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Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ helps you encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development.
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Comforting Your Child

Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting was developed by the child development experts at Invest in Kids to help you make the most of your child’s first five years. Comfort, Play & Teach are three simple ideas, but when you put them into action they can have a big effect on your child’s development. In fact, the things you do with your child every day will help him be the best he can be.

Comfort your child – comfort is the first thing that children need from parents. When you comfort your child, she learns to feel secure, loved and valued.

Play with your child – Play is the work of children and you are an essential partner. When you play with your child, he learns to explore and discover the world and his role in it.

Teach your child – Teach is how parents help their children learn. When you teach your child, she learns how to relate to others, solve problems and communicate.

All children need to be comforted and you are your child’s main source of comfort. When he is upset, frightened or distressed, it is especially important that you respond with comforting words or actions. When you comfort your child, you help him feel safe and secure. You also strengthen your relationship with him.

Every day, your child will present you with the need to be comforted. Whether it’s a baby who can’t seem to stop crying, a toddler who has fallen down or a preschooler who is afraid of the clown at the birthday party, they each need some form of comfort.

Here are some ways you can comfort your child:

If you do this:
Your baby will:
  • Make eye contact with your baby.
  • Become familiar with your face.
  • Respond with smiles.
  • Try to copy some of your facial expressions.
If you do this:
Your baby will:
  • Recognize and name your toddler’s emotions, for instance, “Your crying tells me you are feeling sad.”
  • Learn to identify her feelings.
  • Learn the words to use when talking about feelings.
  • Begin to relate descriptive words with feelings.
If you do this:
Your baby will:
  • Watch for situations that might be stressful or make your preschooler feel bad.
  • Prepare her ahead of time for a new or stressful situation.
  • Feel secure with your support.
  • Experience less stress.
  • Learn ways to deal with new and stressful situations.

How do you comfort your child? Take a minute to fill out our monthly survey, and for more ideas, visit the Comfort, Play & Teach section of our website:

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