“You can reinforce language skills through interaction: looking at your infant; imitating his vocalizations, laughter, and facial expressions; rewarding her language attempts with heightened attention.”
Not like anyone needs to tell parents—or most anyone else playing with a newborn— to do any of these things. The coos and “mom voice” just come out. It’s nice to know that all of our silly talking actually helps babies learn to talk.
So, all you mamas apologizing for your mom voice in baby videos can relax. It’s just another sign you’re a great parent. 😊
Did you listen to the video? Caption: baby giggle.
Noutin started this little laugh this week. I can’t get enough of it! He thinks getting his clothes changed is absolutely hilarious. I finally caught this clip on camera while we were just talking on the couch. My heart!
Quote: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina
“Language gets learned in the context of interaction—in the context of eating and playing and asking for the names of things, not passively looking at a computer monitor.”
Yep, humans are better than any app.
Know why no one tells you that? Because talking doesn’t earn anyone money. In fact, talking takes your attention away from addicting, revenue-generating screens.
Fortunately, talking to kids is easy and free! Add in a little hands-on fun, something like a trip to the zoo with friends, and you’re surrounded by so many new words.
Parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, and everyone else, talk it up! Besides, it creates little mini me’s.
Leave a ??♀️ below if you’d also rather learn from a human instead of a screen.
Quote: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Diane E. Eyer, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
Today was a long one. It took us almost four hours to get to my parents’ house instead of two. Noutin slept the whole drive, both ways. My Nouarie had a harder time. She’s struggled in the car since she was tiny.
But, we drove through beautiful falling snow and made it just as the table was being set. I saw all of my siblings, including my brother Noland who drove twelve hours today. Nouarie played with her cousins. And, Noutin smiled and smiled in Grammy’s arms.
My family’s had some challenges this year, especially with with my dad’s health. This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful he’s finally getting back to normal.
I’m also beyond grateful to be writing this as my two babies sleep in my arms and my Nishantha is down the hall working on a project.
Today was a long one, but I have so much to be grateful for, including many of you.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Quote: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
“The eyes are the window to your child’s soul. Look into them often, and don’t be in a rush to get to the next thing on your agenda.
Just lingering for a few seconds of eye contact can make a big difference in the level of affection your child feels from you.”
Work. The holidays. Self care. Family.
Just a little reminder for you, me, and anyone else who needs it.
If you need the reminder to slow down right now, drop some ? below and then go make some eye contact. I’ll go first!
Quote: Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Arlene Pellicane and Gary Chapman
‘"'Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 5 Things'
🙈They limit screentime
🙊They don’t spank
🐵They’re warm and accepting
🙈They make sure kids get enough sleep
🐒They play with their kids"
I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than what this article covers, but it seems like a good start.
All of the behaviors on the list require us parents to be present and in a good mindset, which can be a challenge and a privilege.
And of course, some things are easier than others. Not spanking is super easy for our family. On the other hand, making sure the kids get enough sleep is getting harder, especially since smiley little Noutin was born.
Teachers, do you see how these things and also apply to our classrooms? If you read the article, you’ll understand the link even more.
What’s the hardest thing for you on the list? What’s the easiest?
Article Author: Christina DesMarias
Article URL: bit.ly/5thingsparents
"There are two things that grow friendship: consistency and vulnerability."
Consistency is what the kids get when quite a few moms regularly show up at around the same time at the playground.
Consistency and vulnerability are what us moms get as we help our kids learn to share and talk about the adventures of parenting toddlers.
Making friends is hard when you’re and adult. Show up. Talk. Show up. Talk...even when you feel awkward and self-conscious. It’s worth it.
By the way, remember the friend I made at The Little Red Barn that I mentioned in my YouTube video about mom friends? This is her cutie daughter who is one of Nouarie’s new friends!
Quote: Friendships Don't Just Happen! The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends by Shasta Nelson
“Play is not an old-fashioned thing of the past. Unstructured play—and plenty of it—is a developmental necessity for kids. Some might say now more than ever.”
Little kids need unstructured play to build creativity, emotional intelligence, and problem solving. Time spent in structured sports practices and classes is better spent with the adults just sitting back and letting kids play.
And, as a bonus, playtime becomes the perfect time for parents to socialize—with real face-to-face humans instead of screens. (That part’s from me, not the book!)
It’s a win-win!
Since I’ve been home on maternity leave, we’ve been able to visit our local indoor playground, The Little Red Barn, at least once a week. I love to just sit back and watch Nouarie play. I’ve also spent time with my mom friends and made a few new ones.
Parent friends, I know our culture puts a lot of pressure on us to get our kids to join something and stay busy. If your gut is telling you it’s too much or not the right thing for your kid, trust it. It’s right. Agree? Let me know below.
Quote: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
until it’s baby number two!
I totally jumped into a "sky boat' and rode 190 feet above gorillas and tigers with a two-month-old in my arms without even thinking twice.
I worried the first time we took Nouarie on the skyfari ("sky boat" to her) when she was a year and a half.
I was at home most of the time when she was his age. Even though Noutin sleeps though most of our fun and often just rides facing me in the carrier, I wonder how all of our adventures are influencing his development. 😬
What scary place have you taken a baby?
While the rest of my teacher friends were working, we were playing. Maternity leave rocks.
As I prepared for maternity leave with Nouarie, I dreamed up all these big projects I would work on. Ha! Ha! I was so overwhelmed with figuring out how to keep a tiny human alive and happy that I never go to them.
Now that I'm on my second maternity leave, I'm fill our days with little outings to keep us busy. Noutin sleeps through most of them, but I am grateful to be able to give Nouarie fun experiences out of the house.
I am still working on a few projects though. My brain needs to be learning and making to be happy. Right now, my biggest project is to actually build and sell an online course. I've been talking about it forever. I just need to do it.
Mom friends, am I just an oddball or do you also always have little challenging projects going on? What are they?
It feels like the whole world is watching and judging when you’re out with a baby.
The worst is when the baby’s fussing and you’re trying to breastfeed.
I try to tell myself to stop worrying about what other people think. Sometimes I’m good at it, but other times is gets to me and I become even more flustered—especially about a month ago when I was still very sleep deprived.
Lately, I’ve been looking for the sympathetic and nostalgic eyes of older mamas and grandparents. I focus on them instead. I try to convince myself that the people I think are being judgmental are really just wishing they had a baby in their arms.
Last week, an elderly man offered to help me load the car at Costco. I love little moments like that. I have a collection of little acts of kindness from strangers that I try to remember instead of the what-are-you-doing eyes.
When I see new mamas struggling or breastfeeding in public, I try to remember to at least say “Good job!” as I pass.
What do you do when you see a struggling mama? I hope you’re not one of those shut-that-baby-up types! 😁
Supportive high-fives to all my mom friends avoiding eye judgmental eye contact! You’re not alone.
I'm a teacher, mama, and mentor. I created the You Before School e-course and more. I'm here to encourage and share self-efficacy skills for women.