'Tis the season to give, give, give, and hopefully receive. Want to give your child a gift that costs nothing and has scientifically been proven to increase their life-long positive outcomes? Child Trends , a nonprofit research group in the U.S. would suggest….drum roll please….A HUG. Researchers from Duke University Medical School discovered that babies with very affectionate and attentive mothers grew up happier, more resilient and less anxious in adulthood. It's the one gift you can give AND receive at the same time!

Conclusion: A daily hug really is the gift that keeps on giving their whole life through.
"Play is really misunderstood among parents and even sometimes educators. It's really a complex form of interacting and communicating. Einstein talks about play being children's research, their laboratory,” reports Rachel Robertson, Vice President of Education and Development for Bright Horizons. Brains are built through back-and-forth interaction between a child and his/her parent or caregiver, much like playing a game of peek-a-boo or reading a book together. Healthy development occurs when young children “serve” through babbling, smiling, gestures or words, and adults “return” by responding positively to their child (smiles, words, affection, or other positive attention). Of course, the "serve" can also be initiated by the adult!

Conclusion: I t’s not about what we have, but the time we give... time to give attention; time to give affection; and yes, time to use imagination and play. 
 Parenting Matters of El Paso County
A project of Alliance for Kids, El Paso County's Early Childhood Council | 719.466.0099 | 719.634.8045