Be the Guide Helping your Child Thrive

by Jodi Gilray-Szostak, PT, DPT, c/NDT, Jodi Gilray Pediatric Therapy

Here are some tips and tricks to help your little one blossom into a pretty cool human.

Put down the tech

Eye contact, social interactions and addressing your child face-to-face at any age is irreplaceable when it comes to your little one picking up on communication skills that connects them with others.

Children raised by parents frequently distracted by their phones tend to become more negative and less resilient into adulthood.

You’re the role model 

You are your child’s very first guide in life. Children are likely to repeat what their parents do and say. This includes everything from future career choices to how they manage their time with technology.

Sprinkle in positivity

Take a moment each day to think of some positive things to say about something or someone else and make sure your little one can hear it.

Eat as a family

This reduces the risk of substance abuse, mental health problems and eating disorders. Kids who frequently eat with their family often have higher resilience and self-esteem.

Drown yourself in words

Be sure to engage with your little one by talking to them (even if they don’t speak words back to you). Every opportunity or chance you get, tell them something new about life or their world.

You, the parent, should be the teacher of language and not the TV, the tablet or other techy devices that offers language learning. Kids benefit far more from face-to-face interactions.

Stick to a routine

Life happens, and sometimes life happens hard. During those hard times, you’ll be glad that you have a routine in place because routines help create feelings of safety and control. They help your child know what comes next in the day and helps them make better transitions. If the current home routine can improve, start small.

Maybe you organize a clearer routine just for the evening such as homework comes before play and play comes before dinner and dinner comes before wind-down time. Consistently practicing your family routine can get your child on the path toward learning and growing.

Move more

Whatever ways you can find to help your kiddo move more, do it! Movement can improve your child’s balance, endurance and core strength. Plus, movement reduces back pain and allows your child to practice their gross motor skills.