Why Children get Frustrated or Feel Lethargic

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Early childhood educators must be aware of the appropriateness of activities, toys and equipment which they introduce to children in this setting (this also applies to parents and guardians). Finding materials and equipment that fit the developmental needs of the children is necessary to facilitate their sustained interest and involvement in play. Toys that are too simple or too complex can cause children to become bored or frustrated. For example, children need to have developed certain physical capabilities before they can utilize and enjoy playground equipment. However, if playground equipment, designed for toddlers, is being used by four and five year-olds, the children may feel bored and they may appear uninterested in gross motor play. In order to experience the joys of mastery which enhance children’s feelings of self-esteem, it is necessary to provide children with a variety of activities at which they can gain competence. Early childhood educators encourage children who are attempting new skills or perfecting old ones. They help children to experience success and they participate in the child’s enjoyment of success. Early childhood educators follow the cues of children rather than insisting that they conform to their personal plan.

 

Early childhood educators must also take cues from children in terms of scheduling. Early childhood educators who notice that a group of children to whom they are reading are becoming restless and fidgety need to have the self-confidence to end the story, even if it is not finished, and encourage the children to move around. Early childhood educators, particularly those with a mixed age group, realize that activities which are appropriate for some of the children, may not appeal to every child and that flexibility in children’s participation is the answer to this problem.

 

It is important that many of the materials that children find in an early childhood setting encourage the use of their imaginations and assist them in expressing their own ideas. Open-ended materials are those that can be used in a variety of ways. Blocks, Lego, ladders and boards, paint, clay, play dough, sand, mud and water are examples of some open-ended materials. Early childhood educators must avoid the impulse to show a child how a material should be used. Part of the reason children play is for exploration.  Materials and equipment are stored in such a way that children have the freedom to choose and to reach what they need. If they are to develop autonomy and independence, children must be able to choose the materials that they want to use. Storing materials in places that children can freely access is essential to the development of independence and creativity. Allowing children access to a variety of choices in materials and equipment indicates that early childhood educators trust and value the decisions made by the children and gives children the message that they are capable of choice. When choices are not available to children, it is important for early childhood educators to make that clear to them.  When early childhood educators are not comfortable with the safety of a piece of equipment for the children in their setting, they can sometimes resort to rules to control the use of the equipment. If equipment is considered safe by the teaching staff and children feel free to use it, beneficial play is likely to occur. Children should feel the freedom to immerse themselves in activities without anxious adults communicating their fears and their concerns. Early childhood educators must have a firm foundation in child development in order to allow children to take developmentally appropriate risks and to encourage children in their risk-taking rather than to inhibit them.

I LOVE YOU…

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Love and acceptance; give love with no strings attached.  Show love and acceptance through your daily expressions of affection, care and concern.  Spend time together  with playing, working and relaxing together.  Show that you feel good about them with hugs.  Often, tell them “ I like what you did/said” and “ I love you”

 

A sense of belonging; help them build valuable family and community relationships.  Encourage pride in their family’s ethnic background and heritage.  Keep reminders of family events and family history at the centre when the child is having separation anxiety.

 

Security and safety; provide a safe physical environment.  Set and enforce clear rules and limits.  Be realistic in your expectations.  Encourage them to say “no” to negative pressures.

 

Trust: be consistent so they know what to expect.  Be sure your verbal and nonverbal messages agree.  Be honest about your feelings to yourself and to the children.  Treat each child fairly.

 

Respect; accept what they are feeling even if it is different from your own feelings.  Show respect for their feelings, beliefs, actions and individuality by listening with sincere interest.  Make “I feel” or “I believe”, rather than “you are”, statements when you do have to tell children what they are doing is wrong.

 

Confidence; Encourage them to face challenges and take risks.  Teach them to make decisions and to set goals.  Express faith and confidence in them and their capabilities.  Provide opportunities for them to take responsibility for their actions.  Help them recognize that there are things they must accept and things they can choose to change.  Give them an opportunity to succeed.

 

Feeling special; Value their uniqueness.  Be optimistic.  Have a cheerful attitude (remember to set a good example).  Try things their own way.  Understand that trying your best is more important than winning.

Feng Shui aka Developmental Space

Organizing the room in such a way that toys and furniture occupy most of the space and that boundaries and pathways between play areas are obvious, can elicit a very different reaction from children. Providing that there are warm and accepting adults encouraging children, a well-organized room with interesting materials and equipment generally communicates to children that they can play comfortably and focus on their activities.  The well-planned arrangement of the setting also creates a safer environment for children. Early childhood educators must be aware of the routes that children take to get from one play area to another, to the bathroom or to the out-of-doors. A setting which lacks clear pathways can cause unsafe and annoying situations to occur. A block play area set up in the middle of a path which children use to go back and forth to the out-of-doors may seldom be used or may be the scene of conflict between children. It is essential that early childhood educators look at the areas of the environment that are used as pathways and make sure that these are not being occupied by other activities. They must also make sure that pathways adequately direct the movement of children.

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In order that a setting meets children’s developmental needs, it is important that it contain a wide variety of things to do. Equipment can be looked at in terms of the activity that a child is invited to perform with it. The greater the variety of equipment and materials, the more likely it is that children will find activities that appeal to them. An early childhood setting which offers water play, sand play, construction, climbing, sliding, and painting gives many more choices to children than does a setting in which swinging and digging are the only activities available. It is important to look at the amount of variety within the setting, making sure that there is sufficient diversity to appeal to the individual differences and the developmental levels of all of the children in the setting.  Interesting activities, invitingly displayed can, however, be sabotaged by their juxtaposition to very different activities which call for different energy outputs by the children using them.

Expressions

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The emotion of fear is fully developed by 9 months and is expressed in two ways: separation anxiety and stranger wariness.  Stranger wariness is the distress that young children experience when they are exposed to people who are unfamiliar to them.  When a stranger approaches a typical 6 month old, they would look away and begins to fuss.  This begins somewhere between 8-9 months of age reaching its peak at 12-15 months. At this time infants begin to realize that all people are not the same and that the relationship they have with their primary caregivers is special. How wary an infant feels around strangers depends on a number of factors.  Infants tend to be less fearful of strangers when the environment is familiar.  If infants are given time to warm up to the strangers who are female than those who are male.  Stranger anxiety is adaptive because it emerges at the same time that the child is maturing to crawling.

Being wary of strangers provides a natural restraint and makes the infant less likely to wander away from familiar caregivers.  Stranger anxiety gradually declines as infants learn to interpret facial expressions.  Separation anxiety is the intense fear or anxiety that occurs when a parent or caregiver leaves the child.

Infants growling cognitive skills allow them to ask questions with no readily apparent answers: why is my mother leaving? Where is she going? Will she come back?

Think Before Speaking

Baby's first thought...Daddy's a moron.

We all talk about our 1-year-olds in front of them. Who doesn’t recount the day’s events to a spouse over dinner or compare kids’ temperaments during playgroup? Since young children tend to be around us much of the time, it would be nearly impossible to save all our child-related chat for naptime or bedtime. And adults often assume that because toddlers aren’t talking much, they’re not taking in what we’re saying. Wrong, say experts. Babies listen. And they understand more than you think.

“There is often a huge difference between receptive language and expressive language at this age,” explains Jean Berko Gleason, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Boston University and author of The Development of Language (Allyn & Bacon, 1996). “Toddlers can clearly understand complex conversation long before most parents think they can.”

Children start to recognize their names by around 4 1/2 months, so even a young baby may pay more attention if you mention her in conversation, says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia and coauthor of How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life (Penguin, 1999). By as early as 14 months, children are masters at reading social cues: When we get angry, our voices get louder, our movements jerkier, and our breathing more rapid. By contrast, when we’re happy, we tend to speak gently and softly and to move and breathe more slowly.

In other words, no matter what you say, chances are your toddler gets the underlying message, says Edward Schor, M.D., medical director at the Iowa Department of Public Health, in Des Moines. “If a parent complains about her child taking off his diaper but thinks it was cute, the baby will hear a voice with a nice lilt to it,” he says. “If she’s angry, he’ll pick up on that tone too.”

By the time they turn 1, most babies know about 50 words. Simple nouns that refer to objects or people, such as dog and mama, are usually the first words they learn, followed within the next several months by a few verbs, like hug and kiss, and a nascent understanding of the way words work together in sentences.

Then, at 18 to 21 months, children suddenly launch into what experts call a “language explosion,” learning an average of nine new words a day, and they also begin to understand how word order affects meaning. Once this happens, kids start to figure out not just that you’re talking about them but what you’re saying. For example, if your 20-month-old hears you complain that she pulled the dog’s ears, she’ll probably pick up on her name and the word dog, but now she’ll also realize that you think she did something bad.

Do we need to curtail what we say when toddlers are in the room? “All attention is good to some extent,” says Dr. Schor. “Toddlers whose parents are talking about them lovingly tend to enjoy that focus.” Even if what you’re saying about your child is positive, however, Dr. Gleason believes it’s better not to make a habit of talking as if she weren’t there. “It makes a lot more sense to include a child in your conversation, which will strengthen her linguistic and interactional abilities, than to make her just a passive observer,” she notes. So if you’re telling your caregiver about what your child did the night before, try asking your daughter, “Katie, can you tell Michelle about the puzzle we worked on?”

It’s especially important to keep a lid on negative things you say within a child’s earshot. “If toddlers constantly hear a statement like ‘Ryan’s the quiet one,’ or ‘Todd’s such a bully,’ they may carry it around for a long time and decode it when they’re older,” says Dr. Gleason. In fact, she says, studies have shown that children can learn words or even entire phrases without understanding them and then piece the meaning together at a later date. So if a child often hears herself called a “hitter,” she might take that label on as part of her identity once she learns what it means.

Celia Graham, of Orlando, Florida, learned about the power of labeling with her son Joshua, now 5. “When Josh was a toddler, he went through a phase where he wouldn’t say hello or even respond when people asked him questions, so I explained it by saying, ‘He’s shy,’ ” she recalls. She didn’t think he understood, “but as he got older, he started to say the same thing about himself. I felt as if I had stigmatized him.”

Still, even sensitive parents talk about their toddlers in front of them sometimes. Are we doing terrible damage? Of course not, but it pays to be careful. “If you wouldn’t want to have something said in front of you, don’t say it in front of your child,” Dr. Hirsh-Pasek advises. And when in doubt, remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss in Horton Hears a Who!: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

By: Rona Gindin from Parents Magazine

 

 

C.U.R.R.I.C.U.L.U.M

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Curriculum, in an early childhood education centre, covers literally everything that happens to a child from the time he or she arrives at the centre in the morning until he or she is picked up at night. It includes planned and unplanned activities. Curriculum is defined as “the sum of an early childhood educator’s knowledge about children’s needs, materials and equipment, and what happens when they meet”.

The planned approach to curriculum development is one in which comprehensive lesson plans are developed with behavioral objectives. When the objective to be met is improved fine or gross motor skills, then the lesson plan will include activities that promote the learning of these skills. Successful curriculum planning, therefore, requires knowledge of developmental and behaviour theory, good observational strategies and the tools to assess whether or not the objective is accomplished.

Curriculum should be based on a knowledge of normal development within a given age span, as well as consideration for the individual child, the individual rate of growth and the unique learning style.

Curriculum for I/T:  In high-quality infant-toddler programs, it is understood that very young children need to play a significant role in selecting their learning experiences, materials, and content. Curriculum plans not only focuses on games, tasks, or activities, but on how to best create a social, emotional, and intellectual climate that supports child-initiated and child-pursued learning and the building and sustaining of positive relationships among adults and children.  Having more motor skill ready areas for child. eg: a bar to pull themselves up, musical toys, tickling toes, playing peek-a-boo can be some examples of curriculum of an infant and toddler in a classroom.

Curriculum for 3-5’s-  Themed learning: under the sea theme would have activities work around that specific theme, sing songs, dramatic play of different fishes and mammals, arts and crafts of sea life etc, physical movement and outdoor play, free play, music and movement are some things that a childcare provider can offer in a 3-5 group curriculum.

Persistence. Never Give Up

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above: Michael Jeffrey Jordan and his father James Jordan

“My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes,” Jordan would later say.

 

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on Feb. 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the fourth child of five in his family, and the youngest of three boys. His mother, Deloris, worked as a teller in a bank, and his father, James, was an equipment supervisor who had served in the Air Force.

When he was a toddler, Jordan’s family moved from Brooklyn to Wilmington, North Carolina. His parents set high standards of hard work and ran a disciplined household. (For more, see: 7 Real-Life Ways To Become A Billionaire.)

Jordan’s father pushed his sons to achieve in athletics, and built a small basketball court on the family’s property. His mother also pushed her children to work hard. When young Michael got into trouble and was sent home from school one day, Deloris made him sit the entire day in her car and study, so she could watch him from the window of the bank where she worked.

“My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes,” Jordan would later say.

In the family, Michael had the reputation of being the lazy one, often talking his way out of doing household chores, or using his allowance to buy his way out. Young Michael lacked the mechanical talents of his father, unlike his older brother, Larry, whose knack with machines made him seem like his father’s favorite son. Michael and Larry developed a healthy rivalry in the household that would set the foundation for Jordan’s combative and fiercely determined personality. Larry was also a gifted, driven athlete, but only grew to be 5-foot-3.

As a teenager, Jordan was a standout athlete in multiple sports at Wilmington’s Laney High School, which was known for its basketball program.

As a sophomore, Jordan tried out for Laney High School’s varsity basketball team but did not make the team. It was rare for sophomores to make the Varsity team, and at around 5-feet-10 at the time, Michael was likely considered to be too short. He did, however, make Laney’s junior varsity basketball team that year, where he was the star performer. Nevertheless, being rejected by the varsity team motivated Michael to improve every facet of his game and he spent that summer at an elite basketball camp. It was there that he committed himself entirely to basketball. Prior to that, Michael had been equally interested in baseball, and was a standout pitcher for his school. During the 1980 season, Jordan pitched 45 consecutive scoreless innings for the Laney High varsity baseball team.

The following year, Michael experienced a growth spurt that him four inches taller and he easily made Laney High’s varsity basketball team. His play drew national attention and led him to be named a McDonald’s All-American in his senior season. At that year’s McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game, Michael led the East team to a 96-95 victory, scoring a record-high 30 points. (For more, see: From Poverty To Power: Celebrities Who Started With Nothing.)

After mulling over scholarship offers from such prestigious universities as Duke, the University of South Carolina, the University of Syracuse, and the University of Virginia, Jordan chose to stay close to home and attend the University of North Carolina. In his first season, Jordan made a splash and won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Rookie of the Year honors in 1982. That season ended with a play that put the 19-year-old in the national consciousness for the first time, when he made the game-winning shot to win the 1982 NCAA Championship over Georgetown, led by future NBA star Patrick Ewing. In 1984, Jordan would be named to the NCAA All-American First Team and win both the Naismith and John R. Wooden College Player of the Year awards.

Jordan left North Carolina a year early to enter the 1984 NBA draft, where he was selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls. Two years later, he would return to North Carolina and complete his degree in geography.

In 1984, his first season with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan made an immediate impact on the sport.

Written by: Colin Dodds

Bed-wetting

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Wetting the bed at night, or nocturnal enuresis occurs in up to 20% of five to six year old.  As the name suggests, the bed wetting is only during the night without any daytime accidents.  Additionally, there is usually a very strong history of bed wetting in the family.  There are two types of bed wetting: primary nocturnal enuresis means that a child has never been dry at night.  Secondary nocturnal enuresis is like your situation, when a child has had a period of dry nights lasting at least six months before starting to wet the bed again.

Although the exact cause unknown, we believe that it has to do with child’s inability to control the bladder at night.  We do not consider it abnormal for younger to wet the bed because in most cases full night-time bladder control or maturity is achieved by five years of age.  There is usually no psychological cause of primary bed wetting, although psychological or emotional stress may be an important factor in secondary nocturnal enuresis.

Most children eventually grow out of bed wetting.  I would suggest children to drink more fluids during the day, less at night.  Soft drinks that contain caffeine aren’t a good idea either.  This is because they increase the amount of urine produced, so children need to go to the toilet more often or simply as to remind Jerome to go to the toilet one final time before bedtime.

No Limits

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It is important that many of the materials that children find in an early childhood setting encourage the use of their imaginations and assist them in expressing their own ideas. Open-ended materials are those that can be used in a variety of ways. Blocks, Lego, ladders and boards, paint, clay, play dough, sand, mud and water are examples of some open-ended materials. Early childhood educators must avoid the impulse to show a child how a material should be used. Part of the reason children play is for exploration.  Materials and equipment are stored in such a way that children have the freedom to choose and to reach what they need. If they are to develop autonomy and independence, children must be able to choose the materials that they want to use. Storing materials in places that children can freely access is essential to the development of independence and creativity. Allowing children access to a variety of choices in materials and equipment indicates that early childhood educators trust and value the decisions made by the children and gives children the message that they are capable of choice. When choices are not available to children, it is important for early childhood educators to make that clear to them.  When early childhood educators are not comfortable with the safety of a piece of equipment for the children in their setting, they can sometimes resort to rules to control the use of the equipment. If equipment is considered safe by the teaching staff and children feel free to use it, beneficial play is likely to occur. Children should feel the freedom to immerse themselves in activities without anxious adults communicating their fears and their concerns. Early childhood educators must have a firm foundation in child development in order to allow children to take developmentally appropriate risks and to encourage children in their risk-taking rather than to inhibit them.

Besides moving equipment to new places, it is also valuable to consider how it can be recombined.  Combining pots and pans from the kitchen play area into the sandbox play area to incorporate more/different kinds of play.  Simple play units such as swings, tricycles have low absorbing power, that is each item soaks up only one child at a time for play.  When two kinds of materials or equipment are combined, such as digging equipment is added to the sandbox , the play unit becomes complex.  This has stronger absorbent power than just the simple units.  Better yet, the super play units, which combines three or more materials or equipment at once (water or sand play, digging etc) plays a more powerful absorbent for children drawing bigger groups of children for a longer and effective cooperative play.

1 Block, 2 Blocks, 3

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Blocks are one of the most important play and learning materials for children.  They have remained the classic fixture in early learning environments, since the 19th century because they provide rich opportunities for play that addresses all developmental domains.  Blocks take shape according to children’s actions on them.  As the blocks respond, they in turn, elicit further action from the child.  All types of blocks are highly responsive and dynamic play and learning materials.  Unit blocks have special advantages, in that they are mathematicially precise, large enough to create clear representations, impressive in size and proportion and handsome to look at.  Recognizing that there are many types of blocks that help children achieve similar types of learning.  Unit blocks are however unique and essential in ECE because of their potential to promote representational thinking and spatial relationships. Helps the children feel strong and masterful as well as provide opportunities to be creative.