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What can I do to try to encourage my child’s development?

One of the key roles of being a mother is to try to help you child reach her potential and become all she can be.

You should be actively encouraging her growth and development to give her the best possible chance of succeeding in later life. Of course, there are many external factors that also determine what the future holds for our children but you should still try to give her as much help as you can.

Okay so how do I do this, you may ask. Well, the four most important points to remember are as follows:

Attention is the answer
Young children will learn some things on their own but so much of their growth and development has to come from you. This doesn’t mean turning yourself into a teacher but it does mean spending as much time with your child as possible. Talking to your toddler, reading her stories, playing games with her - these are the most effective tools you can use to help encourage your little one's development.

Don’t push
Although we all want the best for our children, you should never push them too hard, particularly at a young age. Toddlers will grow and develop at their own pace. Yes, you can encourage them but you should never try to accelerate their progress. This often proves counterproductive and puts the child off learning in the future.

The importance of play
Young children can learn so much through play. Toddlers get bored very easy so making learning fun is they key. Providing your child with puzzles, jigsaws and educational games (and of course playing them together) is all you can do as a parent to help encourage their development. At this age, sitting them down and trying to teach specific things just doesn’t work.

Practice makes perfect
Young children can take a while to properly learn a new skill. It’s important to encourage them to practice what they’ve learnt, whether it be drawing, dressing herself or using sentences. However, once again practice has to be made fun. Forcing your child to practice will not make either of you feel very good.

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