Category : Child Development

Child Development

Well Bully On You Part I

Advice for Dealing With Bullies

I’d say it’s safe to assume that at some point in each of our lives, we’ve been the target of bullying in some way, shape, or form. Particularly with the uproar of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, cyber-bullying in particular has become a problem with school-aged children as young as fourth and fifth grade. This, of course, is due in large part to our children growing up too fast in a world that is developing at an equally alarming rate, but nevertheless is cause for concern in parents and teachers alike. But when does bullying really begin? And how, once it’s begun, can we as parents and preschool San Diego teachers learn to end it quickly and swiftly.preschool bullying

Firstly, while preschoolers might not have the problems that their future selves will certainly have (puberty, crushes, ect…), and while they most definitely do not need to worry about cyber-bullying issues, they do encounter first hand bullying situations on an everyday basis. From the little girl who openly invites Susie, Sally, and Annie over to play after school, while leaving Cassie out, to the little boy who continually rejects Peter from playing in his sandbox but no one else, bullying is a very real problem. While most children might display feelings of hurt or anger at being forced to the sidelines, others will likely forget their feelings by the end of the day and move on, leaving parents none the wiser about bullying in the preschool San Diego school yard.

Luckily, handling the early signs and stages of bullying is something that most preschool teachers are prepared to do, but even so, understanding what you—the parent—can do while your child is outside of the preschool San Diego realm, can help but a stop to bullying before it gets out of hand as well.

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Activities Child Development Summer

Float On

Helping Your Preschooler Overcome A Fear of the Water

In case anyone’s keeping track, spring is quickly approaching its end. Here in San Diego, we’ve been experiencing something like the last dregs of winter, however, but per the calendar; the warmest time of the year is quickly on its way in. With something close to only four weeks left until summer solstice takes place, the stores have quickly filled with outdoor patio furniture, barbecues, Fourth of July gear, and swimming supplies. Despite summer’s June 21 start date, anyone who’s everyone knows that summer really begins on Memorial Day weekend, leaving you and your family only a short week and a half from the beginning of outdoor cookouts, short sleeves, and pool days.

My own husband only in recent years has decided he’s comfortable in the water, having spent the majority of his life hovering preschooler swimmingclose to the edge from a traumatizing near-drowning experience as a child. Unfortunately for him, despite his fears he was never reintroduced to the water, leaving him uncertain of its depths, and fierce oceanic waves. Yet, as he’s grown older he’s spent his time learning to cope with the fear and now even water-skis when we visit our family’s lake house.

No matter a person’s age, fear of the water can strike when you least expect it, but for those of us with preschool aged children, that fear seems to be a constant issue. Luckily, this summer you can start your toddler off early and get them in the water. Whether they have been in the water and are uncomfortable or if it’s an experience you will be embarking upon for the first time, getting your child to be accepting of the water early on will help keep them from being fearful in their later years, leaving you free to hit the beach or pool throughout the summer.

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Child Development

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk

Helping You Deal With Your Toddler’s Shyness

Over spring break, my older cousin and his family came out to San Diego to visit. Aside from being excited to see my cousin, who was always more like a brother than a cousin, I was overjoyed to see his two kids, both of whom are under the age of five and hardly know me. Given that I see his kids usually only twice a year and that they are both at ages where strangers make them uncomfortable, his kids have a tendency to clam up quickly when in their distant family member’s presence. In fact his oldest, Hannah, not only instantly ducked her head into her daddy’s shoulder when I said hello, but wouldn’t talk to me until two days after they’d come to visit.preschool

This, in contrast to the two young cousins who live in the same city as me, and my cousin’s wife was panicking slightly, worrying if her kids would ever be as comfortable around their extended family to exchange more than a handful of glances. Knowing a thing about the toddler age group, I attempted to lull my cousin’s concerns about her children, insisting that shyness is something they’re likely to grow out of—at least to an extent. This tied in with the fact that she mentioned that it’s not something that suddenly occurred and rather was shyness noticed over the past several years, and I begged her not to worry. Some toddlers, I explained, are naturally quiet in social situations. Some even grow up to be quiet adults, comfortable in their introspective personalities, which is perfectly normal and often not something to ever be concerned with. However, for parents unsure of their child’s inability to hold eye contact with friends and family, or for those kids who have problems with verbal communication there are some tips and tricks to put to use to help assuage the problems.

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Child Development

Everybody Wants To Be A Dinosaur

Imaginary Play and Preschoolers

Have you ever looked at your toddler and wondered what it must be like to see the world through their eyes? I’m not talking about their eye-level of course, that’s old news with the invention of extra durable cameras, but the actual going-on inside their minds. I myself recall a moment in elementary school wherein I had fully convinced myself that I was flying on an imaginary carpet, going back even further I had a stuffed asparagus that engaged in all of my adventures. His name was Tony, and my mother tells me that when I was little, I told her that he had a French accent. You just can’t make this stuff up.preschool

Then in high school I got my first, adult-like look into the child’s eye, working as an assistant pre-school teacher in my Regional Occupation Program. One child in particular, really struck my attention as I would find her roaming the playground, on hands and knees, growling at invisible—to me at least—objects. Her name was Iris[1], she was an adorable blonde-haired, blue-eyed preschooler, who also happened to be a dinosaur. Each day I watched young Iris spend her outside time, crawling on her hands and knees, growling to her fellow dinosaurs (all of which were entirely invisible to the grown person’s eye) as a form of communication. In the moment that I asked her what she was playing, she turned to me, eyes confused, and responded simply “I’m a dinosaur.”

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Child Development

Jake: the Big White Dog

Toddlers and the Importance of Pets

Yesterday I had the great misfortune of losing my childhood pet, Jake. A great white lab, well over one hundred pounds, and more pony than dog, he was only one of many animals that graced the Farr11001815_10153539566968362_3747646372411955232_nell home as I was growing up. In fact, my mother, who is currently in the process of moving, will henceforth be living in what is likely to become an actual farm equipped with dogs, cats, pig, chickens, and a mini-horse. It’s for the grandkids she quips, picturing her new one-acre lot being filled with the sticky hands and flushed cheeks that come with children. But all farm talk aside; I can’t help but think that she actually has a point, because despite all of an animal’s best qualities (they’re entertaining, warm, comforting, and love unconditionally), they are actually extremely beneficial to preschool aged children’s development.

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Child Development

Play On

The Importance of Preschoolers and Music

William Shakespeare wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.” While I can’t say for certain that I’ve ever cut up an actual slice of Humble Pie, I can say that music in any form has power. As a parent of a preschooler, Ipreschool would bet that you’ve had to put the Rolling Stones away and form close, though mostly awkward connections with the following people: the Wiggles, Raffi, Lauri Berkner, Ralph Covert, and They Might Be Giants (though to be fair I listened to my fair share of ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul’ prior to birthing my own tiny human). If you haven’t formed close kinships with these five musicians then you’re either a) lying, or b) missing out. If you don’t believe me, then try sitting down your fussy preschooler while the Wiggles belt out their hit tune, “Hot Potato, Hot Potato” and I guarantee you’ll be a fellow Wiggler for life.

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Child Development

Toddler Meets World

Daycare VS Preschool

When I was young, my mother sold her salon to run an at-home daycare. Extremely popular, I was constantly surrounded by kids of all ages at most hours of the day. Our house was filled with the constant giggling, screams, and crying that accompany young children, including the often-time shrill cries of the fiery red-headed six-month old who happened to have colic (who funnily enough became my cousin by marriage at the age of four). Aside from the noises were the constant numbers of toys scattered around the house, and if it wasn’t a preschoolLego that would get caught under my toes (one of the worst pains imaginable), then it was one of my brother’s “little guys” (which hurt just as badly if not worse than the Legos). For a young girl with an even younger brother, it was an extremely fun time in our lives, filled with some lifelong friends and an abundance of playtime.

But that was just what it was: a home filled with plenty of play and laughter while the parents are away. I think my mother would be the first to agree, that while she actively created projects that were age appropriate, she was in no way an expert in child development. Being six when the daycare opened, I was already in the first grade, but my brother, who is four years my junior—was looking preschool in the eye at the time when my mother opened her business. Rather than keep him at home for his preschool years, my mother made the active decision to send him to preschool for several hours a day, before bringing him home to spend his afternoon hours at the daycare. The end result is that the daycare flat lined with the lack of older children during the day, before booming in the afternoon with the arrival of the preschool and elementary aged school kids.

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Child Development

Getting Your Preschooler Interested In Reading

Skit Skat Doodle Doot, Flip Flop Flee
Everybody’s Reading at the Coconut Tree

It is an obvious fact that preschoolers are like sponges, soaking up everything around them and spitting it back in their own way. If you don’t believe me, go stand in a room of three to five year olds and make a comment about something being “poopy” or “sucky” and low and behold you’ll have an entire room of tiny humans jumping around and giggling as they scream Mrs. Smith said it was poopy! It’s an inevitability in preschool-aged children, and something that any person who has ever spent more than five minutes with a toddler understands.

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