You make the biggest difference in your child’s life. When a child has a delay in development, or a disability, it’s easy to talk as if all that matters is the services they receive.
This is not true. What your child needs most is you.
Young children learn most of all through play and the ordinary things you do together as a family. This includes the routines of your day, such as meals, bath time and shopping. Children learn when you take the time to let them try things for themselves. Most importantly, they learn from the way you respond to them, with your face, your actions and your words.
Professionals can give you ideas. They can work with you to try different approaches. They may work directly with your child, teaching him or her new skills. But none of this is as important as your love and care, and the things that you do with your child every day.
You may be wondering if you can do more to help your child’s development. Because all children are different, we can only make general suggestions.
Join us at a free activity at Plumtree
As a family-centred not-for-profit organisation, Plumtree offers a range of activities for children and families that are open to all and free of charge:
- The award-winning Now & Next program
- A full calendar of free events
- Drop-in playgroups
- Music Together and Splash Together groups
Tips for helping your child’s development in daily life
Families spend the most amount of time with their child and the quality of these daily interactions makes a significant difference. We work in partnership with families to find ways to include more of these interactions in daily routines.
Research supports these tips:
- Respond to your children’s initiatives
- Engage with your child by doing what they want to do
- Support what your child can currently do by giving opportunities for practice and promoting a sense of achievement
- Respond frequently to your child’s attempts at communication so that they feel like successful communicators (rather than asking test questions or asking them to do something they can’t do or teaching them concepts)
Join our online community
When people come to Plumtree they say it feels like a family. We have a strong community you can connect with through our programs and events, as well as a growing online community.
To connect with our online community you can:
- Listen to parents sharing their stories through our Family Stories Project videos
- Follow us on Facebook to see articles and stories about early childhood development
- Read our blog for articles and tips for helping your child’s development
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get a summary of everything going on at Plumtree, along with useful articles
Take care of yourself
Look after your own wellbeing. Your child needs you. Your health is important, for you and for your family. If there are things you do to look after your health, keep them up. Good food, sleep and exercise are very important. Making time to relax and have fun are valuable, too. If you are worried about your own health, or you are feeling continually stressed or low in spirits, talk to your doctor.
You can come along to MyTime to meet other families and share your experiences. Almost always, families say that they are glad of the valuable advice and information they receive from other families. Meeting with other families is a way to share ideas, feelings and emotional support. Plumtree also hosts events on self-care and wellbeing, including our Healthy Mothers workshop. Check our calendar for more events focused on wellbeing.