Children have a lot of natural curiosity about the world around them. From the question of why the dog has a tail, to how the car works, to those sometimes hard to field questions about the difference between boys and girls, there seems to be an endless amount of things in our world for our curious little ones to ask about and explore. Perhaps one of the most important set of questions to address are those related to bodies. One only needs to look as far as the nearest billboard or the TV commercial currently on in the background to understand that ours is a culture focused on image. It is never too early to start answering these questions at an age-appropriate level, and to begin to teach children to appreciate not only their own bodies, but to respect and appreciate the differences in others.
Words One thing we really want to focus on is the language we use with children. It’s okay to say things like, “You are such a pretty girl!” and “What a handsome dude!” from time to time, but make sure that when you offer praise and affection about your child that you also choose language that talks about WHO they are, not just how they appear. Focus on accomplishments and strengths, with things like, “Look how smart you are! You figured out that puzzle!” and “My goodness, you must be so strong to climb to the top of that playscape!”
Songs Songs like Proud to Be Me! from Signing Time reinforce the fact that boys and girls are equally different and fantastic. (And it’s a very catchy tune, you might find yourself humming along even without a child present). Likewise, My Body is Amazing from Potty Time teaches even the youngest children to appreciate all the incredible things their bodies can do.
Videos Don’t forget to have fun with building your child’s body awareness! The whole family can get into the action with the Signing Time DVD Move and Grove, taking delight in the wiggles and giggles that come along with it, all while celebrating what it is we can accomplish.
Our children will have these precious and amazing bodies their whole lives. It is never too early to begin to teach them to celebrate and respect the wonder of being human.
Visit us at www.signingtime.com.