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The goal of this approach is to get parents involved in activities with their children while also reflecting on its effectiveness. Furthermore, the workshop will seek to connect parenting theory and practice in order to generate a better understanding. The goal is to have a one-hour workshop with parents to encourage active interaction with their babies. To aid in the growth of babies, mothers and fathers must put in a lot of work. The objective is to create a session with parents to educate them on the necessity of investing quality time in their baby's growth. It is understood that raising children is one of the toughest and fulfilling jobs experienced by parents all over the world.
The purpose of the session is to support parents preparing for parenthood. The plan will include; lectures from experts and demonstration of some activities will be included which could help parents in engaging with their babies. Parenting engagement can be described as informal and formal relations that parents maintain with their babies. The plan will involve a panel of experts who will brief parents about different ways to successful parenting. The session is planned to start early in the morning followed by activities, which could allow parents to gain a better understanding and knowledge of parenting activities.
Mazzaferro (2016) has mentioned in her book about Dr. Gail Gross, who is a psychologist and child/family behavior specialist, and he believes that learning begins from day one and even infants need activities like children at any other stage of development (Mazzaferro, 2016). A 60-minute session will be divided into two parts that will help in the better implementation of activities to help in the mental and physical growth of infants. Parents are responsible for stimulating infants’ mental growth by providing them physical and emotional attention. Humans are born with an underdeveloped brain, which makes it important for parents to engage in activities that could help in developing the cognitive abilities of their babies (Emery, 2016).
The two parts of the plan, which will be focused in the session include activities that focus on the mental, physical, social, and emotional growth. Moreover, the plan is aimed at educating parents about the nutritious diet that can help in the physical growth of babies. The activities will be provided to parents that will help them to initiate or continue parenting in the right direction. The development of the brain is promoted by engaging in play activities with babies. Activities include playing with mirrors, sorting/stacking nesting bowls, rolling a discovery bottle, and painting with edible finger paint. These activities will help in transforming baby from a floppy-headed infant to tiny human who will be able to sit and play. The following is the actual plan of activities decided to be implemented for the one-hour session.
A Session of 60 Minutes Begins at 10:00 A.M.
The session will begin with a brief lecture that will include information to raise awareness about Birth to Three Matters-Developmental Stages, which include: A Strong Child, Skillful Communicator, Healthy Child, and A Competent Learner. Moreover, parents will be informed about the activities, which they will have to complete in these stages to help in accelerating the physical, social, and emotional growth of their babies. The brief session will help in informing parents about the significance of parenting and activities that can help in the better development of mental, emotional, and social capabilities of babies.
The first session will be 20 minutes followed by play activities that can help parents to connect with their babies. The different activities for the session of 40 minutes will help in engaging parents with their babies for a healthier development. It is a fact that a child’s development and play are related. According to Maria Montessori, “Play is the work of a child” (Montessori, 2012), and a healthy environment for children to grow is created with the help of play activities. The different activities in the session will include problem-solving and play, storytelling, reading, singing songs and nursery rhymes, and games with numbers involving parents and their babies. During the lecture, babies will be actively engaged with babysitters available through activities which later on will be done with parents. The different activities in this session will help parents to engage with their babies appropriately. Children learn quickly with the help of games such as identifying objects and numbers. The final outline of the plan is given in the following.
• The first 20-minute session will be conducted by a well-known psychologist, who will deliver a lecture about the significance of parents’ engagement with their babies (10:00 AM - 10:20 AM). The lecture will emphasize on the impact of activities and how parents can improve their engagement with babies.
• A break of ten minutes (excluded from the time of the one-hour session plan. In the break, parents will be asked whether they are getting the gist of the purpose of session or not. They will be given sometime with babies and discuss with other parents about the practicality of the plan.
• Activities in the 40-minute session will help in parents understanding ways or methods for establishing and enhancing the growth of their babies physically and emotionally. These activities will include storytelling, singing nursery rhymes, and games that help in identifying the objects (10:30 AM -11:10 AM). The significance of rhymes in early years can contribute to better growth, for instance open the doors to the world of reading, vocabulary enhances, spelling improves, better expressions, and imagination improves. Parents will be encouraged about the impact of activities on the growth, for instance clapping hands and playing peek-a-boo can help in speech development. Therefore, informing parents about the impact of each activity can help in encouraging them to take part and engage. The impact of these activities can increase the involvement of parents in engaging with babies. The expectant result of active engagement can be children responding to parents enthusiastically.
Part B: Reflective Part
I believe that the proposed plan will help in developing the mental, social, and physical growth of children. Moreover, the plan complies with several theories proposed by psychologists and other child specialists. I believe the session will help parents in realizing the significance of activities and parenting. Moreover, activities will help in connecting with babies in appropriately and productively, for instance speech and language encouragement can be achieved. Saying sounds like “ma”, “da”, and “ba” can help in speech development. It is a fact that infants have a small theory of mind as compared to adults (Briers, 2008).
Parents playing with babies can support their mental growth effectively and efficiently. There are various theories that support the plan for the better development of babies. The pre-attachment phase, the automatic reflexes of babies, and actions including crying, grasping, and rooting help parents to get attached and understand their children. Bowlby has explained four phases of attachment during infancy, which include attachment, attachment in making, clear-cut attachment, and formation of a reciprocal relationship (Drozd, 2016). All of the four phases are supported by different activities to increase engagement of parents with their babies. However, parents can increase their engagement in the attachment in making phase so that babies are enabled to reciprocate in the formulation of relationships phase (Montessori, 2012).
Babies in attachment in making phase, react and respond to parents rather than strangers or unknown people. Therefore, the suggested plan will maximize the opportunity for parents to engage with their babies. Moreover, the playing activities have proved to be useful in helping babies to grow effectively. According to several researches done by experts including Maria Montessori, it has been proved that 75% of brain development occurs right after birth (Drozd, 2016).
The different activities in which parents engage with babies stimulate the connection and different patterns between nerve cells. Moreover, these activities help and influence the development of gross motor skills, language, socialization, and other personal skills. Furthermore, personal awareness, emotional well-being, creativity, problem-solving, and learning ability are triggered with the help of brain development. Moreover, play tends to link sensory-motor, cognitive, and social-emotional experiences, and it helps in providing an effective setting for brain development (Emery, 2016).
The complex and integrated brain is developed after a child experiences a wide range of content including art, music, language, and social relations. I believe that the different activities mentioned in the proposed plan will support parents to engage and help in improving the emotional and mental growth. I agree with Maria Montessori stance that there are certain essential dimensions of play as they can help in good physical and mental growth of children. The different dimensions include voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful, and spontaneous nature of play activities. I have learned from different articles that the play activities help in improving creativity.
Play can enhance problem-solving, social, language, and physical skills. Moreover, the activities proposed in the plan can help in expanding children’s thinking and cognitive abilities. The activities between parents and their babies will support them to adapt socially and learn easily and quickly. Moreover, play activities will enable babies to thwart emotional issues. I think the attempt at using toys in play activities proves to be effective in connecting with infants. However, the use of toys can help and improve the social, emotional, and physical growth. Toys are tools that help babies to pick up new ideas and engage with their parents, a baby aged one year responds quickly to toys presented to him/her. Toys help babies to figure out how different things work, for instance, a toddler will be curious to play with stuffed animals. Babies are curious which is why play activities help them to discover different things (Briers, 2008).
I think that muscle control and strength improves with the help of playing with toys and different physical activities. The plan has been designed while keeping the importance of play activities in mind. The different activities enable babies to improve their grasping and learning skills. All this begins at an early stage, and psychologists believe as the baby is born, all development procedures initiate rapidly.
Emotional growth is possible with the support of parents’ involvement. The awareness of babies is aware of certain basic characteristics, for instance, babies know when to look at someone who calls their name. However, parents help in polishing the essential characteristics. I believe the plan will help parents to understand and implement parenting in an accurate way. The plan has been designed while keeping the basics and ground rules of parenting in mind to help parents in connecting with their babies. Parenting rules which are considered as golden principles can guide parents in raising children by dealing with challenges. Rules include Respond with Abandon, understand that sometimes babies just cry, celebrate the positive, and several others. I am of the opinion that the plan, which involves an hour session, should have more time and detailed guidance for parents rather than just involving a 20-minute session and 40-minute activities. It is not easy to give a complete picture of parenting and demonstration of activities in a one-hour session. Moreover, there are several environmental strategies that help in promoting positive interactions to support parenting. One of many successful strategies is, “Keeping children near socially competent peers” Emery (2016). The plan lacks any environmental strategies due to the limited time of one hour.
If parents engage in activities proposed in the plan with their children, then there is a possibility of better social and emotional growth. I believe that mental, emotional, social, and physical growth is possible with the help of engaging activities mentioned in the plan. The usage of toys helps in cooperation and sharing among children, which can result in the social growth.
All the activities proposed in the plan will help in better growth and strong relationship of babies with their parents. The different environmental strategies implemented in activities can help in improving the social interactions of children when they grow up. The psychological research suggests that different activities especially telling stories and singing songs to babies help in enhancing hearing abilities (Montessori, 2012). I believe that the proposed plan is going to be useful in the mental and physical growth of babies which is why there should be more sessions like this to strengthen the bond between parents and their children. Moreover, parents who were given a demonstration of activities by experts to engage in appropriate manner prove to be useful.
The session was a great initiative to help young parents with first-born babies to engage in activities that will help in healthier child growth. The different stages of play are explained by several experts as play activities based on maturation levels. The proposed plan suggests activities for born babies to three years old. The playing activities with infants and young toddlers help in developing their observing abilities. Babies are more prone towards independent activities initially, but parents can help them to engage in activities that can assist them to discover and be curious about the surroundings.
Playing and other activities can help in cognitive, psychosocial, and physical development. The different activities such as guessing the object or telling stories foster cognitive growth in several ways. Activities such as reading or listening to stories help in supporting babies’ intellectual skills. Additionally, the comprehension skills are polished with the different activities.
Engaging with parents gives the opportunity to babies to build essential social skills, and it also helps them to learn and comprehend the different feelings of peers. Moreover, it helps them to be compassionate when they grow up. Cooperation and conflict resolution is learned by babies who get proper playing and other activities. Babies given attention through these activities from parents grow to be healthy and active, and I believe that the plan will help them in bonding with their babies.
I believe that bonding is an intense attachment that is garnered between parents and babies and it is possible with the activities mentioned in the plan. The amount of time spent also help in improving the bond created between parents and babies. Different scientists have analyzed bonding to be effective when parents engage in activities with babies (Montessori, 2012), and it is a fact that infants are instantly ready for bonding. However, the different activities mentioned in the plan can help parents in bonding with babies appropriately.
Babies can build their physical abilities and gross motor skills with the help of engaging activities with parents. Furthermore, I believe that these activities will help in better grasping of complex concepts in future. I have learned through different research that a baby starts his/her learning from the very first day. The theories of development have helped in understanding the procedures through which babies grow and learn. The development theories help in understanding the framework of human growth and learning.
The behavior and different attributes that shape up the personality of a human being is supported by the theories of development. Additionally, these theories support the different activities mentioned in the plan for the growth and learning of babies. I believe that these theories have helped in realizing the importance of every single movement or effort done by experts to design activities that can help children to grow.
The attachment theory by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth has helped in understanding the essential concept of the relationship of baby with their parents (Montessori, 2012). The cognitive development in babies is triggered through activities. I have reflected upon the fact that these theories have made it prominent that activities help in the growth of babies. The plan includes all the important activities that can help in building children’s comprehensive skills. The ability to learn different concepts begin from home, and I believe that engagement of parents is important for the future of their children. These activities will help parents to contribute to the better growth of their children physically and mentally.
It can be concluded that different theories support the engagement of parents with babies to be integral in the development, learning, and growth. Proactive activities and approaches toward parenting can help in shaping babies’ personalities. Researchers including Emery (2016) and Montessori (2012) have concluded that authoritarian parenting style can help in raising happy, confident, and capable children. Therefore, the activities can be utilized to adopt authoritarian parenting style and help in better growth of children.
Briers, S. (2008). Superpowers for parents: the psychology of great parenting and happy children. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Life.
Drozd, L. (2016). Parenting plan evaluations: applied research for the family court, Oxford: Oxford University Press,.
Emery, R.E. (2016). Two homes, one childhood: a parenting plan to last a lifetime, London: Penguin Publishing Group.
Mazzaferro, C.E. (2016). Powerful beyond measure: 3 steps to claim your power within for a happy & healthy life. Richmond: Morgan James Publishing.
Montessori, M. (2012). The montessori method, Mineola: Courier Corporation.
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