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Observations by a Preschool Teacher

Updated on July 27, 2011
All in One Piece
All in One Piece
About a busy mommy that wants a night out & doesn't realize she sat in paint set before leaving. LOVE THIS BOOK!!

Through the years how many times have I wished, “Oh if only I could say to the parent, here’s our take on the situation, take this bit of advice and see if it helps.” But you don’t cause the parent is in a hurry or has just had enough on their plate for that day. So now I finally get a chance to reach some parents that may either be inexperienced or just don’t realize what’s happening from our perspective. Ok I know that my opinions about some of these observations will not be the same as yours. I know you may have chosen to do or not do some of the things I am about to mention for your own personal reasons. But my experiences from taking care of young children for 15+ years have drawn me to these personal findings and after all its my hub lol.

Overall through the years with each new generation of children, it seems like parents become busier and fill their child’s life with more structured activities or toys that have to teach the child a concept, or set them in front of a video while they answer emails. It makes me smile to see parents that takes the time to do crafts with their children, takes them to the park or the library story hour. I can not say often enough READ TO YOUR CHILDREN! Do you know the fun your child can have with a box or boxes inside of boxes? I have a few other observations I’d like to voice.

Lunches are arriving with more prepackaged food such as snackpacks or round PB & J sandwiches or apples in plastic pouches. Convenient yes but is that worth the loss in nutritional value compared to a homemade sandwich, or fresh fruit/vegetables that are not saturated in preservatives. We had a child break out in hives to those apples, but not regular ones. Also children do not want the same exact lunch every day. Try mixing in something new. Remember the phrase try it you might like it. Lol And for new parents please cut up any food that could be a choking hazard.

Many more children are expecting to be entertained by the TV/video when they eat. They ask for it but we use it only on rare occasions with our center like the week of Christmas. We like to talk during our lunch times. What did your mom pack for you? Did she give you some red strawberries or crunchy crackers?

Too often we hear the excuse I choose my battles with this one, so here are his/her shoes see if you can put them on. Yes we will be glad to, and yes it’s the fire marshall's rule for our room. This is not a choice he/she gets to make. If those are too tight we have others in this box he could wear. Do you understand where the boundaries of his/her choice are? It’s not whether or not he will wear them; it’s which shoes would they like to wear. And yes we have had children refuse to wear winter coats when it’s cold outside but then they don’t get to go play outside with their friends. If the class starts heading out without them, they generally pick wearing the coat. Even if they throw a minor tantrum because they have to wear it, that tantrum becomes less the second time and nonexistent the third time he wants to go out. Wearing proper apparel for the temperature outside is required in our room. You will be surprised at how fast children learn the expectations and accept them.

New parents it is ok if your child cries sometimes. We will investigate the situation we will decide if he is hurt physically or emotionally. And if that is the case we address the situation immediately. But did you know that we can tell if it’s just a mad cry or even if it’s crocodile tears purely for show? The latter two are generally a ploy to get their way. If it’s not his turn to have that particular toy, distraction generally works. But sometimes they think the tears will make us change our mind and they soon learn it doesn’t work. And guess what, those incidences diminish a great deal through the year. If you give in to those mad tears or crocodile tears only for the sake of making your child stop crying, YOU ARE REWARDING THE BAD BEHAVIOR and thus the bad behavior increases.

Reward good behavior when you see it, a child sharing a toy or helping some other child or just playing nicely by themselves (if they sometimes don’t). I like verbal praise along with a high five for our age of children. They come to expect if when they are picking up toys or finding a lost piece to a puzzle.

Never underestimate the value of a song for getting a rule or expectation across. In the hub I wrote called "Singing To Your Children", I expand on why singing during transitions of the day can reach a child easier than just stating an instruction of what they are supposed to do next. For example the "Barney Clean Up Song" can make a chore seem like fun.

I can’t tie up this article without touching on separation anxiety of your children when you leave them somewhere. First and foremost your child reads your emotions and then escalates them. If you show that you are nervous about leaving that child they will definitely be. We always allow parents to stay as long as they want when dropping off the child. We encourage them to drop off the child and stay out of site in the hall way and listen to how quickly that child is distracted and calms down once they know the parent is gone. They can even call back to the center within a few min to check how their child is doing. But if your child thinks you might come right back in the room, they will prolong the crying, hoping that works to get you to do that. If they think the crying will make you take them with you, they will cry more and longer.

Know that children are great manipulators at even this young of an age. They quickly learn what it takes to get their way. We as parents and teachers must realize that it is our responsibility sometimes to be more stubborn than they are. And to be consistent with the boundaries you are setting for your children. Love them, keep them safe, teach them, role model for them, and be their parent. Children thrive when they know there are some rules that will always be. And sometimes we feel like a broken record saying “Johnny your feet belong on the floor” or “Becky you cannot take that toy away from her”. But as the year progresses the children learn our boundaries and it is amazing how much fun the kids can have together in harmony.

If you liked my hub...

if you found it insightful, or some of the tips helpful, please leave a comment and vote it up or useful. I would like to hear what advice you found the most helpful.

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Feel free to browse my other hubs...

LIFE IS LIKE A BEACH BALL found HERE. Does your life sometimes seem like a beach ball in God’s hands? In this hub, I describe how my life/beach ball, has been batted and/or punted causing detours in my life despite the goals or plans I have tried to maintain.

SINGING TO YOUR CHILDREN found HERE. Here is my explanation why teachers of young children sing so many songs during the day even if they can’t carry a tune. Children enjoy music; it sooths their soul and helps them to naturally concentrate on the directions in the song.

SOME DAYS ARE LIKE THAT found HERE. A not quite so typical day of a preschool teacher but one we can laugh about none the less. And as parents and teachers that can relate to one or more of the events happening in their lives, you realize when they all happen on the same day, all you can do is laugh when the mom finds you and the child in the bathroom with a wet shoe.

SHOES ON THE RIGHT FEET found HERE.It's an easy parenting tip for teaching young children how to put their shoes on the right feet.

DEVELOPING ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS found HERE. It includes advice I wish I had known when I started the process of online dating such as using a separate email just for dating sites or new people, and setting up a buddy phone call code phrase for first dates that go south and you need an excuse to get out fast.


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