Working with infants and toddlers has the potential to be a frustrating experience for any adult. So often, you can find yourself not understanding what they want or need. This can lead to lots of crying (from both of you), and a frustrated and strained relationship. Not to mention, a distraction from all the fun you could be having together. So how do you better communicate with them?

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Infants and Toddlers Are Constantly Developing

Good communication with infants and toddlers starts with understanding. It’s essential to keep in mind the skills that children have and the skills they’re still developing. Here are a few skills that infants and toddlers are working to develop:

  • The ability to use and understand language.
  • Spatial awareness (where you are in relation to other objects).
  • Understanding cause and effect.
  • The use of reasoning and logic.
  • Lengthening attention span and memory skills.
  • Controlling impulses and delaying gratification.
  • Recognizing the feelings of self and others.
  • Cooperation and collaboration.
  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.

Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to determine how they want to raise their child. As a child care provider, you can offer your experienced opinion in support of the parent making their decisions. So how would you suggest helping an infant or toddler develop the ability to manage their behaviors? One way could be through Positive Guidance.

What is Positive Guidance?

Positive Guidance is an approach that helps children learn ways to communicate their needs, manage their emotions, and interact with others appropriately. Practitioners of positive guidance believe in each child’s potential to learn new skills and understand that with guidance and practice, they will.

How Does Positive Guidance Apply to Infants and Toddlers?

As with any age, using developmentally appropriate practices in your role as a care provider is an important part of the job. Because Positive Guidance is all about the potential for learning appropriate behavior, self-understanding is a key element in supporting that.

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How Do I Better Understand Infants and Toddlers?

Check out ChildCare Education Institute’s course, Practicing Positive Guidance with Infants and Toddlers. This course will explore how caregivers can identify strategies for promoting self-identity, self-confidence, and self-control in infants and toddlers. This course also reviews and expands upon theories, theorists, and concepts regarding human behavior and early childhood development.

Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off a year of courses, so start with Practicing Positive Guidance and keep going from there! In addition to this course, they have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.

Taking continuing education courses is a great way to build your credentials on your profile as well as having strong talking points in the interview process. CCEI offers the convenience of taking coursework from work, home, a library, or anywhere internet access is available, so they make it easy for you to learn at your own pace and around your schedule.

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