- experience warm and responsive relationships with care givers;
- create relationships with others;
- explore and learn;
- communicate in play; and;
- express and control emotions.
Developing Warm and Caring RelationshipsEarly relationships are so important for a young child to have good mental health. Parents and caregivers play a large part in their children's mental health. When parents are open and caring to their babies and toddlers' needs they create a secure and trusting relationship that later relationships will be built upon. Infants thrive on human stimuli –parents' faces, voices, touch, and even smell. They are born with the need to be with people and not just for food. Their first "toy" is Mommy or Daddy's face. They love to look at eyes and mouths. Babies would rather listen to speech or singing than any other kind of sound.
As babies get older and do more on their own, they still need physical care, but they also need their parents/caregivers for their emotional care. Close and caring relationships help infants, toddlers and preschoolers with a healthy- start in their mental health. There are many things that a parent/caregiver can do with their child to help their child's learning every day.
Great Ways to Interact With Your Young Child
- Learn to read your babies cues and what soothing techniques work.
- Talk often with your children from the day they are born.
- Hug them, hold them, and respond to their needs and interests.
- Listen carefully as your children communicate with you.
- Read aloud to your children every day, even when they are babies. Play and sing with them often.
- Say "yes" and "I love you" as much as you say "no" and "don't."
- Ensure a safe, orderly, and predictable environment, wherever they are.
- Set limits on their behavior when necessary and guide them calmly, not harshly.