Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sharing A Moment

One of the best ways to interact with your preemie and really work on his/her development is to share moments. The way you share a moment can change and grow as your preemie becomes more interactive and vocal. Here are ideas to help you share a moment with your preemie.

Face to face - get up close with your preemie and play with him/her. If you are holding your preemie - put your face close to him/her and sing or talk. It doesn't have to be anything important.

Imitate - wait and see what your preemie does and then imitate him or her. If he/she puts a block in a container than you can do the same. This can also work in reverse - especially when you are working on a particular part of development. For example, we are trying to get our daughter to clap so first I start to clap slowly and then stop. Sometimes she will then clap in response.

Interpret - Try to interpret what your preemie is trying to tell you or show you. If he/she points at the swings than say "Swings." Or if they point or gesture at a flower say "Pretty flower." This will also help your preemie start to link words with objects.

Comment - Another great way to interact is to comment on what they are doing. If you are outside and your preemie touches the grass, say "the grass is wet" or "the grass is green."

Take turns - When you are playing, make sure you encourage turn taking. If you put a block in the container, stop and say "your turn" and wait for your preemie to try and do the same (or gently help him/her drop the block in the container. As your preemie gets older, you can play simple games that require turn taking to help reinforce the concept. In the beginning it may seem silly to take a turn (most adults don't really want a turn) but it really is helpful for your preemie.

Ask questions - What is your dolly going to wear? Do you want the red block or the blue block? Is the apple yummy? Any question that encourages interaction and sharing is a good place to start.

Have fun sharing a moment with your preemie!

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