4 Things Every Kid Needs Daily
Motherhood is hard.
I’m sure you’ve seen one of those memes about the mental load of motherhood and it is so true. We are constantly worried about our children. We want the absolute best for them. There are so many articles and well-intended friends out there sharing the latest thing your child needs to be successful. It is confusing and overwhelming to say the least.
I’m here to tell you to ditch the laundry list of “things your kid needs”. It only results in you feeling overwhelmed and like a failure.
In my time working as a teacher and now as a mom I have found that there are four basic things that every kid needs daily to be successful. And more likely than not, you are already doing them.
Every Kid Needs Books
Oh golly, books are the keys to the world. Books give us an opportunity to dive into in fantasy or to take a look at a situation from somebody else’s perspective. They teach us about the world around us. And they allow us to learn about people and things through engaging storytelling.
Utilize the Library
Books are super expensive and a huge luxury. Utlizie that free resource to bring a variety of books into your child’s life.
The Sooner the Better
By the age of two children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension larger vocabularies and higher cognitive skills then their peers. (Raikes, Child Development, 2006)
Let me say that again by the age of two.
20 Minutes a Day
Children who are read to 20 minutes a day will hear 1.8 million words per year whereas a child who is only read to 5 minutes a day will here 282,000 words per year. That’s about a 1.5 million word difference.
EVERY CHILD NEEDS CONVERSATIONS
Having conversations with their child on a daily basis allows your child to learn how to communicate with others. This will allow them to share their needs, interests, and to develop strong relationships with you and their peers.
Conversations allow our kids to learn new vocabulary words and see the vocabulary words in action. Conversations with your kids allow you to bond. When they’re really little and unable to talk the conversations you have allow them to learn about you and the world. But, as your kids grow and are able to communicate, the conversations you have change. And now you have the blessing of getting to know the little human in your life. You get to know their likes and dislikes, and you get to know about their sense of humor and who they want to be.
Narrate Your Day
Verbalize what you’re doing to help your kids make connections about the world. Tell them every you do. “We are on the pasta aisle, because mommy need marinara sauce for dinner tonight.”
Tell knock knock jokes
Ask silly questions like ” what would it be like to have six arms?” or “would you rather be a horse or a pig”
Allow the conversations to be goofy and fun.
Every Child Needs Play Time
Remember when Mr. Rogers said play is the work of the child. He was so right. The benefits to independent play are limitless. But if you feel mom guilt because you are not constantly playing with your kids, know that independent play is a huge gift to them.
And the cool thing is since you have read to them and talked with them and giving them some of your time, they’re probably willing to go play by themselves. You’ve already filled their bucket, or they know you’re going to fill their bucket later tonight (if you do independent play before connecting) so they’re willing to go take a little time and play by themselves. I’m going to take a deep dive into independent play; the benefits of it and how to get your child to do it in next week’s post.
Every Child Needs Connection
Now if you have read to your child and you are talking with them you’ve already given them some of your time. You have already shown them that you are interested in who they are and that they matter to you. With that said, I think it’s important to add connection as its own category. Time connecting with you is critical to your child’s development.
Now, let me be incredibly clear I am not saying that you have to spend the entire day with your child in order to fill their soul. I fully believe that quality time it is much more important than the quantity of time.
Spending time together doesn’t have to be complicated it doesn’t have to be complex. You don’t need to go out on special mommy daughter dates or anything like that. Those extra special moments are wonderful and kudos to you if you do them regularly, but it’s just unrealistic to do them daily and your child does need time with you daily.
So, what does daily time together look like? Well, that’s different for every family, in fact in my house it’s different each day.
Ways to Connect
- learning activities
- board games or card games – Uno is a big favorite
- baking or cooking
- playing legos or blocks
- dance party
- family walks or bike rides
- watching a movie together (for this it’s important to us that we are all actively watching the same movie and adults are not on their own separate device while the kids watch a movie)
You’re Doing a GreAT JOB GIVING YOUR KIDS EVERYTHING THEY NEED
Our children are so resilient and the pressures that we put on ourselves as parents too check all the boxes is just a bunch of unnecessary pressure (easier said than done, I know). But that laundry list of pressures has nothing to do with our children’s actual well-being and happiness.
When it comes to child development and the happiness of your child if you’re completing these four things; reading, communicating, connection, and independent play, your child is growing up in a happy and healthy home.
When you do those four things on a regular basis your child knows that they are loved and valued. And can we take a minute to talk about the fact that you’re here reading blogs and articles about setting your child up for success, that’s a pretty good indicator that you are a rockstar of a parent and your child is lucky to have you in their corner.