Archive for October 2009
We often hear self-esteem, self-concept, self-worth, self—, and wonder how these labels apply to our children. We can read articles that advise us to acknowledge and praise everything our child does and we can read articles that tell us not to. This gets confusing. Well, as a veteran early childhood educator, member of family organizations, parent and grandparent, I can tell you one thing that is certain; a warm smile and “thumbs up” that recognizes a positive act is welcomed by everyone.
Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to feel good about their world. They will take the time to make friends and try new things. They will take more responsibility for their actions and find pleasure in relationships with others. They see their world as a friendly, secure place because they are in it!
Building your child’s self-esteem doesn’t cost a thing, either, except your love, your time and your attention.
Wonderful! I’m proud of you! You tried really hard! I like the way you did that. Thank you. You are a good friend. I can tell you’re getting bigger! This is the nicest picture I’ve ever seen! I love you!
Sound familiar? I hope so! These phrases and other meaningful praise we give our children help them feel good about themselves and build their self confidence. Every time we take time from our schedules to really listen to our children and talk with them about their interests and ideas, we are telling them they are important and worthwhile.
Everyone needs to feel appreciated and loved. Small children thrive on it. We send this message to our children through nonverbal cues as well: Eye contact, smiling, bending down to their level, or holding them in our arms or on our laps shows them they have our attention and we want to know what they are saying.
Even the little things matter: Taping a paper to the fridge, listening to a favorite song, allowing your child to help in the kitchen or care for the baby, and letting him hear and see you truly encouraging him goes a long way in building self concept.
Children with healthy self-esteem feel that they are an important part of the world, that they are accepted, and they know that there are people who care about them. How can that be wrong?
Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director
Parents often anticipate the process of potty training with more than a little dread. While we look forward to the days when we no longer have to buy and change diapers, potty training has acquired the reputation of being a long, difficult process.
It doesn’t have to be!
Here are some simple tricks to help your little one learn to use the potty:
Watch for signs that your child is aware of her body needs, such as
- hiding when she fills her diaper
- becoming “regular” and predictable during the day
- using language and/or body motions to tell you she is wet or soiled
When he shows an interest in the bathroom, make this room “user friendly” for him. Provide a potty chair or a children’s toilet seat, place a stool in front of toilet or sink, and keep cloth or paper towels at eye level towels.
Use siblings as models. Ask an older sister or brother to demonstrate how they use the potty.
Character/superhero/princess or decorated underpants are very motivating – get some!
Read books about potty learning, have conversations – not lectures – with your child about using the potty, and respond positively to your child’s interest and requests to go to the bathroom.
All learning takes time! Be respectful of your child’s timing and allow her to sit on the potty until she is ready to get off. Rushing or fussing over a child learning to use the potty often back tracks progress.
Don’t mix messages! When a child is out of diapers, keep them out of diapers. Pull-ups are just diapers shaped like underpants. When your child is ready, commit to cloth underwear. Be consistent. Keeping a few extra pair of underpants and playwear on hand in case of an accident, and not making a big deal (never ridiculing or scolding) out of an accident, truly helps with pottying.
Smile! Sometimes you will feel like it will never happen, but it does! It is a proud day when your little one uses the potty with consistent success!
Make Learning Fun!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director
Our 20th Anniversary here at EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers is well underway with student, parent and staff celebrations. The administrators, teachers and support staff of all 11 EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers are continuing to commemorate their two decades of providing high quality childcare in Western New York and positive growth to 11 locations.
We are so proud to have been involved in the care and education of thousands of local children over the years. With 20 years in the early childcare business, we continue to dedicate ourselves to providing a home away from home for those kids in our care, and to making EduKids a fun, safe learning environment.
We started celebrating our successful history this past Spring ‘09, when students and staff took part in creative team competitions to put together the Top 20 Fun Facts about EduKids, and produced a timeline and map of the company’s history in Western New York. In July, students and their families enjoyed a picnic and game day; in August, they participated in anniversary parades in each of the communities that EduKids serves.
Upcoming events designed to reinforce EduKids‘ links to WNY’s families and neighborhoods include Guest Reader Day, where former EduKids families will read to current students; Community Appreciation Day, where the children will make edible treats to deliver to community partners as a thank you for their support; and a 20th Anniversary Tree Decorating Contest in December.
EduKids began as a single early childhood center, with only three students, in Orchard Park, NY, when I was unable to find an educationally focused childcare program for my son. I was disappointed in the limited programs available to families in this area, so I dedicated myself to opening an outstanding facility with an experienced and loving staff; a place where children would feel safe and loved while their developmental and educational needs were being addressed. Two decades later, my original vision and mission remain at the heart and soul of every EduKids Center.
Today, I’m proud to say that EduKids’ 11 centers are spread throughout Western New York in Amherst, Lancaster, Cheektowaga, North Buffalo, Orchard Park, Williamsville, Buffalo, West Seneca, Hamburg, and our newest center in Elma. All of our centers provide extended hours for busy families, nutritional meals, and focus on learning, literacy and creative play.
EduKids’ Education Director, Kate Dust and I have consistently strived to achieve nationally recognized educational excellence for the Centers, and in honor of the anniversary, recently received a commendation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Seven of the 11 centers are NAEYC accredited and our EduKids team is currently in the process of receiving accreditation for the remaining centers.
“Establishing and maintaining the high quality and standards represented by NAEYC Accreditation is something of which to be proud,” said Dr. Mark R. Ginsberg, Executive Director of the NAEYC. “[EduKids’] reputation for excellence is well known and respected” in the early childhood field.
– Nancy Ware, founder and owner of EduKids