What child-care tip has helped you the most as a parent, teacher, or other childcare-giver?
If you could choose only one tip to share with new/inexperienced parents, teachers, or caregivers, what would it be?
Love and respect the child as a person with the right to choose their actions and inaction. That means asking a child their opinion, asking them to perform certain tasks, and asking to pick them up. Forcing them to do actions they do not want to do, or do not understand in the timeline you demand (unless its a safety concern) is disrespectful to the child. Picking a child up when they do not want you to is intrusive.
Show them love, respect, and trust. They will then learn to love, respect and trust others.
Being a single parent for many years forced me to be both mother and father. And without child support, I had to work long hours and multiple jobs. I learned right away that the only way to have any kind of control over our lives, I had to demand respect and stand firm. Therefore, my one tip would be: Be a parent, not a friend.
You can always be their friend when they get older but in order for them to grow into self sustaining and law abiding adults who respect their teachers, their caregivers, or anyone in authority, that has to begin at home.
I learned from my mom. If you ask for my opinion, both the teacher and other childcare-giver will help. If they are moms too, their child-care tips will come from their own experience. In the end, it is always "mom knows best". :-)
Laugh. A finely honed sense of humor will help anyone dealing with children. We have to be able to laugh and not take frustrating situations too seriously.
I've been a teacher for the last 13 years and a mother for the last 5 years. Both life experiences has taught me to find joy in the moment and to always make learning fun. Everything you do makes a huge difference in the life of a young child. It is not something to be taken lightly, but it is done best with love, laughter, patience and understanding.
The best piece of advice I ever received, before I even had children, was never to read any parenting how-to books! I got the same piece of advice from both my mum and my grandma. It wasn't them just being old-fashioned - it was them saying that I should trust myself to be good at being a mum. I did, and I am! It encouraged me to get in tune with my children, to work out solutions for myself and engage my brain with parenting.
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