Families & the Community

Videos Help Parents Interpret Babies’ Behavior

By Julie Rasicot — July 19, 2012 1 min read
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Having trouble figuring out how to redirect your baby or toddler before another spoonful of pureed carrots hits the floor?

Try watching these new free videos created by the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College and Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization. They’re designed to help parents inspire positive early-childhood-learning experiences through daily routines.

The short videos are based on Zero to Three’s publications, “The Magic of Everyday Moments,” and use humor and “detective work” to help parents figure out what their kids need.

Take the one titled “CSI: Child Signals Interpreter.” Based on the concept of the popular crime-solving shows, this video opens with parents trying to feed a toddler who keeps throwing food back at them. Mom says,"She might be trying to get our attention.” Dad responds, “I don’t know. But she just got mine.”

The next scene shows the parents as crime scene investigators, complete with dark-blue jackets emblazoned with “CSI Child Signals Interpreter.”

“Let’s analyze the scene and process the evidence,” Dad says, donning a pair of dark sunglasses.

As the parents investigate the scene, a voice intones that understanding a baby’s behavior “can require some investigative work. Through careful observation and a little creative thinking, you’ll discover your baby’s interest and find ways to encourage her exploration in acceptable ways...like throwing soft toys instead of her dinner.”

Then the scene switches to the baby beaning her dad with small, soft balls. Funny stuff, indeed, and a playful way to deliver the message that parents “already have the tools to figure out what their children need,” said Michael Robb, director of education and research for the Fred Rogers Center, in a news release.

The other videos are “Bonding at Bedtime” and “Babies Need Breaks, Too.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.