Watch me go!

by Jacqueline Harding. Paying your toddler attention and joining in with them as they master new skills will really boost their confidence.

Baby reached up outdoors

Introduction

There’s really nothing quite like the feeling of having achieved a new skill. Then, sharing it with someone else is the icing on the cake. To be honest, as adults we often feel the same when we finally manage something that was quite tricky – perhaps learning to drive (after a few failed attempts).

Toddlers feel that achieving something they have not previously managed needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Cries of 'Watch me! I can do it! Me do it!' can be heard from their lips at every opportunity.

But how can busy adults give them the attention they need? Isn't all that attention just spoiling them anyway?

How CBeebies can help

Toddlers are learning to move their bodies in increasingly challenging ways and acquiring new skills along the way – e.g. how to dance, skip, hop and jump. They love to watch other children and see how they do things, and then have a go at mastering it themselves.

So it’s not surprising that they love watching their favourite TV characters doing the same sort of things as them.

Why not watch an episode of Teletubbies with your child? The Teletubbies move around just like toddlers and try out new skills - just like toddlers. It’s amazing that just by watching their TV friends do these things, it seems to encourage little ones to want to do them too.

Or you could have a go at performing a Boogie Beebies dance routine together. Click through to the Song Time section on the Boogie Beebies pages on the CBeebies website and take your pick from lots of different themed songs. Go on, get up and have a shimmy along to the music!

How to make a magic moment

Little ones seem to grow in self-esteem and confidence before our very eyes when they get that longed-for attention from the people that love them.

Obviously parents and carers can’t spend all day giving their toddler the attention they need. So, those short moments when we can give them our undivided attention is when the magic can happen.

The secret is in the eye contact. Making direct eye contact and praising them - by saying things like 'I think you are amazing! Aren’t you clever!' - can work wonders.

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Top tips

  • Try joining in when your child is showing you a dance movement or
  • imitating a character’s movement on TV. Introduce your child to TV shows that encourage movement/a physical reaction.
  • Good examples are shows like Teletubbies, Lazytown and Boogie Beebies. Set aside time with your child to play games that encourage movement
  • and coordination – e.g. ‘Simon says’. As often as you can, try to compliment your child when they ask you to
  • ‘look at’ or ‘watch’ a specific movement they are doing. This will really boost
  • their confidence.

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