Why is reading to your child so important?

              

The benefits of reading start with the first book a baby hears. Reading to toddlers sets the foundation for later independent reading and gives them the very necessary emergent literacy skills they need. Exposure to reading right from the toddler or preschool-age prevents most reading problems.

Here are the advantages your child can receive by being exposed to reading:

  • Academic excellence - Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all stages of education.
  • Speech - Kids, who read often, gain a hone on reading skills. After all, practice makes you perfect!
  • Better communication - It gives a large vocabulary of words and an insight of how to use them. The child will also develop phonemic awareness and letter identification.
  • Brain stimulation - Reading strengthens brain connections by actually building network of new words.
  • Basics of how to read a book - Children not just learn new words as they read but also unconsciously absorb information about how to structure sentences and how to use words and language effectively.
  • Fundamentals of literacy - Reading introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colours, and shapes in a fun way. As the child approaches school age, he/she will have a better grasp of concepts.
  • Acclimatisation to new experiences - Reading a story dealing with a topic relating to the child’s experience shows him that it’s under norms and familiarises him to the know-hows.
  • Imagination - Reading lets the brain translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. This imagination can greatly influence the child’s development.
  • Emotional development - Read to your child with expression, by changing the pitch of your voice higher or lower where it's appropriate or using different voices for different characters.  When you do this, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development.
  • Cognitive skills - When you read stop once in a while and invite your baby to look, point, touch on the pictures or text. Simultaneously ask questions or make comments on the pictures (‘’Look what a cute kitty. What colour is her dress?’’) - All of this promotes social development and thinking skills.
  • Show that reading is fun- Use rhymes, sounds and actions so your baby gets connected and starts imitating sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words. Help them view books as an indulgence so at a later stage they don’t take reading as a chore.

Read every day!

Note - Books for babies should have simple, repetitive text and clear pictures.

How to handle a screaming toddler?



Your toddler screaming may look mischief, but its developmentally normal phase which sets in at around 14 months. Good news is that your toddler is now alert and self-aware and knows what he wants. At 18 months, toddlers have very little communication skills. A child of this age generally knows not more than fifty words and hence it makes sense that in the absence of language, he uses another outlet to express how he feels. He takes screeching as a way of communicating his needs. But it may not be taken very well by your surroundings and may even cause uncomfortable surroundings.

 

What to do about it?

 

  • Identify the cause

They key is to have a few responses ready to keep a balance with your toddler’s need to express. Excitement, tantrums for attention, exhaustion, hunger, being bored, being over-stimulated, uncomfortable etc can be reasons that could lead to a screaming child. For this, you need to identify what triggers his screaming and then acknowledge his feelings. If you know what tends to start the shrieking, you can figure out what he's really trying to say and you can avoid those situations.

For example, if your kid wants your undivided attention, you can prop them up on your lap and smile at them or make some gestures indicating that you are not ignoring them.

  • Do not scream back

Screaming back is the last thing you should do. Follow the rule ‘No screaming at your toddler to stop screaming’. Toddlers enjoy this extra attention that they get by screaming. On the other hand, do not give into their demands to stop the screech, as this will convey them that screaming will get them what they want.

  • Distract

You can divert him/her and make them do some other activity or hand some interesting objects. Or better way is to catch his attention by talking to him in a low pitch so he gains curiosity to listen to you.  You can sometimes also try ignoring it, although it’s not going to be easy and is not something that must be done frequently.

  • Know the exceeds

As the pitch of a baby's cry increases, so does the urgency to respond to his needs arise. A distinctive ultra-high-pitched cry can indicate the presence of neurological problems. You should asses if the noise is because he is distressed or is he/he being overtly joyous.

  • Coach on the difference of private & social conversations

Teach the concept of social and private voice tone. Give a demo of how you talk in home and how you do outside home. Teach your child different ways to communicate (he can come near to you and signal what he wants).

  • Deal with anxiety

The fact that tots have poor impulse control makes them react repulsively especially when they are in public or when you go off their sight. This can also sometimes be separation anxiety. What he/she needs is a slow time for introductions with acquaintances or new faces/environments.