What do young children really need?

April 1, 2008 6:59:14 PM PDT
Learn how you can help your youngster thrive through imagination.

What do young children need to help them thrive? How can they use their imagination in a positive way? Nurse Rona Renner, host of the radio talk show "Childhood Matters" on 98.1 KISS-FM, has some helpful advice.

What do young children really need?

If your children seem anxious or unhappy, or are acting out or withdrawn, think about how they spend their time and what their environment is like.

5 P's to provide:

Play time: Provide unstructured time for children to use their imaginations, express their creativity, learn social and problem solving skills, and have plenty of fun. Play is the main way young children learn about themselves and the world they live in.

Patience and Practice: Notice if you're impatient with your children and expect them to adjust to transition and changes at the snap of a finger. When you ask them to do something take a deep breath and give them a minute to adjust what they're doing. Practice staying calm. A controlled emotional response will be most effective when you need to set a limit.

Positive attention: Children love their parents, and want to be seen in a positive way by their parents. Spend individual time with your child, smile and make eye contact when you talk to them, let them know you love them for who they are, not just for what they do.

Peace: A peaceful home provides children with a safe place to grow. Even if your community isn't peaceful or your country isn't peaceful, you can make your home a place of peace. Set an example of treating everyone in your family with respect and listen to what they say and care about what they feel. Find ways to reduce your yelling and fighting.

Parents who are happy: A great gift you can give to your children is to find happiness in your life. Children are always watching you, and they will model what you do and what you say. Get support to value what you do and who you are.

For more information, visit: www.childhoodmatters.org

About Rona Renner:
Rona Renner, RN has been a nurse for over 40 years, and is temperament specialist and parent educator. She is the Executive Director of Interactive Parenting Media, and the host of the Childhood Matters radio show which airs Sundays at 9 a.m. on 98.1 KISS FM.