Preschool children are fascinating!
I know… I know…. it’s easy for me to say, as its 18 years since mine were at preschool age.
You’re probably thinking ‘Fascinating! Maybe, but they drive me crazy with their relentless demands and yo-yo emotions’.
I promise, I do understand the reality of preschool children, and I’m not looking back with rose-tinted glasses. But ever since my first pregnancy I have been passionate about these little people with their deceptively large personalities. I am still as keen as ever, to learn all I can about their physical and mental development, and you could say I’m obsessive about their emergent well-being.
I believe emotional well-being in preschool life can impact massively on all that follows…… So, you see why I think it’s important.
But being a parent is both the best, and also the toughest profession in the world.
The contradictory advice being flung at us from all angles is more confusing than helpful. There is also a good reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.
I wasn’t an easy child
Being my parent must have been quite a challenge.
I was messy, chaotic, clumsy and unusual with mismatched clothes and scarecrow hair.
Unbelievably, I could fall into dirty puddle if I was within 10 feet of it, and rip my clothes without any sign of a sharp object.
I would not hear someone calling my name if I was immersed in a book (as was often the case), and yet my ears would prick up at the rustle of a sweetie wrapper from another room.
Frustratingly, I could be feeling the gnaw of a hunger pang one moment, but a couple of bites into my meal would be bored and want to leave the table.
I could stand in front of someone who was talking to me, and yet not really understand what they were talking about.
I did not understand people; they seemed to worry too much.
I didn’t really see the point of social rules, and certainly didn’t see why they had to apply to me.
No doubt I was a surprise to my lovely mum, who had previously spawned a gorgeous, perfectly behaved, ‘butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth’ daughter.
Its OK to be different
My sister and I were poles apart even with an identical upbringing.
It’s true that an individual’s intrinsic character has a big part to play in the nature versus nurture argument.
OK, so I was an extreme case. But most children come with their own ideas about life and how it should be as relates to them.
I was lucky to be afforded the space to develop my own wacky personality. Meanwhile, I was gently encouraged to understand how to operate in a social environment. This forward-thinking nurturing, meant I was a very happy child, with a ready smile. My affectionate nature was always ready to put my arms around Mums neck for a cuddle.
Instead of being confused, I was empowered to build the confidence to muddle through with an ‘oh well’ when things went a bit skew-whiff.
I was still disorganised and accident prone when I became an adult. This led to me feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the responsibility of having my own first precious baby.
My fear was that I would mess it up! I had enjoyed a ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’ attitude. Until then, the only person affected by my disasters would be me.
Now, suddenly, I felt the overwhelming urge to ‘get it right!’
Does this sound familiar?
Did you also panic that you suddenly had to be the adult?
Were you unsure if you were up to the job?
We all find our own way and how I personally got on with that transition is a story we will come back to later.
There was a need for change
When my children hit preschool age, I started the exciting new adventure of Robins Nursery School. WOO HOO!
I felt there was need for a nursery which put a child’s emotional development first. I knew that their sense of self-worth should be right at the top of the priority pyramid. I also fought against certain preconceived ideas.
Why is it that society is so keen to give our children labels?
Why so eager to put them into boxes that they will struggle to break free from?
I wanted to embrace and celebrate the differences between us. I believe these are strengths in our society. Let’s face it, life would be SO dull if we were all the same!
It was important to me to create an environment where equality wasn’t just a politically correct buzzword, but a living reality.
I was particularly keen to watch out for those quiet children who were ‘no trouble’ and could be easily overlooked. To help them find a voice.
My ethos was to welcome children with extra challenges and provide them with tailor-made support. Equal opportunity for them can sometimes mean that, they need a leg up in order to gain some equal footing.
At Robins, our focus is helping a child to build self-efficacy and resilience underpinned by a growth mindset.
This means they are proud of each the step towards a goal as well as the effort they have put in.
They will enjoy the process and not just any attainment.
They will feel that they have some control over their lives and can have an impact on what happens around them.
They will enthusiastically problem solve and continuously tweak their attempts until they achieve what they desire.
All this whilst being unfazed by any challenges or extra hurdles they must jump over on route.
A child may be academically a real whizz when they start school. The concern is that, if they crumble when someone says ‘no’ to them, they may find school life a struggle.
However, even if child begins with an extra challenge or a disadvantage, and yet is eager to pick themselves up after a set back and try again. Then, they are likely to grab life with both hands and live it to the full.
These are the reasons why at Robins, we start with personal, social and emotional development first.
Help is at hand
This blog is designed to help.
You will get loads of content from a variety of sources. It may help you sail the somewhat choppy and unpredictable uncharted waters of preschool parenthood.
I’ll be explaining what we do at Robins Nursery School and why. (Much of which will be transferable to the home environment).
And providing up-to-date research findings and the latest preschool regulation and guidelines of best practice.
I’ll share learning from my own experience over the last 18 years both as a mother and a preschool child educator.
You will also receive some top tips from other parents of both preschool and older children and as well as from professionals in child psychology and development. (Sometimes it’s just small adjustments that can make life easier)
What this blog is not….
It’s not a one size fits all.
It won’t under value what you are already doing or in any way make you feel that you are not doing enough…….
You are enough!
As a parent of a preschool child, just love them openly and enthusiastically…..everything else is a bonus.
I hope you will enjoy my musings and perhaps find them useful too.
I would love your feedback too so please feel free to comment.
You already are an expert on your own unique child but if you have issues that you are struggling with why not let us help? Your challenges are often the same as others so if you have some successes it would be great for you to share what worked for you and help everyone.
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