Monthly Archives: June 2012
Growing Up in a Princess World
If you are shopping for a girl, you will find your purchasing options are overwhelmingly princess related. Peggy Ornstein (2011) writes that there are over 26,000 related princess items, making Disney revenue of $4 billion. If the item does not have a princess on it, the colors may be pink or lavender. We have to ask ourselves are manufacturers providing what the adult consumers and girls want or are they telling us what to buy?
Ask an educator about obesity and bullying and you are sure to get a response. Recently, one of my doctoral students found that not one of 14 fourth and fifth grade children identified as gifted could sustain five minutes of aerobic exercise. We all can agree our children spend too much time sitting whether doing homework, watching television, or using an I-Pad.
Children can be relentless in their hurtful comments to a child who is overweight, such as “Your fat!” I believe teachers do their best when they hear such statements, but the recipient may respond aggressively, or become withdrawn. How we adults respond in these situations is critical.
Children go through very normal fears and anxieties of sleeping, the dark, monsters, and nightmares. And bedtime can become stressful for the entire family.
The ‘key’ to a peaceful bedtime with toddlers and preschoolers is a very predictable series of events. For example, a parent should tell her child that it is almost time to get ready for bed, then offer a calm activity to do together such as working a puzzle. It is critical to create and follow a bedtime routine: these activities might be taking a bath, eating a light snack with milk, brushing teeth, toileting, and reading a book of the child’s choice. Toddlers and preschoolers respond well to a routine and feel more comfortable knowing what is going to happen next.
A love for reading begins with the parent matching the books to the child’s interests and level of development. Just as the child’s reactions to books changes—so should the selection of the books and the adult’s story reading behaviors.
The first experiences begin with the parent reading to the unborn child–the soothing tones and inflections do stimulate the baby.
Reading should occur everyday in the baby’s life. Tana Hoban has some wonderful books that are visually stimulating to the newborn—in black and white, with accordian pages that can be placed standing next to the baby (black and white contrasts are the most recognizable, stimulating illustrations to babies).