It comes as a shock to many parents when they first learn that their toddler has been hitting others. Most times, toddlers start displaying aggressive behaviour when they are exposed to a new environment (read: playschools). This is a common problem and parents need not stress over it.
Your toddler is still struggling with his linguistic skills and cannot properly communicate what he wishes to. This is also the stage when your little one is learning to be independent and begins making decisions of his own. All of this combines with the impulse to try and control the others make children of this age get physical. A little hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler, but parents should not ignore this behaviour. Parents should let their toddler know that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable through different ways.
Apoorva came to us with the same problem, recently her 2.7 year old tot has developed the habit of hitting his peers at his school and she is looking out for help. Our SOS Moms gave their two cents to Apoorva on this issue.
Deepti Pathak advices Apoorva to simply stay calm, “Wait for another six months. Your problem is very common”, whereas Rekha Meena observes, “I just can’t understand why today kids develop the habit of hitting others. I’m a mother of 2 kids and both of them are very disciplined. When they misbehave initially, stop them immediately so they come to know what is wrong and right. Mother is the first teacher.”
Harsha Rajiv on the other hand has a logic we parents often overlook, “Usually when a kid gets hurt, elders in the house to console the kid say ‘Wait I’ll hit this thing that hurt you’ and thinking the kid will stop crying. This is really bad. Do divert the attention of kid saying something else, I tell my kid to stop crying so the magical fairy can come. I think problem is if the kid doesn’t like something he hits, even if it is a person. You have to convey a message to the kid with the support of teacher saying that hitting hurts. You have to keep trying to make him understand, don’t give up.”
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan says, “It may be a reflection of what your kid sees around him. Home environment, wordy duels between parents, cartoons exhibiting hitting behaviours or may be he is hit by either of the parents or elders at home when he troubles you. We have to start talking to the kid who exhibits such rude behaviour. Even if you shout at him or punish him, it is not going to help. Don’t hit him back, instead take time to spend more time with him. Whenever he is cranky give him something to eat. Again don’t feed him with foods loaded with sugar. Give him homemade food. Take him to a park, play area and indulge in physical playing. This will calm him down. Especially swinging him in a swing for 20 minutes minimum daily would definitely calm his aggression.”
Toddlers can be a handful to their parents. With all the energy and enthusiasm toddlers possess, it can be difficult to deal with them. But no parent should take their kid’s aggressive behaviour lightly, parents should explain to their children the consequences of hitting immediately. Sending quality time and a few measures can solve this problem once and for all.
We thank all the moms who came to Apoorva’s rescue:
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan, Harsha Rajiv, Deepti Pathak, Rekha Meena, Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Rajnideep Sandhu.
Reading is an extremely healthy habit that all of us should develop. Good habits have to be inculcated in a child right from his childhood so that it remains with him all throughout his lifetime. If you develop reading habits from a very young age, your child will retain the same later in life.
It is even recommended that would-be-mothers create the habit of reading good things as it impacts the child growing inside. Even while your kid is very small, try reading different things to him. You will notice that he will develop the habit of listening to things while you read out aloud to him.
Choosing books for toddlers
It is quite natural that toddlers will not be interested in books, which have only black texts in them. Rather they will find books interesting that has lots of colors, pictures and attractive items with minimal text in them.
There are interesting toddler books explaining simple actions like saying hello or bye and child learn fast when they see something and do the same. There are bedtime stories books as well which parents can read to their child and make him fall asleep. Interesting graphics and pictures in these books make them a favorite with the kid.
Books for pre-school goers
This age is a delicate one when the child is around 3 to 4 years old. At this stage children love story books as they can read some simple lines. Fairy tales are also very popular with kids. It is quite interesting to see that, on hearing different kinds of stories from the books, children create a new world of their own using their own imagination.
Reading fairy tales helps build your child’s imagination and creativity. Along with fictional books, various kinds of non-fictional books also attract kids through which they learn new things while enjoying reading. At this age, kids are also fascinated by ebooks available online. It may be worthwhile to invest in a few that they can read on your tablet or iPad.
Books for school-going kids
Along with interesting story books, kids are also interested in books that have fascinating facts about the world, books on general knowledge, poems and classic stories. Some kids are extremely fond of historical books and they create imagery in their mind about the past. The Amar Chitra Katha collection and Tinkle books are a fantastic addition to any child’s library.
It may be worthwhile investing in an online encyclopedia on CD, that often comes along with interactive features. Along with enhancing knowledge, reading books also improves the vocabulary of the child considerably.
There are only benefits to introducing your child to the world of books and as the saying goes, “Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.” So take your child in your lap today and introduce them to a world of knowledge and fantasy.
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Babies generally develop at different rates, so it’s not an issue if your little one is a little slower than his or her peers. However, this factor can be altered, and to some extent, depends upon play time.
As a parent, you are your baby’s first playmate. Play is how children learn about themselves and other people around them. It helps them build confidence, relationships, communicating and other basic skills.
In fact, play is as important as feeding, bathing and dressing your child. So make sure to find time in your busy schedule to play with your infant.
For the very first year of your baby’s life, play will not involve much of toys. Reading, speaking and singing would be some fun and easy ways to play with your baby.
Encourage babbling so your babies learn to make different sounds using their own voice. Keep on repeating these sounds and slowly turn them into real words. Moreover, read to your baby every day as reading ensures some rich learning and communication experience.
Outdoor play plays a big part of learning and development for your child. Playing outside the house will give the children a chance to explore another environment and create imaginary scenarios. It is also a good idea to include messy play which is enjoyed by most kids and gives them the freedom to express themselves.
Play starts from birth. As your child grows and develops, play changes from you playing with your baby to your baby gradually learning how to play with objects and eventually other children. It is a good idea to closely follow your baby’s instincts with play.
If your baby is enjoying with a single toy, you can label what they are looking at and show them what they can do with these objects. Research suggests that talking and interacting with babies from the very beginning is very important for their language development.
Toys and accessories with patterns and contrasting colors, curves, shape and symmetry stimulates an infant’s developing vision. As vision improves, babies are able to control over their movements and will interact to a greater extent with their environment.
To summarize, you can support your children’s learning curve by introducing toys slowly and by spending a lot of quality time with them. Make sure to look for toys that match your child’s developmental stage and interests, as this will help in developing their learning and attention skills.
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Over time, parents also tend to decode all the communication and understand their needs. New research states that baby talk, or high-pitched, extended vowels from parents, help babies learn language quicker and pick up words faster.
What is Baby Talk?
Baby talk or ‘parentese’ is not about using language or words to attempt to sound like a baby. Rather, the language used to communicate with babies is the same that is used when chatting with an adult. However, the way it is spoken is more simple, repetitive and exaggerated.
Research states that baby talk or cooing helps babies develop several capabilities, such as the ability to differentiate different speech sounds, notice the line between words and a flow of speech, and learn the skills of getting acquainted with discrete phrases.
How to Support your Baby’s Language Development?
Studies have found that kids whose parents talked in parentese, i.e. talked to them at a higher pitch and with elongated vowels had learned nearly three times more words by the age of two. (Source)
This comparison was made against kids whose parents used more adult-directed language. So using baby talk can actually help improve your child’s vocabulary, which is probably why parents do it instinctively.
Keep in mind these guidelines to help support your baby’s language development. Foremost, respond to all your baby’s cries. In the first couple of months and for some even a year, communication is mainly through crying. By responding to their cries, babies are assured that they would be listened to and that their needs would be met.
Secondly, try and initiate conversations with your little one. Emphasis on responding to their coo’s before you coo back. This conversation practice helps them understand that they would be responded to when they try to communicate.
Try to talk to your baby naturally and at all instances. It is a fact that babies understand many things before they actually speak. By regularly talking to your baby and listening to them, they will eventually comprehend and speak your language.
It may feel awkward the first few times you do this, however, it is sure to make an impact. Talk to your baby about daily happenings and about things that you are going to do with them. For example: “Mommy is going to feed you some stewed apple. Do you like it?”
Emphasize singing and storytelling as finger plays and movements and teach them words with physical prompts attached to them. For example the baby can ask to listen to the clapping song by clapping their hands, even before he or she actually learn how to say it.
Story books and other books with attractive pictures are a hit with most babies. Repetitive reading will encourage more steps for interacting with the little ones. To summarize, the most important thing to help babies learn language is to enjoy language and communicate with baby talk at all instances with them.
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Parents rapidly learn that shakers turn out to be their baby’s favorite toys. Singing a lullaby will rapidly lull their babies to sleep. Obviously, there is a relationship between music and your baby’s brain.
What parents might not understand is that these melodic foundations are changing the brain of their infant in ways that will nurture them all through their lives.
Several studies conducted by psychologists examining the association between music and brain growth in young children, all found that premature exposure to music enhances abilities in several other areas, including arithmetic and language.
Research suggests that music has a positive impact on the physical growth of premature babies and can promote serenity in infants.
Synapses Are Formed In Early Childhood
The initial three years of the life of a baby are the most important for brain growth. While the brain of a newborn baby is only 25 % of its mature weight, by the age of three years, the brain grows dramatically and constructs connections, known as synapses, between its many cells.
The synapses employed for classical music are akin to those employed for spatial and chronological reasoning, which are talents required for arithmetic. Just listening to classical music can activate the synapses.
The Mozart Effect
A study published in a magazine in the year 1993 examined college students who showed improved intelligence following exposure to music by Mozart.
The Mozart Effect was interpreted to suggest listening to classical music made people and even babies smarter, but investigations done by psychologists solidified the idea that early exposure to music develops cognitive abilities.
Learning Music Helps Even More
These psychologists discovered preschoolers who took music lessons performed better at spatial and chronological way of thinking tasks than those who was given computer lessons.
As this research is derived from preschool children, successive studies suggest similar benefits can be seen by exposing kids to music during their baby years, when their brains are growing the most.
They also suggest that listening to classical music offers only provisional benefits, whereas musical lessons has more enduring effects, since it in fact creates new paths in the brain.
Music And Education
The Texas University’s Center for Music Learning at Austin, found that babies can classify acoustic stimuli. Their study showed babies at the age of seven months could distinguish resonance and tune and could identify a tune when played on a single musical device.
Singing is a perfect way to promote language growth, and the examination of words and poems in the course of a known tune increases memory. The brain of an infant is not completely developed at birth, and requires a sensory key to the cells to construct and connect synapses.
Music offers an acoustic means of stimulus that can also carry enriching concepts, for example, language, which will grow as a baby acquires cognitive skills.
So now that you know how music benefits your baby’s brain, do you plan to expose your child to music or give them lessons? Share with us in the comments below and let us know.
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