Learning how to use H.E.L.P

Toddler Whispering Workshop -- Lesson 1


Here are five suggestions that will help you hold back:

1. Let your child take the lead. If it's a new toy, let her operate it before you do. If it's a new situation or place, let her climb down from your lap or let go of your hand in her own time.

2. Let situations unfold naturally. Don't jump to conclusions or second-guess your toddler with thoughts like, "Oh, I'm sure he's not going to like that toy."

3. Get out of the way. Naturally, you know how to stack blocks without their falling. Interference tells your child she can't do it -- a message that will have an impact on the way she views all new challenges in the future.

4. Don't compare your child to other children. Allow her to develop in her own time.

5. Remember that you are not your child. If you hear yourself making statements such as, "I never liked large groups either," you might be over-identifying with your toddler's struggles. Better to wait for your child to tell you what she's feeling. Then you can say, "I know what you mean."

Next page: Encourage exploration

E: Encourage exploration
By encouraging exploration, you are showing your child that you believe in her ability to experience what life has to offer on her own. She'll know that you're there, and she'll glance back to make sure you've stuck around. By not hovering, you're telling him, "It's okay to venture forth and discover what's out there."

Many parents have trouble walking that fine line between encouraging their child and rescuing them. Parents hate to see their child struggle, but struggle is okay; it's how children learn patience and perseverance. How do you know when your child is so frustrated that she needs you to step in? Knowing your child provides important cues.

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