I Love You Rituals

I was lent a wonderful book entitled "I Love You Rituals" by Becky A Bailey.It's full of little finger games and rhymes to play with a young child.

Even better, though, she has some great advice on helping your child to learn, to stay calm and focused and to yes, behave!

Something I found helpful were her words on noticing and giving feedback. Any parent knows that the words "look at me mum and dad" can go on forever.

Most of us have had a conversation like this:

Kid: (twirling around) "Look at this Mum"
Mum: (reading) "Oh, great. Mm hmm."
Kid: (two seconds later) "Mum, look at me. Look what I'm doing."
Mum: (looking down at book and in monotone) "Yep, I'm watching. You're fantastic."
Yeah right. I'm not watching at all!
Bailey says that research shows that children's brains need constant feedback in order to grow and develop. Giving feedback that is specific and tailormade to the occasion is far more useful in the long run than pretending to look and approve or even giving praise.
So the conversation above would ideally sound like this:
Kid: (twirling around) "Look at this Mum"
Mum: (watching) "You're twirling around. Your head is going around and around."
Kid: "I'm going around and around."
Mum: "You're still doing it. Your feet are working hard. You must be getting dizzy."

Watch out if you're on my Christmas list and you've got little children - you now know what you'll be getting!