading to your child is extremely important! If you are not already doing it, start forming the habit today! You might wonder what babies think when they look at books. Although a baby doesn’t understand what the pictures or words mean, at around four months he or she is able to focus on them. Staring at pictures is one of the initial steps in picture recognition, a key skill that leads to comprehending the meaning of pictures and words. Babies will gaze at a picture for several moments and show clear interest in its colors and shapes; kids are drawn to brightly colored pages. It is very common for babies to show preference for a particular page of a book by staring at it longer than other pages. Early experiences with books will familiarize your child with them and create interest in reading, so it’s never too early to start.

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