Lately I have been reading a number of books addressing early childhood education and child development. I was initially looking for techniques that could potentially accelerate pre-verbal learning. To my surprise, a common denominator across all materials was the emphasis placed in confidence building. I know for many of you this is a season of long days and busy hours where reading may not be your priority #1. With this in mind I wanted to share a few principles to encourage you to raise confident little ones, able to face the world with aplomb.
1. Always Celebrate & Acknowledge Efforts Regardless of Results
Your baby needs to know that you are engaged and observing their every action. Celebrate both effort and intent as a means of building a willingness to try again and again.
2. Create a Culture That Embraces The Disciplines of Repetition
Practice does make perfect. From an early age it is very important to begin developing the muscles of the mind and body that value repetition. Learn songs, rhymes and dance routines that help your baby grasp the concept of improvement through practice.
3. Encourage Exploration and Experimentation
Curiosity is at the heart of learning. Give your baby the opportunity to engage with their environment in ways conducive to exploration and experimentation. From a walk in the park to having new toys and puzzles that challenge the mind there are plenty of ways to help your baby learn through discovery.
4. Be Conscious of Their Developmental Stage
We all want to be the parents to a gifted and talented child; one whose precociousness delights and impresses others. Please don’t become a slave to early performance. Work hard at teaching your baby new things but always remember their age and season in life.
5. Allow Them To Guide You Towards Their Interests
Take time to observe what your baby loves best. Even in their first year little ones will have preferences for food and toys. Allowing a baby to favor certain experiences is helpful in developing a confident persona.
6. Have a Ladder Plan
Put a plan together that gives your baby a sense of progression in learning. Always have something new to encourage sensorial and intellectual experiences.
7. Don’t Do it For Them!
Shortcuts are a bad idea. Give your baby plenty of chances to engage with their environment and complete tasks big and small to the best of their ability.
8 Watch Your Body Language
Even when we are frustrated we should not convey negativity. Let our body language be full of encouragement.
9. Embrace Teachable Moments
Did baby do something wrong? Don’t fret. Use the mistake as a foundation to learn and correct. This is specially important when teaching verbal skills as well as expressive language.
10. Look for Teachable Moments
Always be in the lookout for contextual learning. Babies feel and learn best when information is presented contextually or responsively.
11. Speak Words of Affirmation
Confident babies receive positive feedback on a daily basis. Say it and say it often. Word of affirmation are life-changing.
12. Be Your Baby’s Partner In Adversity
Your baby should never feel alone when facing challenges. Let your baby know that you are by their side and guide them in overcoming challenges.
13. Identify Moments of Courage & Celebrate Them
Many fears are innate. When your baby demonstrates the willingness to confront fear with courage don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate their valor.
14. Be a Leader. We All Need One
From birth take the time to show your baby structures of leadership. Knowing that there is someone in charge empowers us with the confidence that comes from the sense of being protected.
15. Give Your Baby Tools of Communication
Confidence is best expressed when we know that our needs will be appropriately met. Equip your baby with tools of communication as early as possible. From pointing to baby signs and facial expressions; everything that empowers your little one to have a quick and appropriate response to their needs will further their confidence.
If you found this information useful, check out our award winning baby sign language kit. It includes more than 600 signs, covers advanced teaching methods for faster results, and includes fun teaching aids like flash cards.
The Standard Baby Sign Language Kit, bundles together everything you need to get started with signing in one box, at a steep discount. The kit includes: (1) Baby Sign Language Guide Book; (2) Baby Sign Language Dictionary: (3) Baby Sign Language Flash Cards; and (4) Baby Sign Language Wall Chart.
Baby Sign Language Guide Book shows you how to teach your child how to sign. The book begins with a Quick Start Guide that will teach you your first signs and having you ready to sign in 30 minutes. As your baby progresses, you can delve into more advanced topics like combining signs to make phrases, using props, and transitioning to speech. (Regularly $19.95)
Baby Sign Language Dictionary contains over 600 signs including the most common words, the alphabet and numbers. The dictionary helps you expand your child’s vocabulary, and has the breadth of coverage that lets you follow any child’s natural interests. Each sign is illustrated with two or more diagrams, showing you the starting position, the ending position, and intermediate motion. This makes learning new signs easy. (Regularly $19.95)
Baby Sign Language Flash Cards include 52 sturdy board (4×6 inches) flash cards, covering a variety of basic signs. The flash cards allow you to teach words, such as animal names, that Baby is not exposed to in everyday life. The face of the flash cards shows the word and image for the child. The back of the flash cards show how the sign is performed, a handy reminder for the adult. (Regularly $24.95)
Baby Sign Language Wall Chart includes 22 basic signs, and makes a handy reminder for caregivers. The Baby Sign Language Wall Chart covers basic signs, like eat, drink, and sleep. Hang the poster in Baby’s Nursery to help babysitters, or other occasional caregivers learn and decode the most commonly used baby signs. (Regularly $9.95)
Baby Sign Language Guide Book
Learn the best techniques for effectively teaching baby sign language. Including:
• Quick Start Guide – learn the first 10 signs and the basic principles required to start teaching your baby to sign (Chapter 1).
• Advanced Teaching Methods – use teaching aids like books, flash cards, and toys to keep lessons interesting and challenging (Chapter 5).
• Phrases – teach your baby to combine signs and communicate more complex thoughts (Chapter 6).
• Taming the Terrible Twos – reduce frustration and tantrums by enabling your toddler to communicate (Chapter 7).
• Transitioning to Speech – use sign language to expedite and improve speech development (Chapter 8).
Baby Sign Language Flash Cards
52 high quality flash cards (4 x 6″). Featuring:
• Clean Images – real life pictures, isolated on a white background to make learning easier.
• Signs on the Rear – diagrams on the back illustrating the signign motion in case you need a reminder.
• Baby Friendly – printed on thick stock so little hands can play with the cards and they will live to play another day.
Baby Sign Language Dictionary
The Baby Sign Language Dictionary includes :
• Words (500+) – learn signs for nearly every topic of interest.
• Letters – sign the alphabet and teach basic spelling.
• Numbers (0-10) – introduce counting and basic mathematics.
Baby Sign Language Wall Chart
The full color wall chart (24 x 36″) includes 17 everyday signs. Use the wall chart for:
• Caregivers – help babysitters and other caregivers learn the basic signs so they can understand baby’s signs.
• Family – teach family the basic signs so they can join in the fun.