Hello, I am Veronica. I am a stay at home mommy to my one-year-old son Maverik Dean. I run a lifestyle + mom blog called BossPrincess101.com
Teach your one-year-old the meaning of sufficiency in all things.
- There is ample parental attention. There is no need to scream and cry to get a parent to notice her or his child’s distress. Pay attention and meet the needs of the moment before a meltdown happens. I wish all one year old children would focus on feelings of sufficiency, and not a lack of sufficiency. Consistent insufficiency (for example, feelings of repeatedly being ridiculed or neglected) creates neural pathways which are not optimal for mental health, emotional growth and self-esteem.
- Change your one year old’s focus. Drive his attention to something that is interesting rather than (for example) extremely disturbing. You can tell by a child’s response whether curiosity or fear or other unhappy feeling is the primary feeling.
- Model for your child the many joys of reading beginning today. If you haven’t already started then start by reading great stories. Every. Single. Night. Read aloud with different voices for different characters. Get into the story. Ask: “What do you think will happen next?!” Get a library card if you don’t already have one and ask the children’s librarian which books s/he recommends for a one year old child. You can also get movies or musical CD’s.
- Read reassuring stories only (at this age). Goodnight Moon is a good start. These kinds of stories show the world to be a safe and predictable place and gives every child a feeling of security. Harry the Dirty Dog is another classic to read out loud because its message is that no matter how you change, you’ll always be loved at home. Children at 12 months perceive much more than they express, and have a sense that things change quickly (hence, separation anxiety).
- Make a bedtime routine and do not vary it for a year or so. Do the same activities in the same order, in the same way, with the same words, at the same time every night. For good sleep hygiene: dinner, bath, pjs, in bed, story time, lights out. Predictability of sleep contributes to restful sleep for every family member. If you do not do things in order it can really effect your child’s social skills and activities during the day.
- Talk to your child using your best adult vocabulary and narrate whatever you are seeing or thinking. You are describing the universe and are your child’s first teacher. Your child will look to you for EVERYTHING! Everything you say your child will believe. You are your little one’s “go to person” (mommy or daddy).
- Play music, sing, and dance. Children respond well to musical rhythms. The rhymes of song lyrics encourage per-literacy skills like phonemic awareness.
- Manners training. Now is the time to bring your child’s high chair to the dinner table, model manners, teach “please pass the potato” and “thank you for passing the potatos” by saying please and thank you all the time. Good manners are a social lubricant, used so people are happy to help each other. If you hear your child say please and thank you, note out loud how much you appreciate such good manners.
- Set the expectations of some alone time. Babies and one year old children enjoy time alone only when they are ready for it. You can encourage their readiness by letting them play with something interesting while they are near you while you are also focusing on doing your own chores, like folding laundry. Gradually you absent yourself for a minute or less and say “I’ll be right back. I’m going to the kitchen to preheat the oven” or something equally fast. Come right back to avoid your child having the fear that you’ve gone and avoid feelings of being alone. These are too big to handle at this age. If there is any anxiety let your voice be heard from another room. “I’ll be right back; I’m just getting my sweater and your sweatshirt, it’s getting cold in here!”
- Say “Yes!” 99.9% of the time and, avoid saying “No”. Unless it is a matter of imminent danger to health or safety let your child feel free to explore the world and let your child discover things independent of your input. Kids are little scientists and love figuring things out without being prompted. Doing that is a matter of self-esteem and pride. “Look what I did!”
Colors! You can teach even a 6 month old what red, yellow, and blue are. You need 3 of something that is completely identical, but it comes in each of those colors. I try to teach my son with balls and also plastic cups. You hold up one ball and say “red ball” and show him the next one “blue ball”. Then “red cup”. “Red cup and red ball” etc. Keep showing him things that are blue, red and yellow over a couple of days when you are playing with them. Identify them like “I have the yellow cup!” etc. Get him used to hearing the labels. Then start asking “Which one is red?” and he’ll learn to touch the correct color. It will amaze you when he picks the correct one, but it’s fairly easy to teach and a great party trick for your baby to do! Note: the items must be completely identical other than the color. If not, say the yellow ball is shinier or the blue cup is bigger, then they might pick the one that they like best and not necessarily the color you asked for.
- Teach cognitive skills. Body parts (nose, belly, head, cheeks, hands, feet, ears, eyes, eyebrows); directions (up, down, over, under, over there, over here, etc.); simple songs (Row, row, row your boat, etc.); Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes; Patty-cake; Peek-a-boo; animals and their sounds; names of things around the house; and read to your child at least 20 minutes every day.
Teach your son how to use sign language. You can actually teach your child to use sign language before he can speak. He can pick up some rudimentary signing that helps him to communicate. It was especially helpful because your child could become a late talker.
- Teach him all the things you love most about others. Then do those things with him. Help him learn the things he loves in others and himself. In this generation our children really need the confidence to survive school.
- Play with him. Talk to him as much as you can. Read to him. Rough house with him a little. Grab a ball and teach him motor skills. Start by having him sit and roll it back and forth between you both. Sing to him. Dance with him. Clean the house with him.
- Your one year old is exploring the world through the senses and working out how to move. One year old children need human interaction that is positive and builds trust. They are learning to trust the world and work out how it works. They love discovering routines and predictability. Sing songs. Practice walking. Repeat routines. Teach trust. Don’t forget to stay sane and adult. Don’t overreact. Provide household items and environments (outside, inside to stimulate). Take them along on your life. They are happy to watch and touch everything and will teach themselves. All you have to do is make sure they are warm, don’t choke on small things, get some rest, and eat some food. Think of the child as your fourth. You would take them along to pretty much everything that the household and other children require.