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Archive for June, 2016

Caterpillars: One Week Old

Caterpillars

Wow! Look how much they have grown after only one week.

Caterpillars!

 

On Friday, June 17th, caterpillars arrived! Many of the classrooms will be learning about their incredible metamorphic transformation as they observe their caterpillars grow and change each day.caterpillars day 1

 

Fathering

Fathering

by Kyle D. Pruett, M.D

One of the principal behavior changes of American parents in the last generation centers on the wish that fathers be more involved day-to-day with their children.  My research on the issue of whether or not this is a good thing comes to two firm conclusions: 1) children raised by involved dads are thriving, healthy kids, and 2) fathers do not mother any more than mothers father.

So, what is unique about the way men parent, and does it matter to children?

* Fathers roughhouse with their kids right from the beginning more than mothers. This is interesting to children, they respond to it, and even seek it out. It helps to build physical confidence in boys and girls.

* Fathers allow frustration to build to elevated levels before intervening when their children are mastering something new. It turns out that dads think this helps children learn to handle frustration at manageable levels – preparing them for life’s uneven playing field. They are right.

* Fathers may give their children more leeway in new circumstances while mothers tend to stay physically closer to their children in the park or at the mall.  Dads want children to explore. Children tend to like it, and learn independence from it.

* Fathers use more real-world consequences to discipline whereas mothers use more social-relationship consequences.  Children who receive both integrate them well, giving them a stronger sense of internal control and self-discipline than children with uninvolved or absent dads.

* Kids with involved dads – dads who have fed, changed diapered, bathed, and comforted (with the support of their spouses) – do better in school, have higher self-confidence, use less violent problem-solving themselves, and have stronger verbal skills.

Children can distinguish the voice of their father from their mother at birth – and their handling styles at six weeks. Any questions?  Just ask the kids what they think of fathering.

Kyle D. Pruett, M.D. is an advisor for The Goddard School®.  Dr. Pruett is an authority on child development who has been practicing child and family psychiatry for over twenty-five years.  He is a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale University’s Child Study Center.

Outdoor Activities & Park Play with Your Children

Outdoor Activities & Park Play with Your Children

A day at the park may seem like ‘just another day,’ but learning and bonding experiences flourish at the park!

Pack for Safety

Drinking water, sunscreen, hat, water to wash as well as wipes for hands, sneakers or other closed-toed shoes, a change of clothes or a towel for the seat, small first aid kit for those little scrapes and a small trash bag to keep the earth litter-free are all important.

Expect to Get Dirty

Going outside is about the freedom to explore and the only way to explore is to touch it, and yes, it is dirty – it’s outside! Dirty does not mean ‘germy’. Roll in the grass, stomp in the mud, touch the frog and splash in the puddles.

Infant to Six Months

* Pack for safety: A blanket to crawl on and a sturdy pair of pants for crawling on rough surfaces. Be prepared to change diapers on the go.

* Be prepared to climb and crawl yourself. This is the best way for you to ensure your child’s safety. Watch for items going into your child’s mouth.

* Hydration: the outside air and activity increases the amount of fluids you both need to consume. And while you’re packing the water, pack a snack.

* Point, name and describe: As your child explores, point out the details; name objects and talk about your experience.

First Steps (12 to 18 months)

* Pack for safety: Bring a blanket and a sturdy pair of pants for crawling on rough surfaces. This is not the place for skirts or dresses.

* Plan for breaks and pack snacks, water and a few books.

* Dig and touch: Collect items to further explore when you get home.

* Walk the trail with your little one on a riding toy. Don’t forget the helmet.

* Park Play Etiquette: If your little one finds a playmate, ask the other parent if both of you may join in the play. Your child will learn to ask for your approval before playing with strangers and the parent of the other child will appreciate this overture.

Toddler and Get Set (18 to 36 months)

* Plot the potty path!

* Bring balls to throw and kick or bean bags and a bucket.

* Move beyond the park and walk a trail or explore a nursery. Go to the stream, lake or pond and skip rocks. Turn the rocks over to find creepy, crawly things.

* No breaks required – but pause for a moment to re-hydrate.

* Look through binoculars – even two toilet paper tubes offer a new view of the world.

* Tent it! A pop up tent is an instant playhouse.

* Take an umbrella and put on your galoshes – take a walk in the light rain.

Preschool to Pre-K (36 months +)

* Lie down and look up: Children like to see the world from a different perspective.

* Picnic: Let your child be a part of packing the necessities and preparing the sandwiches.

* Play “I Spy” or “I Hear.”

* Read or draw under the trees.

* Bring a magnifying cup for bugs and objects to view. Research your bugs and objects when you return home to learn more about each.

Go outside all year long – visit http://www.scdconline.org/PDF_files/weatherwatch.pdf to know what is considered safe outdoor weather for children.