I am attending an online counseling session for my generalized anxiety disorder, and one topic that my counselor and I discussed was on bringing my 3-year-old to a daycare center. She suggested that this can help while I have my own time and not worry about childminding for only a brief period. This can aid in my worries and help me focus on my other activities. I am amenable to the suggestion, but now my fears are centered on how to select the right daycare center for my son. My counselor first educated me on the benefits and downsides of the daycare center and gave me the following tips on how to proceed.
According to child psychiatrists, children’s growth and development is not only supported by their families but will also entail contribution and help from the external environment. The very first formal environment that a child enters is the daycare center. There are many things children learn from preschool, things that home life setting may not be able to provide. Better than anywhere else sending a child to a daycare center is the most viable option to prepare a young child for future academic, emotional and social skills.
“[C]hildren benefit most in high-quality daycare settings, which include warm and engaged caregivers; a safe and stimulating environment; and structured educational activities,” wrote Noam Shpancer, PhD.
Helping your child adapt to daycare can be a challenge, especially when a child has been solely taken care of by parents and primary caregiver for the past few years. The transition can be a significant change for your child and adjustment can be a complicated process.
From an early age, I grew up watching the popular 90’s American comedy Frasier almost every morning before school as my mum would usually have it on in the background. Immediately I was fascinated by the profession of the main character Frasier Crane, a radio talk show psychologist. Even though it is probably not the best source of Psychology facts or information, I was instantly hooked, and I knew I too wanted to study Psychology. I bought second-hand textbooks from Car boot sales (or Flea markets for any Americans reading this) and immersed myself in the fascinating topic. At the age of 15 I chose to study it at college (Late high school for you Americans again, 16-18 years) where I obtained top marks and later took it at University and graduated with the highest possible grade.
As a parent, you always have teachable moments with your kids. That’s fine. You don’t have to know everything when it comes to raising children properly. That’s because there is no exact way of doing that. Every day spends with children brings a whole lot of experience, emotions, and struggles. So it is understandable to make way for new ideas and strategies. With that, this article will tell you the essential communication rules useful for toddlers based on a therapist’s approval.
As a parent, it is not surprising if you admit that you have various worries about sending your child to preschool. It is the first time that they will hang out with people who are practically strangers to them, after all. Though you may drop by as often as you want, the kid has to rely on their homeroom teachers and themselves to get through the day. You do not even know whether they will be able to keep up with everyone in the class or at least have a friend to sit with during lunch break.
Despite the uncertainty that you may feel towards your baby’s first day in preschool, you should remember that you were a student once upon a time, too. Considering you have attending different schools, you know what it’s like to be a new student. Hence, you may have an idea about how to act in the classroom to become likable in the eyes of your classmates and teachers.
In case your mom-brain has forgotten all about your school days, though, then let me refresh your memory. Here are a few traits that you can hone in your child to draw people at school towards them.
From the get-go, you should know that no one likes a little Ms. or Mr. Know-It-All, so you need to teach your child how to show modesty. For instance, they need to realize that it is not pleasant to brag about things or belittle their classmates who don’t have many toys.
“Other people matter, and we can matter more to others if we matter less to ourselves,” wrote Christopher Peterson, PhD.
Friendly kids don’t pick the type of kids they get close with. They say hi to everyone in the playground and do not mind sitting with other children during breaktime. They even greet the school staff when they see them inside or outside the school.
“There is a body of prior research that suggests social integration, engagement with family, and emotional support from a social network are positively associated with cognitive function in older adults,” said Amanda Cook Maher, PhD.
The teachers love students who show genuine interest in their lessons. For instance, if they learn about a new song, your child may pick up the lyrics faster than others. In case they watch a modern dance, your child volunteers to show their classmates how it should be done. Although it is only preschool we are talking about, the teachers can still take note of the attentiveness of each child and give them individual merits for it.
It is a great idea to inform young kids about the value of kindness as well. A thoughtful child is not bothered by the idea of sharing his or her snacks with a classmate who spilled theirs on the floor accidentally, for one. When a friend cries because the crayon they are using is broken, he or she will lend theirs to the former.
“Being kind can strengthen your relationships and sense of satisfaction in life,” wrote Karyn Hall, PhD.
Raising a child with all the fantastic traits mentioned above may not be easy. Some are mature enough to remember everything you tell them; others may be cheeky and do the opposite of what you are trying to teach. However, if you practice consistency and show the kids what you want them to do, it will not take long before they copy your actions.
When my firstborn, Jace, came, you could say that I was over the moon. We would go to playdates with other babies in the neighborhood, enjoy listening to children’s songs at night, and try to communicate with each other in our little ways. During the summer, my husband and I enrolled Jace to a swimming class for babies in which he learned not only to dive but also to have fun with others. All this time, I was thinking, “Hmm, I am happy to see how friendly my child is becoming. He will not have a hard time when he enters preschool.”
But then, the time for Jace to attend preschool came, and it turned out that he did not like it. He was excited to put on his little backpack in the morning of that day and go in the car with mom and dad. He thought that we were going on a fun trip as usual. However, his smile was gone when we pulled up in front of the preschool, and he saw a swarm of same-aged kids everywhere. When my husband picked him up, he hung on to his dad’s collar and buried his face on his shoulder. The crying started when my husband tried to put Jace down so that we could usher him in his classroom.
In truth, I was in utter disbelief at the moment. I did not know what to do; my child was using all of his energy to resist going past the door. I had to apologize to the homeroom teacher and say that we would return some other day because Jace was not ready to attend preschool.
Now, scolding an innocent child who is scared of going to school is not an option. I talked to other moms and found out that kids have to get comfortable with the idea of attending preschool first before taking them there.
The value of preschool is not strictly academic. Psychoanalyst Gail Saltz, MD, said, “Preschool is really for socialization, to introduce the idea that learning can be fun, and to teach kids how to share, compromise, and get along as a group.”
Realizing my mistake, here’s what I learned to do.
Visit Schools With The Child
The first thing you can do is to visit the schools that you want to enroll your little one in. Although you may be paying for their education, your kid should have a say when it comes to where they want to study. By taking them with you, you will see which place excites them the most, and so you know that they will have fun there.
Act Out Classroom Scenarios
Considering roleplaying is one of your child’s favorite games, you can coax him or her o act as if you are their teacher while he or she is your student. You may furnish the playroom with a blackboard, children’s books, and even the same desk or chair that preschoolers use. This way, they can get used to the idea of studying.
“Talk with your child about being kind to others, making friends, and how to handle bullying and teasing,” Dan Brennan, MD, recommended. “Also, talk about healthy hand washing and healthy sharing of toys and personal items.”
Teach Basic Skills
It will not hurt to teach simple things to your child as well, such as tying their shoelaces, carrying their backpack, or putting on their clothes. While the teachers will eventually show them what to do, their confidence level will increase when they already have such skills.
Rebecca Palacios, PhD, also said, “Children learn best when routines and daily schedules are established. Established routines make for smoother transitions and help children to prepare mentally for the day ahead while providing frameworks in which creative learning can occur.”
It matters to make your child like schools at an early age. They will spend the next 10 or 20 years of their life studying, after all, so they should start strong.
A lot of parents say after a couple of years of raising their kids that they can’t wait for the latter to start going to a real school. After all, having a school-aged child entails that peace and order will return at home, even for just a few hours. You can do every house chore without needing to monitor your kid as well. Furthermore, it will be effortless to focus on your work because there is no one to ask you to feed them or play with them every 30 minutes or so.
The thing is, parents mostly say such things when the kids make them want to pull their hair out. Once it is genuinely time for them to enter elementary school, the adults tend to be more jittery than the little ones. While the children are sound asleep in their bed, for instance, the mom and dad are wide awake at night, wondering how they will fare among big kids. Though parents can see the excitement in their babies’ movements, they can’t help but worry if the latter will be able to make friends on their first day. I know – I have been there and gone through similar thoughts myself.
Now, allow me to share what you can do to overcome your first-day-of-school jitters as a parent.
Believe In Your Child
The initial thing that you should do is to have faith in your kid. Believe that he or she can do well on his or her first day at school. Believe that he or she will know how to communicate with other pupils instead of sitting in the corner of the room. Moreover, believe that your child can act like a big boy or girl who no longer needs a mommy or daddy by their aside all the time.
You cannot lose faith in your offspring and show your anxiousness to them because they might get infected by your jittery behavior. Rather than having fun as soon as they step into the campus, they might beg you to take them home. Then, it will become challenging to make them like school.
Scope The Classroom Yourself
As a parent who’s firstborn goes to school for the first time, it is understandable if you want to accompany the child to their classroom. Some teachers know how worried you might feel; that’s why they may let you into scope the place. You can use that opportunity to reassure yourself that your baby is in a safe environment.
Don’t Be Afraid To Check In With The Teachers
It is not wrong to either text or call your kid’s homeroom teacher during the break to figure out how they are doing on their first day. Teachers are students’ second parents at school, after all. They should know more than anyone if your child can communicate well with their classmates or has a hard time adjusting to the new place.
Doing the tips mentioned above cannot guarantee that your first-day-of-school jitters will go away completely. I can tell you that you may deal with the same worries when your other kids start school for the first time, too. However, it helps to know what you should do when you feel more anxious than the new student.
Sending kids to school for the first time can be a bittersweet experience for parents. It will be great to know that you can have more vacant hours to yourself again. You may perhaps go out on your own without having to look for a babysitter first. More importantly, your house can be filled with silence, even if it’s only for half a day.
Nevertheless, it is understandable if you worry about how your children will function in a new place without you. From the moment they were born up to this day, they mostly depended on you as their parent. Now, they have to rely on teachers and themselves to get through their classes.
If you have similar concerns, though, you should know about apps like ClassDojo that many parents have been using for years now.
What Is ClassDojo?
ClassDojo is a startup company that offers an application where students and educators can commune and expand their knowledge base. It used to be free for everyone, but they have created premium features after the app’s widespread success.
Based on research, ClassDojo has already reached millions of educational institutions in the United States. Apparently, approximately 66% of primary school pupils deal with anxiety, which can go away when they know that their parents can see them.
How Did The App Rise To Fame?
The primary thing that jumpstarted the startup’s prominence is the fact that the students who also utilize the service are allowed to receive prizes from their tutors each time they do a great job. Although this reward system is not too different from how they get stickers from teachers at the end of classes, a few organizations have initially opposed the notion. Instead of being negatively affected by the criticisms, however, the partners behind the company decided to work harder to provide a newer and more efficient way of communication between all parties involved.
According to Diane Rhodes, an educator in Tiburon, California’s Bel Aire School who has been accessing the app for years since its conception, ClassDojo made communication effortless. It did not only work with the children but also with the parents who naturally wished to check up on their kids often. Through this new application, Rhodes was able to capture photos of the students as they perform various tasks at school, and then post them real-time for the concerned mothers and fathers to see.
How Does The Application Look Like?
If speaking of the design of ClassDojo, it is easy to deduce that it looks like the Facebook platform but with a darker purple color. Apart from the teachers being permitted to publish images in public, the parents are also capable of liking them and posting comments on every photo. The company even increased its services by developing Snapchat’s Students Stories that lets the children post pictures on their own as well.
Nevertheless, the goals that ClassDojo wish to fulfill are comparable to that of Slack, for the reason that the teachers can avail the application without having to ask the system first.
Founded in 2011 by Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, ClassDojo is an online space that assists educators in making learning more attractive to the students by creating a digital classroom wherein they can share everything.
The promise of intimate union and equal partnership is truly a beautiful thing to possess in this world. However, somewhere along the way, this contract might take a wrong turn and result in the collapse of marriage. This creates the dilemma that most parents wouldn’t ever want to face.
Divorce forges anguish to the perception of the once committed parents. Dealing with this huge problem can take its toll on their child’s health. While it’s inevitable that divorce can inflict stress to the children, psychologists say that there are ways to hasten their recovery.
“Parents can expect a full range of emotions from spitefulness, uncooperativeness, feelings of depression, being withdrawn or combination of all the above,” said Katherine Sellwood, PsyD.