Mother and Toddler

Do You Know the Five R’s That Your Child Needs Every Day?

Published Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

We are all familiar with the three R’s: reading, ‘riting’ and ‘rithmetic’, but many parents are not so informed when it comes to the five R’s. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Early Brain and Child Development program, teaching young children and infants certain social, emotional, and language skills improves their ability to handle life’s challenges and stress later on.

Basically, these five R’s are natural, intuitive habits that nurture a child’s brain development. So, what are they exactly?

Read together with your child every day.

Rhyme, play, and spend quality time with your child every day.

Establish daily routines for meals, bedtime, naptime, and playtime.

Reward your child with positive statements to build self-esteem and promote good behavior.

Nurture relationships with your child to promote healthy mental and social development.

Even though the AAP created the list as a reminder for pediatricians, parents don’t need to wait until their child’s check-up to employ the five R’s. And while the five R’s may be common sense, it can be second-nature nowadays to hand your child a tablet or smartphone to occupy them. But, the AAP recommends that kids between 2 and 5 limit screen time to less than an hour a day.

So, how can you get more of the five R’s in your child’s day? Try these five recommendations:

1. Visit the library or bookstore. "Reading with young children is a joyful way to build strong and healthy parent-child relationships and stimulate early language development," Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and the statement's lead author, told the Huffington Post after the program’s release.

2. Attend a Mommy-n-Me class at your local library or YMCA. Many of these classes are free and are a great way to play, talk, sing and bond with your child.

3. Make a reward chart. Give your child praise and a sticker each time they do something good, like listening, being patient, sharing. Having both a visual and verbal reward helps build their self-esteem and reinforces positive behavior.

4. Set a specific time for dinner. Better yet, have your child help you prepare meals (and clean up). Also, try to stick to a routine such as Bath, Books, Bedtime so your child knows the sequence of a routine.

5. Schedule date nights with your child. If you have more than one kid, set a date once a month (rotate months if you have more than one child) where you and your little one get out of the house and have quality one-on-one time. Go out for ice-cream, take a walk around the block – it doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant.

What advice do you have about incorporating the five R’s in your child’s day? Share with us in the comments below.

All parents should master the 5 Rs with their children, according to pediatricians.