• Sharing an interest in the same object is a wonderful way to bond with your child, as well as to help her to begin to form a strong theory of mind.
  • Theory of mind refers to a person’s understanding that he has feelings and beliefs that cause him to behave in certain ways, and that other people do, too. Building a strong theory of mind is important to developing appropriate social skills.
  • Sharing attention with your child, no matter what age, can help to establish a secure bond with you – an important part of building an understanding of people’s emotions.
  • It’s good to pay attention to the things that interest your child and take advantage of what educators call “the teachable moment”.
  • If your child is fascinated by dinosaurs, then read a dinosaur story, draw dinosaur pictures, or play with toy dinosaurs together for a while before or after dinner. Make sure to talk, talk, talk about what the dinosaurs are doing, why they’re doing it, and what your child thinks/feels about it all!
  • Here’s a sample:“Oh, I see you have your dinosaurs out – may I play, too? Wow, this tall dinosaur looks fierce! His teeth are very sharp – I bet he eats meat. Uh-oh, watch out! He’s chasing the smaller dinosaur into the swamp!”(Lots of great vocabulary in that interaction: fierce, sharp, chasing, swamp)

Tip #5: The Bottom Line:
Take at least a few minutes every day to do something that interests your child. Let him choose an activity to do together or a story to read together.