During the guided conversation in Play With Me, the parents discuss topics related to children's development and parenting. Below is an example of the topics discussed during our 12 week sessions.
Week 1: "Helping Ourselves, Helping Each Other" - Raising healthy, happy kids is hard, but it's easier when parents aren't alone. In this first class, we'll talk about the importance of a support system, introduce caregivers to valuable community resources, and encourage class members to meet and talk with one another.
Week 2: "Bigger, Better Brains" - Every interaction your child has with the world around him helps to shape the way his brain develops. In this class, we'll talk about specific ways to encourage your child to explore his environment and strategies parents can use to help the brain develop in healthy ways.
Week 3: "Your Child's Nutrition" - We all want our kids to grow up to be healthy and strong, but understanding healthy eating can be tricky. This week, we'll talk about common nutrition concerns such as choosing healthy foods, dealing with picky eaters, and ways to encourage kids to try new foods.
Week 4: "Play = Learning" - Play is every child's most important job. It is the way he learns about the world and how he fits in with it. In this lesson, we'll talk about the benefits of play and strategies to encourage playful learning.
Week 5: "Every Child is Unique" - Is your child shy or outgoing? Does she handle change well or is she easily frustrated? These are some of the things that make up your child's temperament. In this lesson, we'll talk about why every child is different, and how these differences affect your child's behavior.
Week 6: "Building Stronger Families" - One of the most important ways to encourage healthy development is by building a strong and secure parent-child relationship. In this class, we'll talk about parents' important role as a secure base and a child's first teacher, and discuss tips for strengthening this vital relationship.
Week 7: "Self-Control: 'Me Want It, but Me Wait'" - Learning to regulate emotions, actions, and attention is a part of early development that is crucial to school readiness. This week we'll talk about why this skill is more important than the ABCs for school success and offer suggestions for opportunities to practice self-control with your child.
Week 8: "Temper Tantrums" - Small kids have big emotions, and because of this, temper tantrums are common (and can be hard to deal with!). In this lesson, we'll talk about how to respond to tantrums and give some tips on how to avoid them.
Week 9: "Saying Yes" - As parents, we often find ourselves pointing out the things our kids are doing wrong, but a focus on what they're doing right may actually lead to better behavior. In this class, we'll talk about setting limits, positive discipline, and distraction techniques as ways to encourage better behavior.
Week 10: "I Can Do It!" - Although it can be frustrating for parents, learning to do things independently is important for children's healthy development. This week, we'll talk about the importance of supporting your child's growing self-sufficiency.
Week 11: "Getting Along: Friendships in the First Few Years" - We live in a social world, and children aren't born knowing how to handle it. In this class, we'll talk about how important social skills are for school success, what "friendships" look like in the first three years, and how we can encourage the development of good relationships with others.
Week 12: "Keeping It Going" - In this last class, we'll talk about what we've learned and come up with some ideas for keeping the momentum going. Parents will have a chance to review community resources that are available and ask questions.