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Parent’s Role in your child’s development

Date: 16th February 2008
Speaker: N. Pushpavalli, Principal Sarada Kindergarten
Questions from Parents
Q:        I would like to introduce my child to music, foreign language, swimming and Kumon. Is this a bit too heave for a 3-1/2 year old?
A:        Your intentions are honourable. However, you must first keep in mind that your child needs “Time, Space + Peers” to play and socialize.   After providing for this, you can consider adding activities that are of interest to your child. My personal opinion is that four activities may be one too many for a 3-1/2 year old.
Q:        How is the computer lesson conducted for the Nursery children in Sarada?
A:        Initially the nursery children are exposed to the different parts of the computer and how to use the headphones and manipulate the mouse. They listen to stories and learn to click to go on to the next page and click at moving icons. Subsequently they learn to drag and release the mouse. The software used are in line with the curriculum of the term and reinforces what is taught in the class.
Q:        Sometimes my child reacts very aggressively if we say “NO” to some of his needs. How to manage?
A:        I hope I am right to say that it is not his needs – but rather his DEMANDS.
            As parents you know better and you are right to say “NO”.
            You manage your child’s aggressive behaviour by:
-                     ignore his temper tantrums (Your child will soon learn that the screaming does not get him anywhere).
-                     Start a time-out area/corner when the child has to go if he is being aggressive and is left there until he calms down.
-                     Indulge in positive reinforcement –praise his behaviour when he demonstrates a positive behaviour. Go for a family treat – an outing to the zoo, park, swim…. And explain that you are doing this because he has done…… well
-                     “NO” from one parent must be respected by the other parent.
-                     Be consistent in your “NO” responses – this will give the right message to your child.
Q:        Children ask a lot of “Whys?” How to explain if we are not sure what to say? How to role model?
A:        Please do not feel that you need to know the answers to all the “Whys?” your child asks but you need to help your child find out the answers. Bring your child  to the library and search for books or use the internet to search for information. There are some simplified answers to many of the questions the children ask.
Q:        Apart from drawing is there any other way to analyse children’s emotions.
A:        Drawings help children to express themselves and when adults show interest in their drawings, children speak about their ideas and feelings. This is NOT analysing their emotions – but giving children an opportunity to express. Children also express their emotions and ideas through play and conversations with people they feel “safe”.  
Q:        It’s difficult to teach sharing. How can we do this?
A:        When we grow up in a small family with only one or two children there are limited opportunities to share. So we need to create opportunities to share:
-                     Play – in play children learn to share toys
-                     Food – Cut one piece of cake and share it (Most parents give up their share if a child likes the food – but consider SHARING.)
-                     Chores – share the workload in the house – Father / Mother and child (within his/her capacity)
Q:        How can we make a child concentrate? He has a wavering mind.
A:        Most of us have wavering minds.
            Help your child concentrate in small incremental time frames – start with 5 minutes and slowly build up to 8, 10, 12 …… Young children cannot concentrate for long unless they are really interested in what they are doing.
            Interesting books that are age appropriate can keep a child focused and the child would want you to read and re-read the story.
Q:        At home my child is very sociable but becomes very shy when outside. What can I do?
A:        The home is the most familiar and safest place for children – they can do and say anything. However not all children have the same level of confidence when in an unfamiliar place. Perhaps you can consider exposing your child to play activities with other children outside your home – play is a good bridge to overcome shyness.