Know And Understand That Your Child Is Intelligent From the Time They Are Born
I want to share the mission statement written twenty three years ago when I opened my daycare.
“We believe that all children are incredibly intelligent from the moment they are born. When a child is respected, understood, and cared for by loving, highly skilled communicators with relationship and development related expertise, it is amazing what a child can accomplish. In fact, each child will achieve their maximum potential. Each parent/guardian is advised of the individual growth of their child in terms of their age-related development stages: social, communication, language, mathematics and reading skills as well as general knowledge. Nutritional needs will be satisfied by the offering of foods that support a well-balanced diet with special care to emphasize natural, healthy products.”
It clearly defines my philosophy and commitment. It was validated every day with every child. This success is the resource for the case studies.
Derek, Sheryl and Paula were all second children in their respective families. They not only joined my daycare when they were six months old, but just as important, their parents had been introduced to our philosophy when they older sibling attended our daycare.
Within a few months after their birth, we began hearing comments like “I can’t believe Derek knows when I tell him I am going to give him his bottle” or “She instantly puts up her arms when I tell her we are going for a walk.”
By the time they join us at daycare, between six and nine months, they are quickly connecting to the repeated directives we are giving them and surprise even us with their understanding and skills, i.e. at nine months Paula is crawling to the location where children wait for a drink or are lining up at the sliding door to go outside.
Paula was able to put her own blanket back in the blanket box after nap time by her first birthday without direction.
Each of them will crawl across a large area to the diaper changing space as requested and can also follow directives on placing shapes into a shapes cube.
After all these years, we still have high expectations because we know all these children are capable of achieving but there are still moments when we are surprised!
Here’s what to do
1. Develop short phrases for activities that will be repeated throughout the day.
“It’s time for your bottle”
“Mommy is going to nurse you now”
“We are going to change your diaper”
“I love you so much”
“You can’t play with that, it is not a toy”
“It’s time for bed”
These are just some examples. Keep the message clear and your tone warm and firm.
2. Half of their awake time needs to be conversation time. This should include reading time. Repetition is a necessity and benefit.
3. Tell them exactly what is going to happen and what you expect.
4. Sing or hum.
5. Verbally congratulate them for any accomplishment.
6. When they are having a difficult day i.e. teething, reactions to immunization shots, stay as calm as you possibly can, don’t let panic creep into your voice. Any anxiety reaction will make the situation worse.
7. Many of you will be working outside of your home during their first year. You should spend at least four hours with them.
8. Make sure any caregiver you entrust your child to is up to speed on and understands and agrees with your approach. This includes relatives. You are in charge of how your child is treated.
9. If you have any option, get help with the house work so you can have enough time with your child.
10. Plan your own time during your child’s sleep time.
Marvel at their incredible accomplishments!
You are their life coach.
For more advice, our book, Smart Parent Smart Child is available on Amazon