Registrer for The Tips for Teachers event here:
Some Children Welcome Hugs; Others Don’t
Most early childhood educators pay attention to the variety of reactions and feelings young children show when adults outside their families attempt to greet them with hugs. Advice columnist Amy Dickinson’s “Ask Amy” feature included a recent discussion about friendly – but not intrusive – greetings for children. A woman who teaches children in a church ministry described a way to give children a choice. Each day she greets each child by name with a brief “pleasantry” and asks the child if she or he would like a high five, a hug, or a wave that day. This allows children to choose the greeting they are comfortable with and helps them learn about consent and their control over themselves. Dickinson added a fourth possible choice that she had offered her shy young child when adults greeted her: a “silent hello,” looking at the adult without having to speak until she was ready. The Chicago Tribune offers the March 17, 2019, column online at: https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/askamy/ct-ask-amy-03172019-story.html
Early Childhood Learning and Gardens
The Early Childhood Community Coalition’s Tips for Teachers event series will include a future session on gardening with children, a proven learning experience. Meanwhile, the University of Illinois Extension provides inspiring information on school and early childhood gardening – on two Web pages: go.illinois.edu/MyFirstGarden and go.illinois.edu/SchoolGardenResources. Preschool educators will want to adapt information for young children and for their own early learning and child care facilities.
Getting to Know Parents and Local Primary Educators
A program in California’s Fresno Unified School District highlights the benefits of early childhood educators and care centers speaking with parents of young children and improving communication among preschool and primary grade educators. Fresno schools wanted to learn more about preschoolers’ languages at home and parents’ preferences regarding language instruction in the District’s preschool and primary grades. Teachers began a program of interviewing parents of preschool English learners. The District noticed the benefits of learning what parents knew and didn’t know about educators’ approaches to language learning. The District assured parents whose home languages are not English that the schools work to support children’s home languages as well as English (while also respecting instances where parents strongly preferred no emphasis on a non-English language). As a result, educators saw much greater interest among families in the schools, as well as parent volunteering in preschools and schools. The District is working to expand conversations with parents of all young children in the District, as well as communication with non-school early learning centers and child care homes. Early childhood centers and day care homes everywhere can benefit by building relationships with their communities’ schools and by talking with parents about their understanding of early childhood learning. EdSource has a report on the Fresno efforts online at https://edsource.org/2018/building-relationships-with-preschool-parents-one-conversation-at-a-time/603908.
Pediatrics Academy Strengthens Policy Against Spanking
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new policy statement concerning spanking and corporal punishment, saying that these practices are ineffective in teaching children responsibility and self-control. Rather, the AAP argues, research indicates that spanking increases aggression in children and may negatively affect brain development. The updated AAP policy statement will be published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics (and published online November 5, 2018). See https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Says-Spanking-Harms-Children.aspx. Early childhood educators are not in a position to teach parents child-raising, but educators and early-childhood care providers may find opportunities to help stressed parents understand alternatives to spanking and verbal abuse of children, such as rewarding positive behavior and clarifying expectations and limits.
Infant Massage by Parents Helps Babies in Several Ways
According to the New Parent Support Program at Naval Station Great Lakes, research shows babies who are regularly massaged by parents have better weight gain and are more relaxed and less colicky. The Naval Station’s New Parent Support Program offers Infant Massage Classes to military families at no cost. Babies massaged by parents who learn healthy techniques also have increased melatonin, resulting in improved sleep cycles and less stressful nights for babies and parents, lower cortisol levels, and other health benefits. Early childhood teachers and care providers can advise Lake County military parents to contact the Great Lakes Fleet and Family Support Center for information about Infant Massage and the New Parent Support Program at 847/688-3603 ext. 100, according to Great Lakes Bulletin. Non-military parents can ask their pediatricians about infant massage.
The Power (and Importance) of Play for Young Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently advised pediatricians to prescribe periods of play for children and their families. Yes, play – and yes, prescribe! The pediatric group has released a policy statement, “The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children.” In it, AAP summarizes developmental and neurological research that supports the importance of activities such as peek-a-boo, Simon Says, and other healthful play. Information is available from www.aap.org and various organizations such as HealthyChildren.org (https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/fitness/Pages/Caution-Children-at-Play.aspx). [Reported in the New York Times (August 28, 2018)]
If You Have Ideas for “Tips for Teachers” . . . email them to email@example.com
The Value of Reading to Babies and Toddlers
Parents magazine’s August 2018 issue reports on research at the NYU School of Medicine that indicates reading to babies and toddlers helps prevent later childhood aggression, hyperactivity, and attention issues.
Fortunate Children Who Eat Fish Regularly
Parents magazine’s August 2018 issue also reports that children who eat fish at least once per week score higher on IQ exams and sleep better than those who eat fish less often or not at all. Dietary fish contain DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid crucial for brain and eye development, according to Laura Gibofsky, R.D., pediatric dietician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Here are tips for including fish in meals for children.
Lightly coat mild tasting white fish in egg whites and bread crumbs, and bake.
Serve fish fingers with a healthful and tasty dipping sauce.
Let children choose from options, helping them enjoy fish.
As kids develop abilities to help in the kitchen, involve them in food preparation and safe cooking.