Independent Learning Series - Letting your Littlest Star Shine!
It’s true that some kiddos can be pretty shy when you’re all out and about around town, or when they’re around a group of littles they’re not familiar with, but we all know they’re not shy when they’re at home! That’s when their personalities come shining through - because that’s where they’re most comfortable. Help them bring that sense of comfort out in other areas of their lives by building confidence and opportunities where they can shine outside of what is their daily norm.
What are some ways you can let your littlest stars shine?
Set Aside Some Real “Listening Time” - We know, especially with littler ones, there can be an average of up to 400,000 questions per day. Paying attention to each and every question and comment is just not possible. However, setting some time aside each day to sit down and chat about what is most important to them that day can make for a huge bonding opportunity for you both. Of course, the most important thing for them that day may be that they lost their favorite Lego under the couch and it took them forever to retrieve it, or that they really liked their peanut butter and jelly sandwich that day. Whatever the discussion’s main focus is, make sure you’re focus is on them. Spend time making sure they know you’re listening to every word. This makes them feel special and validated.
Let Them Help Around the House - Believe it or not, kids love to clean - under the right circumstances of course. If you hand a 4 year old a kid sized broom and a dustpan, they can spend 20 or 30 minutes sweeping a section of floor in the room. Give them a spray bottle with water in it and a cloth rag and ask them to clean the kitchen table - that thing will shine like the top of the Chrysler Building! They also really love to help with the laundry! Ask them to give you a hand with the laundry and watch when they pour the soap in... and then observe them as they watch the agitator wiggle back and forth. They’re mesmerized by the entire process! Not only does all of this teach them the basics of doing these things eventually on their own one day, it gives them confidence and builds their self-esteem. Plus, they love spending time with mom and dad while doing these ‘fun’ chores.
Baking Up Some Fun - It’s a pretty well known fact that kids love to bake - look at the Easy Bake Oven! That has seriously stood the test of time for quite a few decades now. Baking with the family is a great way to build closer relationships and to learn together. Have your little ones choose what they want to bake. Make it something healthy, but still fun, like blueberry oat muffins with a yummy honey base icing, or oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries, raisins and dark chocolate chips. NUM! Let them measure out the best that they can and pour all of the goodies into the bowl. They may need help mixing, but as long as they’re participating with you they’ll get the benefits of working as a team - as a family, to reach a common (and delicious) goal.
These are just a few ways you can help encourage your littlest family member’s to lead and experience being the one who is most paid attention to person in the room in a positive, productive way. Doing this on a regular basis will make a positive impact on in the way they view themselves and your relationship together.