Did you know that when we share in our child’s excitement we are helping develop their social and language skills? A child needs to know that his feelings are valued and important. Sharing joy in our child’s experiences let’s them know that what they see is important to us!
Even in infancy we can make moments meaningful for our child’s social and language development. The coos and eye gazing are the first steps to joint-attention. When a child gets your attention and you share their focus on an object your child is building skills that will help him communicate effectively as he gets older. Toddlers will point, tug at your shirt and become wide eyed at all the wonders of the world. Take part in that excitement and encourage these interactions. Make every moment count!
Activities to Increase Joint-Attention
- Practice turn taking
- Use gestures to get your child’s attention
- When your child points or looks at an object add a comment to what they are focused on.
- “Wow, you really like the big wheels on the dump truck.”
- “That yellow bus is loud!”
- Match their play! When your child claps with excitement join in with the same animation.
Don’t forget to check out the Growing Sound website for songs that help children connect positively to their emotions.
These parent tips are brought to you through our partnership with the Research to Practice Team at Children, Inc. (CI). Children, Inc. is a 37 year-old non-profit who is a national leader in innovative early childhood education. The Research to Practice Team at CI is made up of child development specialists and educators who translate important research breakthroughs into practical strategies for parents and teachers.