‘Basic’ program aims to help children get ‘ready for life’

‘Basic’ program aims to help children get ‘ready for life’

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Simple changes to the way you interact with babies and toddlers could make all the difference in life.

We all write our own stories - of what our kids will do one day, who they’ll be, what kind of a role they’ll play.

And now a new effort led by Chesterfield County called “The Basics" hopes to teach everyone some basic steps to help your kid’s brain grow the most.

“The Basics” are:

Maximize love, manage stress

“One of the best ways to help kids kind of feel secure and calm in their environment is to develop a structured routine,” said Ashley Rogers of Chesterfield Mental Health. “So, having some consistency in their every day so we can kind of understand what’s coming next and feel secure that they’re taken care of and they’re continually love.”

Talk, sing, and point!

For babies, cuddle, smile, and talk to the child. Take the chores and world you’re already living in and bring it to life.

Cleaning, grocery shopping, playing with Legos, for example - take it all one step further and explain more.

“Point at the fruit that you see," said Rogers. "Describe what you see. Talk about what you see through the colors, through the shapes, through the smells and you can do that in fun ways through singing.”

Count, group and compare

You can do this with things such as stairs, Legos and food, but use more words, more examples, and have more fun.

Explore through movement and play

Get to know your environment. Climb on the slides, examine the floor. Take a little time to talk about the little things.

Read and discuss stories

"What do you think this book might be about - and stopping throughout the story,” said Rogers.

Stopping to see the little picture may just add up to a bigger picture for our kids.

“The big goal is we change the way we look at that very valuable time frame between birth and 3 and empower parents with the tools they need to make sure their student is ready for not only to learn, but ready for life,” said Amy Bartilotti of with Chesterfield County Public Schools.

Basically, taking some "basic" advice to create extraordinary results.

“The Basics” advice is based on a Harvard Achievement Gap Initiative and the advice is for all caregivers of small children, not just parents.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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