Make a difference in a child’s life over holiday break

By Brenda Brand

Santa visited the Pelican preschool students last week.

During this vacation time from school, take some time to enjoy your children, and grandchildren remembering the joy on their faces from the holidays.

The following is from a child abuse prevention program, enjoy and make a difference in a child’s life!

Oftentimes the busyness and “things” of the holidays can keep families from experiencing the rich magic of the season.

Time spent together as a family anytime throughout the year produces unlimited, long-term benefits for children, especially during those first few years of their life. Instead of getting “wrapped up” in the chaos of the season, use this special time to nurture your children and their potential.

The following lists simple ways to boost your child’s brainpower, adapted from the McCormick Tribune Foundation’s education program.

1. Interact with your child. Don’t always expect your children to amuse themselves. Spend time with them, watching and responding to their cues. They are little people, so treat them as such.

2. Give loving touches to your child. Cradle your children. Hold them. Give lots of hugs and kisses. Kids love this, and mom and dad do too.

3. Provide your child with a stable relationship. Children need someone special to be there when they call. The attachment created in a consistent and nurturing relationship is one of the best gifts a parent can offer a child.

4. Build your child’s self esteem. Give children praise. Tell them about all the things they can do, and how good they are at doing thosethings.

5. Communicate with your child. Talk, talk, and talk. Even though children may not be able to speak yet, they understand a lot. Don’t let them fool you, little conversations mean so much to them.

6. Play with your child. For children, play is not only fun, but also it’s how they learn. Provide toys that challenge them physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. But don’t just give them the toys… with them!

7. Surround your child with music. Singing holiday carols with your children can be a special time that’s fun to share.

8. Read with your child. Read books, show bright pictures, and create an imagination.

Follow these few simple suggestions and you – and your child – will find more enjoyment during this break from school and throughout the year.