Top 10 Parenting Tips from 2016
As parents worldwide look forward to watching their little ones grow in 2017, the ZERO TO THREE Parenting Resources team takes a look at our top parenting tips of this past year.
Tip #10: Read, read and read some more! Develop language and literacy skills starting at birth through everyday loving interactions: share books, tell stories, sing songs and talk and narrate often. Learn how adults—parents, grandparents, and teachers—play a vital role in preparing young children for future school success. Help them become self-confident and motivated learners.
Tip #9: Find some time to just play! Children are more than busy when they’re playing. When your children play with you, they also learn they are loved and important, and that they are fun to be around. Learn more about how social-emotional skills build self-esteem and self-confidence—babies and toddlers need it to develop and maintain loving and supportive relationships throughout their lives.
Tip #8: Get grandparents involved; they’re so much more than babysitters! Grandparents enjoy a special relationship with their grandchildren. They’re often willing to read the same story over and over, play a silly game, or say “who’s there” to a knock-knock joke more times than they can count. See our resources designed to support grandparents in whatever role they play in the lives of young grandchildren.
Tip #7: Try the positive parenting approach. Positive parenting is all about making child-rearing choices that reflect your beliefs and values as a parent, your child’s age and stage of development, and his or her temperament.
Tip #6: Help your child develop social-emotional skills: how to make friends, appropriate and healthy ways to show anger, how to manage conflict peacefully and others! All of these qualities, and more, describe the arc of healthy social-emotional development. Like any skill, young children develop these abilities in small steps over time.
Tip #5: Keep expectations for behavior realistic. In order to follow rules and understand limits, children need to develop self-control. Self-control and self-regulation are complex skills that begin to emerge in the early months of life but are not fully developed until between four and five years of age. Read more about how young children learn to regulate their emotions through interactions with peers, parents, and other loving adults.
Tip #4: Support your child’s communication skills. The capacity to communicate is the ability and desire to connect with others by exchanging ideas and feelings, both verbally and non-verbally. Babies start communicating from birth, help them along with these suggestions.
Tip #3: Consider your child’s temperament. Temperament describes a child’s personal “style” – the way he or she experiences the world. Understanding a child’s temperament is a critically important part of parenting.
Tip #2: Reflect on your experiences as a child to make conscious decisions about what practices you want to repeat and those you’d prefer to change.
And, the number one parenting tip for 2016 is… just breathe! Take deep breaths. Parenting can be a challenge and managing strong emotions in the process is surely much easier said than done, but it’s worth the effort. Taking time to breathe and regroup can serve as some very powerful role modeling for your kids and help you respond to situations, instead of react.