Behind Every Child Behavior, There is a Feeling

Behind Every Child Behavior, There is a Feeling

Challenging behavior in young children often triggers strong reactions in parents and caregivers. When parents feel angry, overwhelmed, frustrated or embarrassed, it can be difficult to figure out what is driving a young child’s actions. Sometimes a child may even seem to be trying to get a rise out of their parent! But behind every child’s behavior is a feeling that they’re experiencing, too. When parents and caregivers learn to recognize the feelings behind their children’s behaviors, parenting is easier. Also, the more parents understand about their children’s behaviors, the closer they feel to their children and the better they can express care and love to them. Children who feel cared for and loved develop stronger social-emotional skills like confidence and self-esteem, which make it easier for them to manage their emotions so they can do better in school and beyond. The behaviors babies and toddlers use to communicate with their parents and caregivers depend a lot on their age and development. Very young babies cry when they’re hungry, uncomfortable, or tired. As they get older, they learn to communicate using words, facial expressions, and gestures, too. By observing their children closely, and with a little practice, parents and caregivers can learn to translate the behavior they see—throwing food off a high-chair, for example, or having a tantrum when dropped off at child care. The effort to understand the feelings behind a child’s behavior can bring a parent and child closer, and help that parent teach their child the social-emotional skills they will need to learn and grow. But how do you know if a baby is crying at...
Raising Strong Girls

Raising Strong Girls

Research shows that early experiences in children’s lives have a lifelong impact on their learning and development. From the moment they’re born, babies learn to feel safe and secure in their world through the relationships they have with their parents and caregivers. When adults provide little ones with consistent, nurturing care from the very beginning, they help them to develop healthy attitudes about themselves and create trusting relationships with others. Developing self-confidence is essential to children’s healthy development and success—both in school and in life. Women’s History Month provides great opportunities for parents to share meaningful conversations and stories about positive female role models with their children—both boys and girls. Sharing books is a wonderful way to expose our children to strong, caring, thoughtful, and inspiring female characters of all ages. For book ideas for young children, check out some of Chelsea Clinton Shares Her Favorite Kids’ Books With Strong Female Characters.  You can use your favorite books to spark conversations about girls and women you and your child know and admire. When we incorporate these types of stories and discussions into our daily interactions, we can help children celebrate girls and women—not just this month but throughout their lives.   Tip of the Week Helping girls develop confidence in STEM during the early years lays the foundation for their future success. Research shows that activities as simple as using math and science words in everyday conversations can help children do better in STEM later on. You can take advantage of daily routines to introduce your child to concepts of measurement, shapes, or addition and subtraction! During snack time,...
The Magic of Reading

The Magic of Reading

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” –Dr. Seuss National Read Across America Day, celebrated today on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, reminds us that reading with your child isn’t just about reading — it accomplishes a number of great things. When parents read with their child on a regular basis—daily is fantastic—not only are they supporting their child’s ability to develop strong reading skills, they’re strengthening the relationship between their child and the world around him. As a parents, some of your most valued moments have been reading aloud with your children. First, the more a young child is exposed to books and reading aloud from birth, the more they move towards an amazing shift in their understanding of the world around them. You see, a younger child may not understand that printed words are actually conveying information. They think a reader is telling stories just by looking at the pictures in the book. So when they start to recognize that words are not mere decoration, but are telling us something, they’re reaching a milestone we call “print awareness.” We may not remember that time ourselves because we were so young. But when a child is read to, they achieve that awareness earlier, and are better prepared for gaining even more information from books as a result. Reading is a loving, reciprocal, nurturing interaction with a caregiver — and those high-quality relationships are the most important thing that helps children develop and thrive. For families that may not have ever had a model for how to interact with young children,...
Back in the Habit: New Routines to Kick-Off the School Year

Back in the Habit: New Routines to Kick-Off the School Year

Summer is almost over, and that means one very important thing: back to school season has begun! In the next few weeks and months, families across the country will start preparing for a new year full of learning — both inside the classroom and beyond. For many families, this season marks the beginning of a brand new routine as their little ones get ready to start school for the very first time. The transition from summertime to school time can be difficult for parents, caregivers, and children. That’s why this week, we’re exploring ways to help ease the process and make the most of your back to school or child care routines. Research shows that simple, predictable routines can help children develop new, healthy habits that will help them start each day ready to learn and experience the world around them. For example, having a routine can help your baby learn self control as well as guide positive behavior. Make a School Year’s Resolution To empower parents with practical advice to support their child’s overall development, NBC News Education Nation is sharing a free Parent Toolkit so you can support the students in your life who are preparing to go back to school. Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, another family member or even a teacher, you can help make a difference. Make a School Year’s Resolution with the Parent Toolkit community and be entered to win gift cards for back‐to‐school supplies. Share your School Year Resolution and join the community by visiting ParentToolkit.com.   Tip of the Week Sing lullabies with your baby every night. As part of encouraging consistent bedtime...
Let’s Celebrate Dads!

Let’s Celebrate Dads!

This week, as families come together to celebrate and honor  fathers, we want to recognize just how special and important dads are to raising happy, healthy babies. Just like moms, dads play a critical role in forming the loving and supportive bonds that nurture their newborns’ brain development, physical growth, and happiness. Studies show that children with caring and involved fathers get better grades in school, have more confidence, and are able to cope with complicated problems and emotions that they encounter on a daily basis. In celebration of Father’s Day, we’re sharing some helpful tips for how fathers can make the most of each moment they spend with the littlest learners in their life. Tip of the Week Set aside some time to play, talk, read, sing – and laugh! – with your baby. Laughing with your baby helps build emotional bonds, and laughter can release stress and improve your mood! While laughing with your baby, ask them questions like, “What makes you laugh?” or “Am I being silly?” to help your child learn to express their emotions and feelings. Family Activities for Father’s Day Do you have something special planned to celebrate Father’s Day? It’s never too late to plan something fun for the whole family! Check out some simple, low-cost ideas for spending meaningful time with your family...
On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

               Hartford Public Library 2016 Summer Reading Program June 4 – August 20, 2016   Earn incentives by logging reading, attending events, and completes activites this summer!  For every 15 activities you complete, you earn a free book and a chance to win the grand prize—a LeapFrog LeapPad tablet! How It Works                                                                                             1. Sign up for the program.                                                                       2. Log your reading and activities to earn prizes.                                                            3.Keep reading all summer to be entered for the grand prize! Get started by registering on the link below…. To sign up and track your progress,click here  For a printable log, click here On Your Mark, Get Set, ...