Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tips for Healthy Development for Your Grandchildren “Crash Course”

Understanding what to expect at each stage of your grandchild's development is only the first step. The next step is to put it into practice. It is important that your behavior matches the developmental needs of your grandchild. The following tips are grouped by developmental stages. Review them and consider how they relate to your grandchild's stage.

·         Attend to an infant's cry—this will develop trust.
·         Establish a routine and predictable schedule—this will create a sense of security.
·         Talk and sing to your grandchildren and imitate their sounds—this will develop language skills.
·         Touch and cuddle your child—this will develop a strong, loving bond.

·         Keep your environment safe and childproof—this will allow them to be curious and explore safely.
·         Help your grandchildren develop a sense of independence by offering choices. For example, "Do you want to wear your sneakers or your sandals?"
·         Have appropriate expectations. For example, understand that they won't "play nicely" with other toddlers because they do not know how to share yet.
·         Read to your grandchildren daily—this will develop reading skills and promote a strong attachment.

·         Be patient while listening and responding to your grandchildren's many questions—this will help to create a healthy self-concept.
·         Establish clear rules and limits—this will guide expected behavior.
·         Encourage your grandchildren to play—it is through play that children learn best.
·         Monitor what your grandchildren watch on TV—children should not watch more than 2 hours daily of educational television.

School-age children
·         Keep an eye on your grandchildren's activities and friendships—school-age children still need your guidance in learning acceptable behaviors.
·         Provide support and encouragement for your grandchildren's hobbies and interests; keep in mind, though, that no matter their skill level, too many demands will discourage them.
·         Be consistent with discipline by setting clear rules and consequences—children need to know what is expected of them.
·         Get to know your grandchildren's school teachers—this will encourage good behavior and study habits.

·         Recognize your grandchildren's need for independence and a unique identity—work to create a supportive and loving environment for your grandchildren.
·         Be aware of the emotional and physical changes your grandchildren are going through. Be patient—expect moodiness and self-doubt.
·         Listen to your grandchildren before jumping to conclusions—this will open lines of communication and trust.

In summary, as a guardian for your grandchildren you have taken on a major and admirable responsibility. The discipline and rules you teach your grandchildren will have lasting effects.

Source: University of Florida Extension

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