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The Importance of Relationships
Children’s relationships affect all areas and stages of their development.

This is because relationships are experiences. In fact, relationships are the most important experiences in your child’s environment because they teach her the most about the world around her. In turn, they shape the way she sees the world.

Your child learns about the world both by being in a relationship – for example, when he communicates with you – and also by seeing relationships between other people – for example, how you behave towards your partner, and how your partner behaves towards you.

Through relationships, your child learns whether the world is safe and secure, whether she is loved, who loves her, what happens when she cries, laughs or makes a face – and much more. And this learning is the basis for your child’s communication, behaviour, social and other skills.

Your child’s most important relationships are with you, other family members and carers – for example, early childhood educators. These early relationships are the foundation for your child’s healthy development.

Why play is important
In the early years, your child’s main way of learning and developing is through play.

Play is fun for your child and gives him an opportunity to explore, observe, experiment, solve problems and learn from his mistakes. He’ll need your support and encouragement to do this. But it’s important to try to find a balance between helping him and letting him make mistakes, because finding out for himself about how the world works is a big part of learning.

Lots of time spent playing, talking, listening and interacting with you helps your child learn the skills she needs for life, like communicating, thinking, solving problems, moving and being with other people and children.

But more than this, play is a great relationship builder. Spending time playing with your child sends a simple message – you are important to me. This message helps your child learn about who he is and where he fits in the world.
An excerpt from www.raisingchildren.net.au