What to do with this activity?
Encouraging your child and giving them confidence, while still making clear the boundaries of good behaviour, is a challenge for every parent. It's about balancing the right sort of praise with constructive criticism.
You are not doing your child any favours if you praise them too much. They will get an unrealistic idea of their own talents and importance. Praise specific actions, so that your child knows what they are doing right. Praise effort, improvement and real achievements. This will encourage your child to put the work in and allow them to gain real satisfaction when they achieve goals.
It is important to show interest in what they are doing. For instance, if a child shows you a drawing, ask them specific questions and tell them what particularly you like rather than too easily saying "that's brilliant".
When it comes to criticism, it's more effective if you express it in positive ways. For instance, instead of "don't do that" tell them what you would like them to do - "tidy up your room please" or "let's get going on your homework". If you would like a few more pointers have a look at this link from the Parenting Science website.
Why am I doing this?
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
How can I do more?
Songs and rhymes are especially good for children as the rhythms and repetitive language make it easier for babies to learn language skills. Babies love songs and rhymes, especially hearing the sound of your voice. This is a great way to help your child to talk and listen. Rhymes with actions explain what words mean - "pour me out" in "I'm a little teapot". You can also create sound effects when you are singing songs and saying rhymes. Use your hands to clap, your fingers to click and your mouth to make playful sounds and whistles.
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