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Understanding your child's needs.

author:Team Up

Understanding your child's needs.

First relationships are very important for children?s learning and development, right from the start. Good communication is the key.  Talking to babies and young children makes all the difference, so that they feel safe and supported as they start to explore the world.

Other adults may give lots of advice on how to parent.  We sometimes forget to listen to children and yet they are the ones who can give the most important information about what they need as they get older.

The SKIP (Strategies with Kids, Information for Parents) project run by the Ministry of Social Development is about supporting parents and caregivers to raise children in a positive way.  The SKIP project helps parents to use non-physical discipline that includes love and nurture and limits and boundaries. 

The Ministry of Social Development has produced a video which gives examples of what children say about what they need from the key people in their lives.  The three and four year-olds in the video really help parents to understand what they need.

The information on the video clip reinforces the importance of how children learn to communicate.  The children on the video say what they need and how they are feeling.  They feel free to do this because they have had lots and lots of chances to learn and to practise talking about what they are thinking and how they feel.  They are really sure that they are loved by the key people in their lives and so they feel safe and supported.

The children were responding to 4 questions:

  1. How should we talk to you?
  2. How can we help you behave?
  3. How can we reward you?
  4. How can we help you when you are feeling upset?

It is really good to try to see the world through the eyes of your child.  Even when things are hard and life is really busy or stressful, it?s important to think about how your child is making sense of the world and what they are learning.  It?s important because your child is learning new things all the time.  This learning in the context of relationships is the basis for your children?s achievement in all the learning that they do in their lives. 2012