Monday, June 25, 2018

Three Things New Parents need to ask when Looking for Childcare

As a new Mom and Dad it is always going to be difficult to leave your child with someone you do not know. Choosing child care is the most important thing you will do for your child. In choosing child care you want to be sure to choose a place which fits your life, your family, and your belief system. As a 30+ year veteran of early education I know this choice is often undertaken through asking friends and family their opinions. Yet, I know there is so much more.

I have been working on a book for parents for a while now and I have three things I consider most important in the search for quality childcare. They are:

  • The knowledge and commitment of the Director in Early Education
  • The training of the staff in developmentally appropriate practices, the curriculum, the ages and stages questionnaire and its use in the classroom
  • How the center serves both child and parent 

While there are many other factors parents will want to look for and check out which I cover in my book. As a professional these are the three things I consider most important to the well-being of children and families.Here is a quick breakdown of each.

  1. Ask the director about his/her training in ECE. The director is the leader of the center and determines how well the staff knows and understands the unique needs of children under the age of five. I believe the director needs a minimum of an AA in early childhood development. preferably a BA in early childhood education.  (Please note there id a difference in development and education. Education includes both development and the best way to educate children this age).
  2. A-Ask about staff training in Developmentally Appropriate Practice or DAP. DAP is the use of children's age and ability level to ensure the classroom environment, toys, and activities will encourage development and growth and limit frustration and overwhelm. DAP is the foundation of proper early childhood education. A center using worksheets or focusing on elementary skills is not one which is supportive of age appropriate skill for young children. 2B-There are scientifically-based ear;y childhood curriculum each which focuses on differing points of DAP for the classroom. These curricula are specific and have certain mindsets teachers need to develop in order to maintain it correctly. Montessori, Bank Street, Rousseau, and Active Learning are a few names of them. The important thing is that teachers are trained to use the curriculum appropriately. 2C The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is the only tool in Early Childhood which can give a complete picture of where a child is on the developmental scale and can give parents and teachers a slid look at where a child is amd place them into the correct environment. 
  3. Ask about parent involvement in the center. As a parent you are the customer of the services this center is providing. You should be made to feel welcome during the times you can be at the center. Is there a place for you in the center? Is there a parent coaching/support group for issues you come across in your child rearing? Does the director and the teachers seem glad to see you and encourage you to participate by reading a book to the children or sitting down at snack time? This is a place your child will spend a lot of time with and they will develop strong relationships with the people here. Be sure you and your child are welcome and you feel comfortable there. It should feel like a home away from home.
I am planning for my book to be released on Amazon later this year. I will let you know when it is available for pre-order. In the meantime I hope this helps.

Believe in Parenting

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Moms and Dads-Date Night your Family's Foundation

As a parent coach one of the things I strongly recommend is marriage care. This is where the adult relationship takes priority over the love and care of children. I stress this because the marriage is the foundation of the family. If the marriage falls apart then so does the family. Thus, making your relationship as a couple the priority ensures the foundation stays strong.

Your kids will may naje yucky noises and roll their eyes at your PDA. However, I can assure you inside they are smiling and happy to know Mom and Dad are strongly committed to one another. This is why date night is so important. Putting time aside each week to connect with one another as adults is important. Date night in my book has three rules.

  1. Do something you both enjoy. Sometimes that means you will do what you love and your spouse only likes and vice versa.
  2. Leave your discussion about the family and parenting to another time. Focus the conversation on what is changing in you, what you are learning new and how it is affecting you. Communicate as adults about who you are. Share how your dreams are changing. Share new thoughts and ideas you have had in the last week. Tell your spouse who you are and grow together as a couple on purpose.
  3. Learn your spouse's love language and use it. This site is a great resource to learn more about the 5 Love Languages. Be playful and romantic with one another. This is the time to remind each other why you got together. Do things you enjoyed when you first dated. Treat your spouse like you are trying to win their heart all over again. Make it your mission to make them fall more in love with you every week!

Date night is about staying connected as a couple. Last Christmas I met a couple I blogged about meeting them in my post Excellence, the Tiger Lady, and a Lovely Couple. These two left t heir six month old with her parents and took a vacation with his just after Christmas. They took date night to a new level. One I celebrate in this post.

Making sure your family's foundation is strong and secure is the best and most loving thing you can do for your children. Need some ideas this article in Redbook can help!  

Believe in Parenting!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Parents it's TIME to Fight Back Against Zero Tolerance!

A local county school district in Atlanta, the Henry County School District did something so unthinkable I cannot even begin to understand their logic. They expelled a 10-year-old for bringing poppers to school. 

As a former teacher and parent coach,  it is clear to me that rather than teaching our children how to become good decision-makers and learn from their mistakes the education establishment today is all about punishment. Zero Tolerance in schools has hindered our educators from disciplining of children and teaching them right from wrong. Read the article.

A recent blog post I wrote about how Dennis Prager spoke about schools and the problems that we're having because they're teaching emotional intelligence instead of basic moral principles. This is a prime example. I am so tired of the educational establishment punishing children for doing kid stuff!

Our children are now no longer in schools to learn  logic, math, reading, writing,  and critical thinking. Instead they are indoctrination centers that are police states which book no kind of rule infringement even if that means punishing a child for being a child. This is precisely why so many conservatives want to see the end of the US Department of Education because this has become completely and totally ridiculous. (I am doing my very best not to rant.)

Teaching children how to make good decision means that when they make bad decisions we have to help them examine their reasoning, help them think through why this might not have been a good idea, give them some ideas about how they can handle the situation next time, and then give them a reasonable yet effective consequence equal to the infraction. In this case expulsion is gnot reasonable.

This child civil rights have been infringed upon. I wonder how many people are going to recognize it.

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” ... The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause is the most important and controversial part of the Eighth Amendment. --National Constitution Center

There are times when I wish I had gone ahead and studied educational law like I started to back in the 1990's. This is one of those times. 
This young kid could go to Harvard based on the amount of money he could get from suing the school district for infringing on his Civil Rights. This mom is fighting back and I'm glad to hear it. I hope in addition to taking it up with the school board she also sues them for infringing on her child's right together a just consequence, this is the only way we have to fight back.

It is time parents started stepping up and saying no to the education establishment and how they are victimizing our children by using this ridiculous Zero Tolerance policy. It is time we worked with the school districts to begin to start teaching moral development in our classrooms. Rather than emotional intelligence. And excuse my French "it is damn sure time that the educational establishment took a step back and began to realize just how utterly ridiculous they are being when they are punishing our children for being kids.

To put it bluntly I am sick and tired of this zero-tolerance, police state atmosphere our children are living in. Schools have set themselves up to  be safe zones. Yet ,our kids are not allowed to be kids in the building. How are they even fixing themselves to call schools safe zones when kids are not even allowed to make mistakes?

I'm calling on parents to get really involved with your local school district. If they have adopted a zero-tolerance policy then I would like to see you talk to your local school board members, about abolishing this policy. Parents can start by writing letters, organize informational rallies, get citizens who are very passionate to speak to the school board in meetings, and generally do whatever it is you need to do including running for the school board yourself. Get your school district to reverse the Zero Tolerance stance and instead go back to Common Sense discipline which is focused on moral development and logical appropriate consequences. Your kids are depending on you to step up until the educational establishment and say; "No you can't treat our kids this way."

Believe in Parenting!