The ideas below are taken from a few of the Devereux resource books for teachers and families. For a full list of our resources, please visit this link
- Smile and laugh with your baby. Every positive connection helps build your relationship.
- Encourage exploration. Offer your baby many new sounds, sights, touches, and experiences. Talk about what is happening as you explore together.
- Be consistent. Create and use a routine with your baby around feeding time, play time, and rest time. Consistency helps your baby feel cared for and safe. Adjust the routine if special circumstances come up.
- Try redirection instead of punishment. As long as your child’s safety isn’t a concern, try to limit your “No!’s” Instead, distract your child or get her involved in something else more appropriate.
- Include “down time” in your routine. A child “on the go” still needs time to sit, cuddle, play quietly, and relax. Too much stimulation may overwhelm him.
- Allow a toddler NOT to share some of her things. Keep these items in a special place so they aren’t out at play dates, and are safe from siblings.
- Read and discuss books about emotions and feelings. Talk about how the characters in a story are feeling. Ask your child, “How would that make you feel? What would you do?”
- Encourage pretend-play. Offer or make dramatic play items: puppets, dress-up clothing and props, figurines of people and animals, dolls, etc.
- Observe preschoolers as they work through a problem. Instead of jumping in with an answer, see how they do on their own first. Offer support and suggestions only when needed.
- Help your child learn to calm down when frustrated. Simple strategies such as counting to 10 or taking a few deep breaths can be effective. Help your child learn to say, “This is hard for me. I am getting frustrated. Can you help?”
- Talk about it, later. When your child has very strong feelings about something, wait until he is calm to talk about it. Children cannot reason when they are frustrated or angry. Talking about it after the child has cooled down will help you and your child talk calmly about what could happen differently the next time.
- Have a few simple rules and be consistent. Rules help children learn to make good choices. Be as consistent as possible. If a rule needs to change, explain why, and for how long. If you are not consistent, children will think that rule is not real, and are less likely to follow it.
- Make at least two versions of your “to do list”. One with weekly or long-term projects, and one for “Just today”. You may feel less overwhelmed when you focus on one day at a time.
- Make a list of people you can ask for help when needed. As you make the list, think about ways you continue to offer help to others. It’s what makes the world go around!
- Find ways to laugh. It might be your favorite TV show or movie, a website of jokes and quotes, a social media outlet where you can interact with others, a friend you might call, or a get together with someone who brings good feelings with them.