Setting boundaries with empathy is hard! Even people doing their best can have a difficult time. Gentle Parenting is a great concept, but we need user-friendly tools for everyday crisis management. I promise you'll find lots of those tools on this site. I've been caring for very young children for over 40 years now.
Teachers, caregivers, parents, nannies, grandparents, and family child care providers, rock! You rock the cradle and by doing that you rock the world!
The seeds of empathy you sow and the developmentally appropriate boundaries you set will shape the face of the earth 15-20 years from now.
So don't let anyone tell you that you're unimportant. Or ask you when you're going to get a "real" job. Your job just may hold the most influence of any.
If anyone ever asks you if you need an education to be an infant teacher, when you're going back to work, or wishes they had a mindless stress-free job like yours, you can tell them this from me.
I'm working in collaboration with others to lay down brain architecture that will affect each child's learning for the rest of their lives.
What could be more important?
During the first few years of life, one million neural connections form every second.
It's my job to be sure the right connections are made for all learning including empathy.
I help children build resilience to adversities they may encounter in life.
The essence of quality in early childhood services is embodied in the expertise and skills of the staff and in their capacity to build positive relationships with young children.
New research shows that nature and nurture are intertwined.
Harvard backs us up here and they produce 3-minute videos that make perfect sense to real people, not just scientists. Check it out, it may make you feel almost as influential as you are.
If you're one of the few who understands the importance of early childhood, I fully appreciate you. Not everyone understands this yet. So we need to stick together and fight for something new that enables every child access to high-quality care.
Since you're here and you're reading I think you do understand.
So I have some New Year's gifts to help you in your work.
What to do when a young child hits or hurts others.
Thanks for reading and have a great day, you deserve it!!!
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 education 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 2010. She has presented at state and national early childhood conferences.
She lives and teaches in Madison WI.