I haven’t posted in a while. Finding the time has been a challenge lately because I’ve been moderating several social media sites for my children’s preschools. I’ve had to do a lot of research for these sites, and I feel frustrated that my work is largely being “lost” to the ever-forward-marching pace of the the social internet.
I need a permanent spot for this work and this blog is going to be it for a while.
My plan is to post links to articles which will sometimes be accompanied by my own thoughts and ideas. I will also use my blog to reflect upon what I’m learning in the Parent Education component of these preschools.
I know this will be helpful for me. I hope it will be helpful for others.
In the spirit of change, this post includes my first stab at it.
We were discussing friendship in class. Friendship for our young children is very important. This article, Early Friendships Profoundly Effect Development, gives a brief overview of why. From the article: “Friends also have a powerful influence on a child’s positive and negative school performance and may also help to encourage, or discourage, deviant behaviors, such as delinquency or drug use. Compared to children who lack friends, children with “good” friends have higher self-esteem. They are less likely to be lonely and act more pro socially. They are able to cope with life stresses and normal transitions and are also less victimized by peers. Interestingly, children with friends of both sexes, as a group, are more well adjusted and have greater social skills than children who have only same sex friendships.”
My oldest is fortunate enough to have a very best friend in the entire world and I’m very grateful that this child’s mom has been such a wonderful friend to me as well. They are so close they really are like siblings–which is wonderful and challenging at the same time. But few of my child’s peers have similar friendships because there just isn’t time. My child and her friend spend upwards of 12 hours a week together, between school and play dates, and this has helped to solidify their friendship in a way that is just marvelous.
LEARNING TO SAY NO
“No,” is the first word (or among them) for so many children. No is important and we, as parents, need to help children learn to say No to protect themselves and to respect No when they hear it. Kid Power offers some great advice here, pointing out that, “No,” and, “Stop,” translates to helping kids keep themselves safe when they are on their own or when adults are nearby but not actively involved.
No has to be respected. Certainly, a child might say “No” when asked to clear the table after dinner. We, as parents, have to respect their right to say No and then help them to figure out whether or not they will like the consequences/effects of a No to our request to clear the table. They might not. But they might. And that’s OK.
Because a No here translates to them being able to say No in other places and at other times we want them to say No. We want them to say No when another child pushes them or says something mean. We want them to say No if someone tries to get them to do something unsafe. And, ultimately, we want them to say No if someone tries to abuse or molest them. For that reason, we have a very hard line in our house about No when physical play or contact is involved. I have no problem with my child wrestling, for example, but if my child or anyone else involved says No, then that No must be heard and respected. Further, if my child doesn’t want to hug someone or shake hands, I respect the No. It’s my child’s body–and my child doesn’t have to allow it to be touched by anyone without permission.