Strategies to Support Emotional Development and Learning
Here are nine ways to support healthy infant development:
- Comfort young babies who are stressed or unhappy by swaddling, holding them close to you, rocking them, and speaking or singing quietly.
- Help young babies learn to regulate themselves by letting them suck on their hands, feeding them on demand, and helping them to fall asleep and awaken calmly.
- Be available for interaction when babies are awake and alert; talk quietly and gaze into their eyes when they are interested; allow them to turn away and collect themselves when they need a break.
- Mirror a baby’s facial expressions, adding words that describe the feeling with a congruent tone of voice.
- Express your own feelings honestly and clearly.
- Allow infants and toddlers to express the full range of emotions. There are no “bad” feelings and babies need to learn socially acceptable ways to express their feelings.
- Use your facial expressions and language to let infants and toddlers know whether a situation is safe or not from a small distance.
- Be responsive and assuring when infants and toddlers are fearful about exploring. Let them know you watch them and keep them safe.
- Encourage infants and toddlers to explore and play, while you remain available when they return to you for moments of contact.
© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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