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A PLAN for the First Few Years of Life. Don't Forget This One Important Skill for Toddlers!

To everyone who cares for infants and toddlers daily, I like to extend my respect. I respect you so much for choosing to teach children even knowing that your chances for financial gain may be compromised for it.

Do you work and care for our youngest because you know how important early childhood is to the development of the growing mind? Do you want to provide young children with the skills they'll need most in an uncertain world?

I thought so, otherwise, you probably wouldn't be here. Welcome! You're my favorite people in the universe and I want to share a couple of things with you today.

After forty+ years of working with and studying young children, I want to respect your time and attention by keeping things brief and simple to follow. That's what I do for children. so that's what I want to do for you. Let's break it down:

Children take a lot of ATM. That's Attention, Time, and Money! I believe the world needs to support those who provide these things for our youngest. It only makes sense but here in the US, it's not happening. Follow the link for some grim facts about how much child care providers make here as compared with other professions.

Regardless of our situation, we need a PLAN if we want to help children develop the emotional, social, and cognitive skills they need to negotiate an ever-changing and challenging world. Skills such as:

The first and most important skill for everyone involved including young children is problem-solving without blame.

I see you have a problem, what can we do to fix it?
You're having trouble with that toy? I'll come over and take a look as soon as I'm done sweeping.
It looks like you want a turn with the plate. Howie's using it but I can help you ask him for a turn and then wait.

Problem-solving is a philosophy that goes far when teaching young children. That's because when we don't blame them, they tend to not blame each other quite as much.

Solving problems is an ongoing daily issue in child care and it's our job to model good strategies. As you can probably tell, I like to focus on the things I want more of in the classroom and in life.

Since appreciation and respect are high on my list, I'd like to throw out one idea that may help.

Make an appreciation board where parents and teachers can write encouraging notes to individuals and to the general public about the positive things they notice.

Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a minute or two of your precious time with me today!

Get more of the exact words to use when dealing with common childhood issues like cleaning up, tattling, or positive communication in this slideshow I designed for early childhood educators and parents.

Early Childhood Rocks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the world through early childhood education

Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! (click on the word) She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.

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