This is for the elite providers and parents who care for and educate our youngest.
Those who do their best every day to support children in being their best selves.
Those who build on strengths and welcome mistakes as opportunities for growth. Those who value equity and see responsibility as a response to one’s ability. Those who also support each other to be our best selves because we know it matters. And you matter. A lot! Here's why:
In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second. After this period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, which allows brain circuits to become more efficient. In light of these findings, focussing on early childhood only makes sense. -Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University-
The interesting part of all of this is that it backs up the premise that how, in their first three years of life, children are actually learning how to learn and acquiring attitudes that can persist throughout their lifespans.
That’s because the latest research is also showing us that emotions and learning are reciprocally connected and that some of our social manifestations are actually innate. ( Banaji, Gelman 2014)
Children learn through observation, imitation, trial, error, and in later years, reasoning.
Their brains form pathways early on and pathways that get used more often are strengthened, while ones that aren’t, fall away.
That’s why I’m searching for those elite caregivers who behave intentionally and know how much they matter to us and to the world. Is it you?
The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world! -Nanci J Bradley-
What if childcare providers needed master’s degrees to get teaching jobs and got paid equitably?
What if our government automatically paid 35% of our childcare costs as long as we chose high-quality childcare.
What if parents received perks like discounts on food, medicines, and access to better play equipment if they attended parenting support groups that included meals for kids and childcare or online options.
Here’s your perk for today!
I’m attaching my complete presentation on what to do when your child hits and you want to promote empathy, not anger. It’s usually 19.99 but I think it’s so important that some of you might like to share it with other parents or providers. It’s based on brain research and lots of experience. It's right here, you don't even need to fill out a form!
It’s nice to be able to blend that kind of hands-on work with what I studied in the academic world. My goal is to bring more of that kind of thing to people who are in the position to use it.
I hope you enjoyed this uplifting post and share it with other elite caregivers. (Those who are into punishment and harsh time-out won’t understand but I have a feeling you do.)
I want to leave you with one more little gem of wisdom that you can feel great about sharing because it’s short, sweet, and backed by developmental research.
When one child is so interested in a toy that they can’t help grabbing it, realize right away that play is learning and they want to learn more about the toy. Please don't blame them for wanting it. They also probably don’t know how to wait. Here are the 3 little words that can work for you!
She’s/He’s/They’re using that!
"You can ask for a turn but then wait or find something else to play with that'll help you wait. I’m here to support you."
You might already use this tactic but if you do, you know that it works. It’s not at all a problem that they want the toy. The real problem is that they don’t know how to get a proper turn. We're here to teach them!
If you want more ideas for elite teachers or parents, you can have my entire 22-page presentation on How To Get Kids To Listen Without Yelling or Time-Outs when you sign up to keep in touch with me. I’d love to have you as my new friend and colleague so if you think like I do, join me now.
The presentation won’t be free forever!
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! 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.
Banaji, Mahzarin R, Gelman, Susan A., Navigating the Social World, What Infants, Children, and Other Species Can Teach Us Oxford University Press, NY (2014)
“Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.” Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 4 Dec. 2017, https://developingchild.harvard.edu/.