Spark the creative instinct of your child with just one box!

Build your child’s creativity with LEGO’s The Build Amazing Starter Set for kids

A child needs to have a creative flair to think out of the box, to see what no one else can, and to make happen what no one possibly had ever imagined… and it all begins right from childhood. Enabling your kid to model his or her unique creativity at the most opportune moment, LEGO, the iconic building block manufacturer has launched Build Amazing Starter Sets in India. Priced between INR 399 to INR 2,500, the unisex building set for the age groups of 4 to 12 years is available at Hamleys, Funskool, Crossword, and Landmark toy stores all across India and also on online platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.

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A very remarkable activity is happening in your brain right now. It is transmitting electrical signals via synapses from one neuron to another. But putting even you to envy, the little toddler sitting right next to you has more brain connections than you do at present. How many will remain by the time he or she reaches your age? And more importantly, will the ones that make him or her an inventive leader stick around? It only depends on how he or she is making use of the brain power at the moment. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are the perfect way to ensure that your child’s inherent cognitive and cerebral strengths are honed right and are given that perfect razor-sharp edge.

At the launch, LEGO spokesperson said, “A child’s brain is unrestrained from the shackles of formal structuring that we’ve all passed through over the period of time. It is an undiscovered realm deriving some of the most unique ideas, and laying the foundation of the very innovative instinct that all of us strive for. But the only way to tap their inventiveness is by enabling them to model their brain’s creation and turn them into real-life structures. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets, with its most eclectic building set, is the perfect tool to do the same. With the launch of LEGO’s latest offering, to make your child think out of the box, now all you need to do is open one.”

LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are in line with the brand’s overarching objective to nurture children’s creativity and unlock their true potential for a successful future. You can also bear witness to this change as your young one turns the LEGO blocks in the shape of a rocket, a candy cloud, flying house, a tree, a spacecraft or even a full-fledged township your child no longer has to hold back his or her creative ideas. The easy-to-build figures are based on more than an 85 years expertise of the global manufacturer and employ the use of child safe materials.

93% of Indian Parents Admit To Talking To Their Children About The Dangers Of Cyber-Criminals And Identity Theft

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed
  • 54% of Indian parents claim they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website; highest when compared to 13 other countries
  • Only 36% of Indian parents admit to using software to monitor their children’s activity on their devices.

INDIA- APRIL 26, 2017 – McAfee today released findings from a recent global study, “New Family Dynamics in a Connected World,” that aims to better comprehend how families’ attitudes and habits are evolving as their homes and lifestyles become increasingly connected.  This study underscores the need for simple ways for parents to manage internet connectivity in their homes – from blocking inappropriate sites to controlling the amount of time users spend on their devices.

The growing integration of connected devices in the lives of children is paving way for unique and hackable gateways for cybercriminals into the smart home network of consumers. Gartner forecasts that “there will be more than 10.5 billion ‘things’ in homes by 2020,” which, we believe, would further create a larger potential risk that the devices and personal data, that flow from them, can be compromised. While internet-connected devices offer consumers new opportunities, they can also come with some drawbacks and potential risks that can be the detriment of relationships.

“In today’s connected world, parents play a crucial role to decide on the usage of technology and how it can influence their kids’ lives,” said Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee. “As Indians shift towards smart connected homes, we must help parents actively manage the way their families interact with connected devices to ensure that security and privacy measures are implemented. When these measures are realized consumers can enjoy the full potential that connected devices and smart homes have to offer.”

Current Monitoring Methods Don’t Keep Pace with Technology

  • Parents tend to use older methods to monitor the device usage of their children. For example, 59% of Indian parents monitor their child’s device usage by keeping the device in their possession and only giving the child the device when the parent can monitor. Only 36% of Indian parents are using software to monitor.
  • 49% of Indian parents are concerned about their child potentially interacting with a social predator or cybercriminal online.

Today’s Digital Habits Cause New Parenting Concerns

  • Bedtime habits have changed a lot since the introduction of smartphones and tablets. 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed.
  • Not only are parents concerned about who their children are interacting with online, they are also monitoring how much time they spend in front of a screen. 57% of Indian parents allow their child to have 1-2 hours of screen time per day, and 21% allow their child less than one hour a day.
  • The need for monitoring internet usage is real, though, with 54% of Indian parents claiming they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website, highest when compared to 13 other countries:

o   Australia (26%), Brazil (45%), Canada (25%), France (41%), Germany (33%), Italy (33%), Japan (18%), Mexico (35%), Netherlands (26%), Singapore (37%), Spain (32%), U.S. (37%), U.K. (23%)

  • 50% of Indians stated that they have argued with their child about bringing a device to bed.
  • Conversely, kids aren’t the only ones who are using devices when they shouldn’t: Approximately 71% of  Indian parents surveyed also claimed that their child has called them out for being on their device during family time.

The Good News: Online Safety Conversations Are Happening Between Parents and Children

  • Indian parents understand the importance of talking to their children about the potential dangers on the internet, with roughly 93% having addressed the risks with their children at some point.

Tips to Keep Families Secure in Year Ahead

To stay protected in the evolving online world, McAfee has the following tips for parents:

  • Start conversations early. If you start talking about online safety early on, it will make your job that much easier when your children get older. If your kids are young, you can start with simple rules like “don’t open emails from people you don’t know.” Treat rules for online behavior just like any other rules. You want online safety to be part of normal behavior.
  • Set a good example.It’s easy to get caught up spending a lot of time paying attention to our smartphones and tablets.  Kids pick up our habits, both good and bad, so you can set a positive example for them by limiting your time on social networks around them.  Putting down the phone during dinner and family time will let your children know the importance of interacting with others in person as opposed to online.
  • Set password rules.To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Put a consequence in place for breaking this critical password rule.
  • Gain access.Parents should have passwords for their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices which allow them to have full access.
  • Up your tech knowledge.Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use, as well as creating your social media accounts. Staying knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks is an important way to understand how they work and may help you determine whether your kids are on them.
  • Keep strangers out.  As children use technology so frequently they can become desensitized and let their guard down, potentially allowing the wrong people into their circle. Your child could be interacting with (and manipulated by) a social predator or dangerous person posing as a teen (catfish). A false sense of security can set in not just on social networks it applies to services such as Uber*, Lyft*, and Craig’s List*, where safety is an assumption. Remind kids that anyone can create a profile and to turn down friend requests from strangers.
  • Take control of your home network.The home network is the hub for all of your connected devices. New solutions, such as McAfee Secure Home Platform, help you easily manage and protect devices connected to this network while providing parental controls with permissions that can be tailored to the entire household.

First 1000 Days are critical in Development of the Baby

The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures

Nutrition during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system. In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that the foundations of a person’s lifelong health—including their predisposition to obesity and certain chronic diseases—are largely set during this 1,000 day window

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The first two years of your baby’s life are more important than we know

In the first 1000 days, your baby grows more than the entire remainder of their life. In the first year alone, your baby’s weight triples and height increases by 50%. What’s more, a staggering 80% of their brain and cognitive development is complete by their second birthday, with their brain size tripling from birth to two years; Babies are born with immature immune systems and it takes up to 2 years to strengthen it.

With a pace like that, it is no surprise that the food they eat shapes how your baby grows and develops in the first 2 years. There are changes you can see, and changes that you can’t. But the one thing that is clear, is that your baby needs a whole lot of nutrition during this time, more so than at any other time in their life.

But did you know, that what your baby eats in the first two years, determines your baby’s potential for the rest of their life? The right kinds of food have the power to ensure your baby reaches their full potential when it comes to physical growth, learning capacity and also ensure that your baby isn’t susceptible to illness as a child and as an adult.

If your baby doesn’t get the right kind of nutrition that meets all their requirements, there are very real risks of irreversible damage to their brain development and physical growth.

What does your baby need for this rapid growth and development…

Your baby needs two kinds of nutrients: macro nutrients and micro nutrients.

Macro nutrients are responsible for providing energy and aid physical growth and development. For example, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Essentially this is development we can see with our eyes.

What you can’t see developing within the baby are the brain & immunity growth and development. These are fueled by the micronutrients which your baby needs & are very important during this phase. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients. Iron, zinc, vitamin A for example, aid in brain development and immunity.

The green & white revolutions in India during the 60s, 70s & the 80s has been instrumental in delivering high quality macronutrient rich food for a large population of India & health indicators for macronutrients have gone up. But micronutrients still remain an issue wherein India needs a micronutrient revolution to make sure every child is able to meet their potential.

Micronutrients need special attention in the first 2 years because any micronutrient deficiencies during this time could lead to impaired cognitive development and affect immunity. This affects brain growth and immunity and leads to reduced learning capacity later in life and can also make your baby more susceptible to infections throughout life.

Your baby’s milestones are a source of great pride and a sense of achievement. With the right amount of macronutrients, the physical milestones are obvious to the eye. But because you can’t see the consequences of micronutrients deficiency immediately, most people tend to miss out on ensuring that their babies get enough micronutrients.

How do you ensure that your baby gets the right nutrition in this critical stage?

In the first six months, breastmilk is the gold standard & is sufficient to meet your baby’s needs. Once your baby turns six months, breastmilk needs to be supported by other foods.

When starting off on solid foods, your baby can’t take in more than a few spoonfuls of food. This, as you know, is because your baby’s stomach is incredibly small. It is the size of their tiny fist, which is only 20% of the size of an adult’s stomach.

The surprising part, though, is that while their stomach size is so much smaller, they actually need more nutrition than adults to support their incredible growth rate. Babies need 5 times more nutrition than adults at this stage.

 So the limited amount of food that the baby eats needs to provide all that the baby requires. While breast milk still continues to provide partial nutrition to your baby, the other foods you give bear the huge responsibility to bridge the gap that breast milk can’t fill.

How are these complementary solid foods doing in meeting your baby’s requirements

Indian diets are majorly grain and plant based, with little to no intake of pulses and green leafy vegetables. These diets are high in macronutrients but are very low in micronutrients, iron, zinc and calcium.

This is a cause for concern because the percentage of these nutrients that need to be met by complementary foods is extremely high. 98% of your baby’s iron and 72% of your baby’s zinc needs should be fulfilled through complementary food but our Indian diets are insufficient to do so.

Gaps in micronutrient delivery is the highest when your baby is moving from exclusive breast milk to complementary feeds, because the needs are going up whereas delivery is going down at the same time.

Couple this with the size of your baby’s stomach, and it becomes next to impossible to meet their needs through regular food. For example, to meet the daily requirement of Iron for a 6-12 month old child, the mother would have to feed 9 bowls of spinach puree!

*% of RDA to be sourced from complementary foods

So how do you manage your baby’s micronutrient needs?

You need to give your baby small quantities of food that are packed with more nutrients than your regular food. Nutrient dense foods or complete foods that are fortified with minerals & vitamins like iron, zinc etc. so that your baby can get all they need in the amount of food that they can actually eat.

Iron plays a very important role in your baby’s brain development and cognition and iron and zinc help in the development of your baby’s immunity

Fortified cereals and foods have been found to be the most effective way of ensuring that there are no micronutrient deficiencies in children.

In addition to fortified/complete foods, you need to ensure diversity of food groups in your baby’s diet by including foods from all food groups on a daily basis for a balanced diet.

Supplements are a solution to tackle the issue, and you can give supplements of various vitamins & minerals after consulting your pediatrician. However, fortified foods are safer and closer to regular food and more effective. Additionally, the palatability of supplements is not very high especially for babies, and leads to very low compliance, thus beating the purpose of supplements, whereas fortified foods become a natural part of the baby’s diet.

Hence you could use fortified food like Atta, Salt etc. readily available in the market to ensure your baby gets the right nutrition for his/her proper development.

In fact, 2 bowls of fortified cereals a day bridge the nutrition gap in your baby’s diet

By ensuring that your couple fortified foods with your baby’s regular diet of homemade foods, you can rest assured that your baby’s nutrition needs are fully met.

Inputs by Manjari Chandra, Consultant Nutrition, Multi-Specialty Centre

Dettol helps new moms to provide a germ free World for new borns

Dettol, the leading germ protection brand from the portfolio of RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) organised an insightful session dedicated to expecting and new mom’s in Gurugram today. The event saw participation of specialists like, Dr. Sanjay Wazir, Paediatrician, Cloudnine and Dr. Geetika Ganlovgwani, Lactation consultant (IBCLC) & Women’s health physiotherapist, Fortis Mamma Mia. The focus of discussions was to educate the mothers about the importance of health and hygiene for their new born.

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Good hygiene for a clean Nursery

When your baby comes home, until their natural immunity has developed, it’s important that everything they come into contact with is hygienically clean. This means making sure surfaces are not only cleaned but also disinfected (using a antiseptic liquid) to properly kill germs. Choosing suitable baby essentials will help.

  • Make sure your changing mat is waterproof so it can be regularly cleaned and disinfected
  • Choose toys that are easy to clean
  • Have Dettol Multi Use Hygiene Liquid to hand for wiping contaminated surfaces
  • Choose a cot that is safe and is easy to wipe clean if your baby is sick

Preparing for hospital

A pregnancy checklist will help you stay organised right up to the time you’re ready to go to hospital to give birth. Here are some things to get ready in advance.

For you:

  • Your birth plan
  • Dressing gown, slippers, old nightdress for labour and clothes for afterwards
  • Underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Dettol Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

For baby:

  • Nappies
  • Muslin cloth
  • Baby blanket
  • Clothes to wear in hospital and to travel home in

Preparing for birth

During birth you and your new baby are vulnerable to germs and bacteria. Good hygiene is therefore vital to keep you both healthy.

For a hospital birth:

With good hygiene as one of your baby essentials, you and your baby can be sure of a healthy start.

Teach your Kids Hygiene Habits from Early

Having good hygiene habits involves more than just hand-washing. Teaching your kids to have a healthy hygiene routine when they’re young can create habits that last throughout their lives. Use this head-to-toenails guide, and teach your kids good hygiene habits .Here are  some  good hygiene habits you should teach your kids early.

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1. Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene practices should be a part of every child’s daily routine. In fact, parents should take proper care of Oral hygiene  from the moment the child grows their first tooth.By cleaning a child’s teeth and gums, you can help prevent a wide range of health issues, including bad breath, cavities and heart disease later in their life.

Once your child is old enough, you need to supervise the way he or she is practicing oral hygiene. You should make your child brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes twice per day. Also, encourage your child to clean their teeth after each meal to prevent the growth of bacteria and avoid tooth decay.Along with brushing, flossing and rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash is also important.

Proper brushing and flossing is a learned skill that can only be improved with practice. It is the duty of parents to instill this important hygiene habit in children at an early age.

At the same time, you must make sure your child is not eating sugary junk food in excess, which has a detrimental effect on the teeth.

If your child is not taking proper care of their teeth, bring the subject up for discussion. If needed, take him or her to a dentist. A dentist can help teach your child about the consequences of bad breath, symptoms of dental problems and how rotten teeth can jeopardize their appearance and career options in the future.

2. Nail Hygiene

Nails take a lot of care and pampering to stay healthy, so it’s important to teach your child how to care for them at an early age.

Developing healthy nail-care habits is a must, as nails are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can easily transfer to your child’s eyes, nose and mouth, making him or her sick.For smaller kids, parents should ensure that the fingernails are clipped every week. Keeping the nails short is a good way to reduce the amount of germs present under the nails. Plus, short nails stay cleaner and break less often.

Once your child is comfortable enough to trim his or her own nails, teach them some basic rules, such as nails should be trimmed after taking a bath or shower because they are softer then, nails should be cut straight across to prevent ingrown nails, rough edges of nails should be smoothed down with a nail file or emery board, and teach them not to cut the cuticles as they protect the nail root.

You can even invest in a good nail brush and teach your child to scrub the dirt out from under their nails before bedtime.

If your child develops the habit of nail biting, discourage it immediately. Nail biting can transfer harmful bacteria to the mouth, which can then make their way to the digestive tract causing many problems.

3. Bathing Ritual

Your baby may love or hate to take a bath, but bathing is one personal hygiene habit that you should instill in your child at a tender age.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and it plays a major role in protecting the body from external elements, such as dirt, dust and countless bacteria. With regular bathing, you can keep the whole body clean.

Bathing or showering also helps get rid of dead skin cells, so as to make way for new skin cells. Parents should give younger children a bath, and never leave them alone in the bathroom. On days, when you cannot give them a bath, a sponge bath is another option.

Once your child is big enough to take a shower or bath on their own, supervise and teach them properly in the beginning.

Make your child take a shower twice a day, once in the morning and again before going to bed. While taking a shower, teach them how to clean the different parts of the body – the hands, armpits, legs, feet, groin, joints, back, belly button (navel), elbows and knees. Show them how to do it and then let them practice it.

Also, teach them to pat dry their body after bathing and then apply a light moisturizer to keep it hydrated. Make them change their underwear daily and wear clean clothes.

4. Hand Hygiene

When it comes to hand hygiene, hand washing is an integral part that parents should teach their children at a young age. Hand-washing is a simple activity that takes just a few seconds of time, but this habit can keep germs and infections away.

Washing the hands frequently can decrease illnesses in children, as it is often through the hands that harmful microbes enter the body. Improper hand hygiene is one of the main reasons behind diarrhea among children as well as adults.

For younger babies, wipe their hands with a clean washcloth at frequent intervals.

As your baby starts growing, teach him or her how to wash their hands thoroughly, and not just wet them under water.

Children should be taught to wash their hands with soap and water. After applying soap, make sure your child rubs his or her hands together to lather up for about 20 to 30 seconds, then rinse off the soap completely with clean water.

Hand-washing should be practiced before and after meals, after using the washroom, after playing in the dirt or with pets, after coughing or sneezing, and after being in contact with someone who’s sick.

5. Foot Hygiene

Just like hand and skin hygiene, it is important to teach your child about foot hygiene.

Wash your baby’s feet at least twice a day, and make sure to dry in between the toes completely. The water accumulated between the toes is one of the reasons behind foot fungus. Do not make your child wear footwear all day, especially without socks.

Once your child grows old enough to take care of his or her feet on their own, teach them some basic tips. These tips include:

  • Washing their feet at least twice a day. To clean the feet properly, teach them to scrub with soap between the toes, the soles of the feet and under the toenails.
  • Teach them to use a clean cloth to wipe their feet dry, especially in between the toes. Then, apply some moisturizer to keep the feet hydrated.
  • Encourage them to keep their shoes clean and dry.

Being a parent, always buy socks made of or lined with cotton, instead of synthetic fibers. When it comes to shoes, leather and canvas shoes are the best as they allow the feet to breathe.

6. Toileting Hygiene

Once your young child becomes toilet-trained, you as a parent need to focus on the habits that your child needs to learn to keep their little parts clean.

Teach your child to wipe thoroughly from front to back with toilet paper after using the washroom. Teach them to continue wiping with fresh toilet paper until it comes out clean. They should also be taught how to flush the toilet and use the bidet, if you have one.

If needed, put a sign on the bathroom wall under the toilet paper roll to remind your child what he or she needs to do after using the washroom.

Also, make children wash their hands each time they use the washroom. These healthy habits will help minimize irritation and keep infections at bay.

Have patience while teaching your child about toileting hygiene, as a lot of children have trouble mastering these habits.

“Koco Kids- Imagine. Discover. Learn”

After successfully completing 15 years – Shri Balaji International School Trust (SBIS)(ICSE, Malad( west), announced that that they are foraying further into the field of education across locations to provide quality early education to little children. Their new project is called ‘Koco Kids- Imagine. Discover. Learn’ a Preschool and Play Area opening at Santacruz (West). The trust has upheld its long-standing principle of strengthening and encouraging childhood development on an emotional, intellectual, social and physical level through a unique partnership between its trained facilitators and parents.

Koco Kids is focused on providing a loving and enriching atmosphere to help your child achieve their maximum potential. This would be the first of its kind Preschool & Play Area with the largest indoor and outdoor play area. At Koco Kids, you will discover tailored programs that have been thoughtfully designed for your child’s precious early years. Working closely with parents through a happy, fun and unhurried atmosphere, we help develop an interest in learning with fun.

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Koco Kids promises a one of its kind concept which combines constructive outdoor play with a state of the art soft play and indoor play area. A place where kids of all age groups can climb, jump swing and run under one roof. Along with that there will be extra-curricular activities which will be open to all, for the complete growth of the child.

The outdoor play area is a kid’s paradise with plenty of developmental benefits. Talking about the activities and amenities in detail, the space has a sand table, a water table, a tree house, a gardening pit, swings, kinetic sand. They also have a kid sized hammock which makes it easier for kids to get in by themselves and stay in without the fear of falling. The sand and water table has been designed in such a way that kids will get the developmental benefits of playing with sand and water without getting dirty, or without the worry of hygiene especially with water. The space also has a beautiful turf and is surrounded with greenery so children have space to run, jump and play in a lustrous green environment without getting hurt.

The indoor play area is equally enriching and interesting. It is filled with elements for physical development and fun like the trampoline, ball pool and a zip line. Considering the safety of kids, all edges are rounded and sharp surfaces are foam padded, all windows are grilled and doors have child-locks to prevent lock-ins while maintaining safety. The premises have CCTV camera coverage. All toys and play equipment have safe, child friendly, non-toxic paint that is safe even if put in the mouth. Special care has been taken while designing to ensure there are no small objects. It is a one of its kind play gym that ensures not just complete safety and development of a child but also does not compromise on quality for your child just like their own homes.

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The Cafeteria is a quaint little space for our parents to grab a cup of coffee and feast on some healthy snacks while their little ones are busy exploring Koco Kids. We have a wide array of options to satisfy your little one’s hunger pangs as well.

The trust’s (SBIS) mandate is to provide early learning skills, appropriate social skills with play structures that encourage active mind and bodies.  Each child can explore, play and be as creative as they want to be in a safe, loving environment to help them reach their maximum potential.

Sharing their mission and vision, the owners added, “It is important to allow each child to be his or her unique self and to respect that they grow at their own pace. One must allow the body and mind to grow as nature intended. We aim to create a safe and loving environment that creates opportunities to learn and develop with the help of trained facilitators. We like to take it easy allowing natural progression and to inculcate a sense of discovery and curiosity rather than the instantaneous rote route that is followed by many

 

Get Social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KocoKidsPreschoolandplayarea/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/koco_kids/

Address: 101, Swati Building, North Avenue Road, Behind Kotak Mahindra Bank, Santacruz(W)
Landmark: Powerhouse Gym Building

Ways to Find Confidence in a Child

It takes confidence to be a kid. Whether going to a new school or stepping up to bat for the first time, kids face a lot of uncharted territory.Naturally, parents want to instill a can-do attitude in their kids so that they’ll bravely take on new challenges and, over time, believe in themselves. While each child is a little different, parents can follow some general guidelines to build kids’ confidence.

Self-confidence rises out of a sense of competence. In other words, kids develop confidence not because parents tell them they’re great, but because of their achievements, big and small. Sure, it’s good to hear encouraging words from mom and dad. But words of praise mean more when they refer to a child’s specific efforts or new abilities.

When kids achieve something, whether it’s brushing their own teeth or riding a bike, they get a sense of themselves as able and capable, and tap into that high-octane fuel of confidence.

Building self-confidence can begin very early. When babies learn to turn the pages of a book or toddlers learn to walk, they are getting the idea “I can do it!” With each new skill and milestone, kids can develop increasing confidence.

Parents can help by giving kids lots of opportunities to practice and master their skills, letting kids make mistakes and being there to boost their spirits so they keep trying. Respond with interest and excitement when kids show off a new skill, and reward them with praise when they achieve a goal or make a good effort.

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With plentiful opportunities, good instruction, and lots of patience from parents, kids can master basic skills — like tying their shoes and making the bed. Then, when other important challenges present themselves, kids can approach them knowing that they have already been successful in other areas.

Stay on the Sidelines

Of course, supervision is important to ensure that kids stay safe. But to help them really learn a new skill, it’s also important not to hover. Give kids the opportunity to try something new, make mistakes, and learn from them.

For instance, if your son wants to learn how to make a   sandwich, demonstrate, set up the ingredients, and let him give it a try. Will he make a bit of a mess? Almost certainly. But don’t swoop in the second some jelly hits the countertop. In fact, avoid any criticism that could discourage him from trying again. If you step in to finish the sandwich, your son will think, “Oh well, I guess I can’t make sandwiches.”

But if you have patience for the mess and the time it takes to learn, the payoff will be real. Someday soon he’ll be able to say, “I’m hungry for lunch, so I’m going to make my own sandwich.” You might even reply, “Great, can you make me one, too?” What a clear sign of your faith in his abilities!

Offer Encouragement and Praise

Sometimes, kids give up when frustrations arise. Help by encouraging persistence in the midst of setbacks. By trying again, kids learn that obstacles can be overcome.

Once kids reach a goal, you’ll want to praise not only the end result but also their willingness to stick with it. For instance, after your son has mastered making that peanut butter sandwich you might show your confidence by saying, “Next time, want to learn how to crack an egg?” Sandwich-fixing and egg-cracking or painting a window or  even making Sand castle might not seem like huge achievements, but they’re important steps in the right direction — toward your child’s independence.

Throughout childhood, parents have chances to prepare kids to take care of themselves. Sure, it’s great to feel needed, but as kids steadily gain confidence and independence, their relationship with you can be even richer. You can be bonded, not just by dependence, but by love and shared pride in all they’ve achieved.