How to support your child’s development
Research has shown that the lasting impact of the early childhood years can be felt into adulthood. The experiences gained during the first five years of life will have a huge impact on the development of the brain and overall health. For those with young children, the last year has been tough and you may be concerned about the effect it will have. But the good news is, young children learn from many things around them and you can help them with it while having fun.
What to do about temper tantrums
Firstly, let us reassure you that this is totally normal. While it can be difficult to deal with, children need to go through the various stages of emotional development, which includes the odd tantrum. Young children find it difficult to put words to emotions such as frustration, anger, embarrassment, guilt and shame, which can often overwhelm them causing a meltdown. However, toddlers are starting to understand how their behaviour affects those around them, which will enable them to eventually move past this stage.
Jiggy Wrigglers top tip: “There’s often no reasoning with young children so distraction is the best way of dealing with the issue. At Jiggy’s we will teach you so many songs and dances that can help with instant distraction.”
How to help your child to talk
Children start to put short sentences of about two or three words together by the age of around two. At the age of three, toddlers start to turn into conversationalists and understand more words and even how to take turns when speaking. But even before they utter a word, you can start to encourage them to talk by simply holding your baby close and looking at them as you talk. Babies love faces and will watch your different responses.
Jiggy Wrigglers top tip: “Our singing sessions are wonderful for babies’ ears and will stimulate a love for language and music. Sing to your baby about your day, even if you feel a little silly at first. By joining in our classes, you will soon be doing it without any concerns.”
Toddlers are quick to understand concepts such as time and opposites. They will use their language skills to point out different body parts, colours for different objects and match shapes. Young children do not fear looking silly so they will solve problems by working them out, even if they fail a few times.
Jiggy Wrigglers top tip: “We encourage thinking in new and different ways through the various activities we do in class. One of the most successful ways of encouraging your child is not to intervene too quickly when they are trying to work something out. Give them the space and time to figure it out for themselves.”
How to help toddlers socialise
The lockdown has meant that many babies, young children and their families have been cut off from all the usual interactions. Following the rules on social distancing and meeting up has meant that children have missed out on important socialising time with others. While toddlers don’t necessarily have the conversation skills, they still like to see what other children are doing and can connect by showing each other things or sharing activities, so video calls are a good substitute.
Jiggy Wrigglers top tip: “Throughout the lockdowns, we have been running our sessions online and it has been amazing seeing the children connect virtually to us and to each other. The children have adapted so well to the virtual Jiggy’s studios and for the families, it has given them a chance to really enjoy watching their children have fun, without having to be constantly thinking of activities themselves. That connection with other parents going through the same thing has also been a huge support for many.”
How to help with everyday skills
As babies grow into toddlers, they will become keener to do more things for themselves. This can include anything from washing their own hands, feeding themselves and having strong opinions about what to wear. You may find that they want to start copying what you do and will feel very proud of themselves for completing tasks.
Jiggy Wrigglers top tip: “We really believe that building children’s confidence is the key to help them develop everyday skills. In our activities, we make sure that each and every child can feel like they are achieving whilst having fun. This will give them the self-belief to continue to try new things and start to develop resilience for when things don’t go to plan.”
Expert tips to support your child’s development
- Talk, smile and read to your baby.
- Play peek a boo and get siblings involved.
- Introduce the element of choice.
- Keep lots of paper and pencils handy for drawing.
- Set simple but consistent rules.
- Give your child time to work things out for themselves.
- Celebrate success.
- Give your child responsibilities.
- Involve your child in everyday conversations.
- Get involved in make believe play.
- Encourage independent play.
- Give them small household tasks to do.