Distraction and Temperament

“Distraction” gets a bad rap–but it can be a very useful stress reduction and emotional regulation skill.

A dictionary definition of “distraction” is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” (From Oxford Language dictionary).

But what if that “something else” is a worrying or angry thought? Wouldn’t it be a positive skill to be able to distract from that?

Distraction from frustration or worrying thoughts can be a successful strategy to help us calm, center and manage our emotions and behavior. As long as the distraction techniques don’t get in the way of actually dealing with difficult situations, they can be beneficial to learn.

Continue reading “Distraction and Temperament”

Physical Play and Self Control

Self-control is an important part of emotional development. It is what allows children to manage their feelings and regulate their behavior.

The University of Cambridge did an interesting review of 78 studies that had been conducted between 2007-2017. What they found was that children who had more playtime with their fathers had better self-control, were less likely to show hyperactivity, and were less likely to lash out at other children at school.

The study identified “quality play-time with father” as the connection to this positive area of child development. Continue reading “Physical Play and Self Control”

Civics and Your Family

Civics can be defined as our roles and responsibilities (and privileges) as citizens.

Learning about civics includes:

  • How processes work
  • Our history
  • Identification of problems
  • How we create change.

Usually civics refers to government, but it can refer to any group.
For children, that group can simply mean preschool and family. You might think of it in these terms: Continue reading “Civics and Your Family”

Tummy Time

Tummy time is physical activity for infants; it is an awake, prone position that is supervised and encouraged by an adult.

Tummy time is especially important since the onset of the “back to sleep” campaign.
Since infants are now placed in a supine position for sleep they need more awake time in a prone position.

Research shows significant benefits including, improved motor development, and indication of reduced risk of flat spots on back of head. Some studies specifically indicate a significant difference in achievement of rolling, crawling on abdomen, crawling on all fours and sitting earlier.    Continue reading “Tummy Time”

Interactive Reading With Infants and Toddlers

Babies as young as 5 months old may show interest in books.

“Interest” at this age means turning pages back and forth and putting the book in the mouth. Think of mouthing a book as a “pre-reading” skill!

By the time your baby is about 9 months old they may be sitting in your lap to look at the pictures with you.

  • You can turn the pages forward.
  • You can turn the pages backwards.
  • You can read from the middle to either side.
  • Don’t worry if your baby wants to turn the pages faster than you can read–turning pages is a developmental task!

It’s okay to just name objects on the page and say a few words about them, without reading all the words on the page. Continue reading “Interactive Reading With Infants and Toddlers”

Cutting With Scissors

Cutting with scissors is a great art project AND a way to develop fine motor skills.
Using scissors builds finger strength and dexterity for later writing skills. There is also hand-eye coordination involved.

Most children really enjoy cutting with scissors. Not only is it a feeling of power and accomplishment to snip and cut, there is tactile feedback that is really satisfying.

You can start teaching your child to use scissors around 2 years old, when they are ready to follow some scissor safety rules: Continue reading “Cutting With Scissors”