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Raising a Child – part II

Raising a Child  5/5/17A copy of the Kedish House newsletter arrived on my desk a couple of weeks ago.  One of the articles in the newsletter was about preventing child abuse.  The article stated, “A body of research has identified factors known to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect.  These factors – including parental resilience, nurturing and attachment, social connections, knowledge about parenting and child development, social and emotional competence of children, and concrete support for parents – are all very necessary for child abuse prevention.”

In addition to helping prevent something negative, like child abuse, “knowledge about parenting and child development” also contributes to the positive.  Because of this, I chose to prepare this week’s Seize the Day news column as a continuation of the column I wrote two weeks ago.  At that time, I highlighted four of the twelve principles of child development that form the basis for work done by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  Here are four more principles of child development that can help build a foundation for positive parenting.

1. Children are active learners.  They develop understandings about the world around them by having physical and social experiences and by having the adults in their lives encourage curiosity, questions, and problem-solving.  “Play” is the child’s work.  It is through play that they develop physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively.  Play is also a reflection or indicator of their development.

 2. All areas and aspects of a child’s development and learning will be an interaction of his/her inherited characteristics and the physical, social, emotional and cognitive stimulation and experiences provided in his/her environment.  Children’s experiences will shape their motivation and approaches to learning.  Just because mom or dad didn’t like school or “wasn’t good” at math or spelling, for example, doesn’t mean their child will or has to have that same experience.

3. A child’s development will be advanced when he/she has opportunities to practice newly acquired skills while also experiencing challenges that are just a step beyond their currently level of mastery.  Challenges can present some frustrations, and overcoming them to achieve a new level of skill is immensely satisfying and rewarding.

4. Children will develop and learn best when their physical needs are met and they feel psychologically secure.  Being safe and feeling valued are important to all people, children and adults, alike.  Having family traditions, routines, and rituals goes a long way toward creating security and predictability.

In “bite-size” chunks, between today’s news column, and the May 5 news column, I’ve now highlighted eight of the twelve principles of child development.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more information about child development and parenting.

Sources:  http://www.naeyc.org/dap/12-principles-of-child-development and https://oldweb.naeyc.org/about/positions/dap3.asp

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/baby-caucasian-child-daughter-20607/ (downloaded 5/9/17)

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