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Aha! Moments – Realizations That Make Your Life as a Parent Easier

by Dr. Susan Canizares | June 18, 2013 | Child Development

mom helping child language development and social skillsAs parents, we realize quickly that there is no hard-and-fast rulebook that can prepare us for all the challenges that come along with day-to-day trials and tribulations. But there are occasionally moments that make us say “Aha!” and we realize the right answer is just as simple as we’d hoped. As both a mother and early childhood educator, I’ve pulled together a list of some of my top Aha! Moments for unleashing a child’s learning potential. Here are some of those moments, and I’d love to hear more about the things you discovered in your own tenure as a parent that made you exclaim “Aha!”

Language

When developing language skills, children can be sponges. Here are some tips to make sure they are absorbing what they should.

  • Ring the Bell: Invent a unique sound or phrase that you say before any teachable moment like introducing a new word or idea.
  • Double Duty: Busy baby stopping you from finishing that novel? Read your book aloud to introduce new words and sounds. Just 10 – 15 minutes a day can improve her language skills.
  • Describe the Dog: Prompt your child to give all the details about a specific thing, like the family pooch. It can help her focus on different sensory aspects of communication.
  • Just Journal: Journaling can help give your child a sense of his own ideas as well as serve as a great indicator of his language development.
  • Good Humor: Having a sense of humor when you talk to your kids can help them see things from many perspectives and grasp unconventional ideas.

Social Skills

Being a part of society comes easy to some, and might take more acclimation with others. Prepare your children by incorporating these social skills into your daily routine.

  • Set a Standard: Teach your children good habits early on. It’s much easier to teach good behavior now than un-teach bad behavior later.
  • Stack the Deck: Make your little one an offer they can’t refuse: “Would you like asparagus, sprouts, liver or this delicious grilled chicken for dinner?”
  • Challenge Accepted: Encouraging kids to try new things gives them a chance to prove they can do anything they set their minds to.
  • Just Say No: There’s more than one way to tell your child “no.” Nudge him in the direction of the more appropriate choice, for example.
  • Ask Away: Instead of providing solutions and getting your child out of sticky situations, ask him what he thinks about it. Talking through a problem together is a great way to solve it.

Stay tuned to the Learning Together blog and on Facebook for more Aha moments, and feel free to share your own in the comments below our on our wall. What are the moments when you felt like you had a parenting epiphany?