Early Experiences Matter

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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Tips and Tools on Promoting Social Emotional Development

PodcastsBeyond “Use Your Words!”: How Babies Begin to Develop Self-Control in the First Three Years - In this podcast, Dr. Brenda Jones Harden describes how young children develop self control starting even in the first year of life. Learn More

PodcastsShh, Shh, It’s Okay: Coping With Crying in Babies and Toddlers -  In this podcast, Dr. Pam High offers insight into one of the most distressing issues for so many new parents—how to cope with fussiness and crying. Learn More

PodcastSharing the Care: How Partnering with Your Child’s Caregiver Supports Healthy Development -In this podcast, Dr. Jerlean Daniel describes what quality child care looks like and how parents and child care providers can work together to share the care of young children. Learn More

PodcastsEarly Experiences Count: How Emotional Development Unfolds Starting at Birth - In this podcast, Dr. Ross Thompson describes how early emotional development unfolds and what parents can do to nurture strong, positive social and emotional skills starting at birth. Learn More

PodcastAcross the Generations:  The Role of Grandparents in Young Children’s Lives - In this podcast, Dr. Barbara Bowman talks about the important role of grandparents in the lives of young children. Learn More

PodcastOur Families, Ourselves:  How Our History Influences How We Raise Our Children - In this podcast, Dr. Dan Siegel talks about how the way we are brought up influences the way we bring up our kids—the power of the past on our parenting. Learn More

Podcast“I Like Me!”: Developing Self-Esteem in the Early Years -In this podcast, Dr. Jeree Pawl describes how young children develop self-esteem. Learn More

PodcastDaddy, Papi, Papa or Baba: The Influence of Father’s on Young Children’s Development -In this podcast, Dr. Kyle Pruett talks about the important and unique role of fathers in the lives of young children. Learn More

My 16-month-old is in that phase when he wants to do everything by himself, from opening the cereal box to pouring his own milk. - Ah, the politics of family relationships; so challenging, even when it comes to the smallest members! These situations are best handled by open, respectful communication and collaboration between the adults—in this case, you and your sister. It's usually a disaster if one parent starts disciplining the other's child, unless there is a clear agreement that this is okay. Read More

My 14-month-old is scared of the vacuum cleaner. Whenever I try to clean he starts to cry. I don't know what to do? - The vacuum cleaner, from a toddler’s perspective, can look and sound pretty darn scary. So the challenge is to figure out why your child is so distressed by it. Read More

My 11-month-old daughter has been sucking on her fuzzy blanket at bedtime for about 2 months now. Is this normal behavior? - Yes, quite normal. Like all of us, young children need ways to soothe themselves. In fact, self-soothing is one of the most important skills we need to learn as we face the many stressors our daily lives. Read More

My 1-year old is very receptive to everyone in my family and happily plays with whomever. But there’s this one uncle I have and whenever we see him, my son cries and refuses to go to him. - Even very young children can have preferences about all kinds of things—food, toys and, yes, people. That’s part of what makes children so unique and delightful—they don’t cover up their feelings. It gets awkward, though, when a child reacts negatively to someone, especially someone close to you like a family member. Read More

Most Popular Resources on Promoting Social Emotional Development - Here you will find our most popular resources on social emotional development. Read More

Messages That Matter - EARLY EXPERIENCES MATTER. Even the youngest babies are affected by their experiences in the world. Early experiences shape the brain’s architecture and impact all areas of a child’s development. What does this mean? Be mindful of your actions and responses to your baby. When you respond to your baby with love and sensitivity, you are nurturing his healthy brain and overall development.... Read More

Me Do It! - FAQ on moody toddler Read More

Love, Learning, and Routines - Tips for parents highlighting how routines support children’s healthy social-emotional development Read More

Little Listeners in an Uncertain World - Provides strategies for helping very young children cope with stressful, frightening or traumatic events. Read More

I’m a stay at home mom and my husband works 60 hours a week. At night when he comes home to play with our 11-month-old, she rejects him. - This situation is actually fairly common. It can happen when one parent is the primary caregiver, or the one doing most of the diapering, feeding, bathing, and comforting. Children tend to stick close to the parent whom they know best. Read More

It is impossible to grocery shop with my 22-month-old. She wants to grab for everything and struggles to get out of the cart...help!! What can I do? - One option it to simply leave her home. But for most of us, this is simply not possible. Fortunately, the grocery store can be a very rich learning experience for your child. That’s why in many children’s museums, preschool classrooms and child care centers you see a pretend grocery store as one of the learning centers. Read More

Is That a Lady or a Man? Responding to Your Toddler's Questions About Differences - Asking questions about the people and things that fill their world is normal and healthy for toddlers. But what do you do when those questions can be hurtful to others (or embarrassing to you)? Read more for ideas on how to respond. Read More

Imaginary Friends - My two-year-old has developed an imaginary friend. Should I be concerned? Read More

I'm Scared: Responding to Your Toddlers' Fears - FAQs on common toddler fears Read More

I took my 14-month-old to a new playgroup last week. All the other children were running around and exploring happily. My son clung to me for dear life. - Children approach, take in, and react to the world around them in different ways. We call this their temperament. One aspect of temperament has to do with how a child approaches and reacts to new situations. Read More

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