Create the appropriate environment for the child's development
Children want to experiment different sensations to develop their skills and stimulate their curiosity. To do so, we can help them by creating an environment in which they will feel comfortable, safe and respected and where their autonomy will be encouraged.
Helping in everyday life
Getting dressed becomes an important activity giving children the opportunity to learn a deep and personal learning experience: they are learning to inhabit their own Self.
Leave the progress of the child to guide you, so getting dressed will become an enjoyable moment and not merely a mission to accomplish. Avoid aggressive movements and adopt delicate movements where clothes simply glide on. Clothes easy to put on and made of natural fibers will also help the child feel comfortable.
Dress a baby gently and softly. Talk to him, describe what you are doing and invite them to participate. In order to help the baby assimilate the getting dressed routine, always follow the same order and same distinct and gentle movements. The baby will soon be able to cooperate and participate.
For walking toddlers it is more gratifying to dress them when they are standing up. You can take a stool for yourself to be at their height and at ease. Invite and encourage them to participate by suggesting to put their dirty clothes in the basket or dirty nappy in the bin, however without forcing them.
In order to progress and encourage autonomy, here are few tips:
– Use your everyday dishes so that children get used to looking after them (avoid using valuable dishes…).
– Use a placemat where each dish and utensil is labeled to teach them how to set a table.
– Transparent dishes (bowls, cups) will help them become aware of the color of what they eat and drink.
– Give them a bib that they can pull on and off on their own, this will give them the sensation that they have control over things in their lives.
Establishing a routine at night time can help children to fall asleep.
Here are a few suggestions:
– Anticipate bedtime and tell children in advance so that they can get ready and integrate the idea.
– Heading to the bathroom to brush their teeth is a first step towards calming down.
– Reading a story. As from 9 months they can already choose between two stories.
– Turning out the lights, singing a lullaby, giving thanks for the day… all of these actions will help children to calm down.
– Say goodnight with affection and leave calmly and avoid going back repeatedly.
These steps need to be adapted accordingly to what is the custom in each family, the most important being that the child gets into a well-established and peaceful bedtime routine.