Finally! The Answer to Our “Three Things…” Question!

image

So the question was: “name three things this boy is learning”.

There are so many many more…but here are just three things he’s doing to prepare himself for school:

1. Hand/eye coordination: see how beautifully he holds the dinosaur AND gets it to his mouth? He’s going to need to be able to hold a pencil and read an assignment at the same time.

2. Focus and concentration: He is completely engaged in his activity. He’ll need that focus to stay with and complete his school assignments.

3. Curiosity: How does this taste? How does it feel…is it bumpy or smooth? Is it heavy? We want him engaged in the learning process and  love to learn!

These are all questions he’s answering and and tasks he is accomplishing by himself! It is exactly what he should be doing at his age.

Once again, we see a lovely reminder that we often need to get out of our kid’s way… put them in an environment (like the FRC!) that supports them…and lets them learn as they develop.

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to ask the FRC staff. We LOVE hearing about what you’re thinking and wondering about!

Kindergarten Prep!

image

Can you name 3 ways this child is preparing himself for kindergarten?

Our MOST Favorite Royal Baby Adviser!

                              image

Remember this post? We were referring to two great parenting books. We were shocked to find out that we’re not the only ones who think Drs. Brazelton and Sparrow’s ideas are pretty special (just kidding!).

We’re very excited that Royal Baby George’s parent’s are hearing good sound advice and that they might be reading the same book our FRC families love… The Touchpoints Book!

And The Royals would be jealous of us…because the authors came and spent TWO WHOLE DAYS with us last fall at Valley College! 

Falling in Love… Over and Over Again….

imageI know I’ve said before that YOU are your child’s most important person, place or thing…but I can’t find any other words to describe this photo.

I just love the way the little boy is looking at his dad…and the way the dad seems to be having such a great time with his son.

That’s only one of the many great things about the FRC…it’s just time for you to be with your child and play…no cell phones, dishes or emails to distract you. An hour and a half of uninterrupted bliss!

Need Some Peace of Mind?

imageIf the Royal Baby might be sitting in an improperly installed car seat….then anything is possible! What about our own babies’ car seats? How do we know they are providing the very best protection they can?

Worry no more!!!! The CHP is providing a FREE car seat installation inspection! Make an appointment and take your car by for a checkup.

Thank you Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian for sponsoring this great event!

Water, Water Everywhere!!!

image

We are having such a great summer at the FRC! The older toddlers are absolutely loving the water opportunities that are set up outside. Between the sprinklers, the wading pool, lots of water buckets in the sand, and all the babies that are getting washed…the kids are always wet and cool!

image

My Toddler Wants My Attention ALL the Time!

image

With our first children, it’s typical to think they DO need us all the time. At first they need us to meet all their needs -  diapers, food, comfort, interaction etc… And we’re so “in love”, and getting to know our babies, and that takes time. Everyday there’s something new to figure out.

But more and more, and as our parenting confidence grows, our role should include “observing” as well as “playing”. Our toddlers still want us…"we are our children’s favorite person, place or thing". Time together can be just “being together” as opposed to always thinking we need to be entertaining our children.

I really love this article. The author says it beautifully.

What do you think? Do you have strategies for dealing with this?

My daughter is 2 1/2 and she’s a TYRANT when we go to the park! Please help!

image

Why do we expect our kids to be born with social skills? We don’t expect them to be able to tie their shoes before they are taught. Actually - that’s on our list of parenting duties. Kids need us to show and guide them how to treat other people. For most kids, sharing and cooperating takes a while to learn.

Your daughter still operates from her own point of view…and doesn’t quite “get” that other people have feelings. Mostly we can stand back and let kids work things out on their own…but sometimes they need our help. Our job is to observe and narrate what we see…help them to come up with an alternative that works for both kids.

Not only do kids need lots of experience with others to learn these skills, they need to be developmentally ready…and that’s not really until about four or so. Also make sure that’s top on the list of what her preschool does. She needs "social learning" well before "academic learning". A good school does that really well!

Parenting….or Putting One Foot in Front of Another….

image

We all know there is no “recipe” or “instruction book” for parenting. Sometimes we wish there were. But it’s just not a onesizefitsall deal…kids are born with their own nature, birth order has an influence, how parents were raised matters….and on and on.

But what we DO know… is when we see a good book…we grab it and use it! Two such books come to mind immediately - Touchpoints and Becoming the Parent You Want To Be are both fantastic! 

I love these books! They help us to understand that kids do things because they are supposed to…that their timeline is theirs and their intent is not to torture us with challenging behavior. Of course we still need to discipline - that’s what makes them feel safe enough to explore and challenge. But it’s so reassuring to be able to take a step back and get clear about each other’s roles!

Both books are available in the FRC Lending Library.  Swing by and check out a copy today!

My 2 Year Old is Completely Self Centered! Will He Ever Be Compassionate?

                                        image

You are bringing up two very great topics! Let’s talk about the easy one first. Your 2 year old is just doing his job of developing! He sees everything from his point of view (as he is supposed to at this age) and will slowly grow out of that. You move him along by helping him "read" other people’s faces to understand about emotions. "Look at Billy’s face…he didn’t like it when you took his toy." 

And that is also a way to help him develop compassion….such an important value for creating a good world for our next generation, and good for you to be thinking of it early on in your child’s life! 

Since YOU are the most important person, place or thing in your child’s life….you and your family get to be the model. As he watches you - and how you treat people -  he learns what it means to live compassionately.

What are your thoughts about this? What strategies have worked for you?

Choosing Child Care or Preschool

image

We are so happy that we are a resource for the parents who bring their children to play at the FRC. We are proud that parents see us as knowledgeable… and feel comfortable asking us for guidance. We get many, many questions about lots of different topics, some easy, some more complicated. In the next few months we will address your concerns….so keep those questions coming!

A common request is for help navigating preschool programs in the community. We do know about many specific programs, and definitely have our point of view. But rather than give a list of what we like…we want to help you figure out what feels right for your family.There are so many issues to consider…and in the end, it comes down to your own instinct. You must feel good about your choice and it must work for the whole family.

As my dear dad said, "trust your gut". And I would also add, "first educate your gut and make it smart”. There are so many resources available…hope this helps to begin the process!

Let us know your thoughts!

Swimming Upstream

             image

We don’t want to sound old and mean spirited. But we saw something at the museum that was so disturbing. There was a young adorable dad with his beautiful older baby boy, maybe14 months old -  in his baby carrier on dad’s chest, facing out. The baby had the perfect view of the paintings and he was at ear level for dad to be talking with him about what they were looking at. Instead.… (drumroll please….) dad was holding his iPhone in front of the baby’s face with cartoons. 

Why were we disturbed? Just a couple of days before that I had a conversation with a friend who was telling me how excited she is that her daughter chose to get married in a museum. My friend was saying how gratifying it is for her, as she has been taking her daughter to museums since she was a baby.

And that conversation inspired me to look at this post, which i find endlessly beautiful. 

There was a great article yesterday in the NY Times about technology. Yes it’s happening…and it’s not a bad thing…but we must go with it thoughtfully and smartly. Make sure you read the comments after the article - they are very interesting.

What do you think?

WE LOVE TO PLAY!!!

image

We seem to post blogs about the importance of children’s play a lot. But when we see something great, we just can’t help ourselves! The importance of, and learning that goes on, when kids play is just endless. Our good friends over at the Child Development Institute said it well.

Play is one of the most powerful learning experiences for children and adults. The everyday back and forth interactions between you and your child while riding a bike, playing house, or digging in the sand actually changes your child’s brain! A bicycle, doll house, or truck is not your child’s favorite toy - you are! You are the love of your child’s life. When you play together, it lights up the emotional centers of your child’s brain which are crucial in learning and memory.

Playing with your child by following their lead increases your child’s engagement and interest in learning. When a caregiver is directive in their play style, the child’s level of interest and engagement declines. If you impose too many of your ideas, then the play is less interesting to your child and your child is less likely to be learning from their play.”

So go have fun together!

Register NOW for Fall 2013 Infant and Toddler Playgroups!

image

We are now enrolling for the Fall 2013 Infant and Toddler playgroups (Parenting 20CE in the schedule of classes). Bring your children, birth through 36 months, for play and socialization. Meet other parents and have fun!

The playgroups will be held from September 2, 2013 to December 5th, 2013 and families will choose to sign up for ONE of the following options: 

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30pm to 4:00pm or
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm. 
*Please note only officially enrolled families will be permitted to attend.

For information on how to register, please click on the "Infant & Toddler Playgroups" tab on the left hand side of the blog home page.
Questions? Call us at (818) 778-5612