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Feb 27, 2014

Healthy Living explains the basics of child stimulation

Child Stimulation Month is celebrated in March. This year’s theme is: “Where our future begins”.  Many parents are known to focus on the formal education of their children; but development begins at home and the experts agree that the first few years of a child’s life is the fastest period of development. This week’s healthy living explains the basics of child stimulation.

 

Diana Pook, Civic Education Coordinator, Dept. of Human Services.

“Play is important; play is the work of a child.”

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Diana Pook is the civic education coordinator for the Department of Human Services. In her daily work, she interacts with parents providing tips on caring for and assisting in the development of their children. One such program is called the Roving caregivers program.

 

Diana Pook

Diana Pook

“The Roving Care Givers Program is an informal early childhood development program that seeks to assist families with early childhood stimulation especially those that cannot access the preschools and other early childhood stimulation centers. The brain develops the fastest between birth to five years so it if very important for us to target that group and ensure that they are getting the proper stimulation so that they can develop well.”

 

For the most part, Diana finds that parents can be very attentive to an infant’s physical needs: being fed, clothed, immunized, and supervised. One of the common gaps, though, is understanding the importance of interacting with infants.

 

Diana Pook

“This is where we sometimes have a few issues; they might have one or two tips to modify what they are doing. We notice that most of the time, the parenting skills that they do with their children are what they had received when they were at that age. So it just goes on from generation to generation. And if it was not the correct parenting skills then what they do to their child is much more harm than good. And so we just tweak that a little bit, give them some tips because parents know what they are doing most of the time; they are there for the best interest of the child. So all that we need is to tell them this is what is causing maybe the development of your child not to go as well as it should. This is what you’re supposed to do. At the age of two, you only have him in front of the TV saying oh Dora is very interesting and educational for my child so he should do that. But what would be much more educational you’re your child is if you pick up a book and actually sit down and read to your child or if you would actually say some rhymes with your child. Those school rhymes that you learned at school, sit down and do it with your child because that builds on your child’s development—not only the language development that Dora might assist you with, but also the emotional development, the attachment, the bonding with the child and the social development by communicating with another person.”

 

One of the simplest, inexpensive ways of stimulating an infant is talking to them.

Diana Pook

“They do understand and the more you explain to them, the more they will understand because you are building their language development and you are making them understand that this is a stick and this is a stone so they can relate the word to the object. And that’s how language starts. If you don’t speak to your child, how you will expect them to know what is the object? And you explain to them the process and once you explain to them the process, once they start speaking, they will be able to express themselves more. So the earlier you start talking to your child, explaining to your child what he or she is doing, it will help with self-expression and help in language development.”

 

Another easy tip is to explain processes as the baby experiences them: a good example is the process of getting them dress. Child stimulation is a family undertaking, everyone should get involved.

Diana Pook

“Dad should always be included. Both parents should be involved in the stimulation of their child and it goes even further on to the extended family because if mom and dad isn’t there, brother, sister, aunt uncle, grandmother can do the stimulation too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one parent and the child does not only learn for an hour. Throughout the day, the child is learning so throughout the day, the child is stimulated; it is just the type of stimulation the child is receiving.”

 

In the next segment of Healthy Living, Diana will outline a few easy games to play with your infant at home and explain how it affects their development. She’ll also share more on the added benefits of child stimulation.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Healthy Living explains the basics of child stimulation”

  1. LOL says:

    Make sure parents use discipline. Discipline is needed in this country. We don’t want kids to become spoiled, useless and misbehaving adults.

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