Children's needs at different stages in life
My brain is very active, but it still can't work on its own. It needs to be linked to an adult’s brain – like yours!
Adults can manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. But my brain can't do this yet. I need you to respond to me and show me so that I can learn how to do this for myself.
When you hold me, or lift me on your knee, or hold my hand, I feel safe and protected. This helps my brain and body to settle and be calmed. If you get stressed I need you to relax: that helps me to stop being stressed and to relax.
My brain is very active so I can find things confusing. I often feel frustrated! I still can't manage stress by myself – I need you to hug me and soothe me.
Because I love and trust you, the more I relax with you, the more my brain starts to sort out how I can do that all by myself.
Playing helps me to make sense of the world.
Sometimes I want to play on my own. I can find out how things work and fit together. I also copy what you do and begin to find out what it feels like to be a person who can do things.
I also like it when you play with me. I watch you, listen to you and learn from you all the time.