Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Helping children deal with death

At some point in time we all lose a loved one. It could be a family member or even a pet. My youngest son was there when his Auntie was taken away in an ambulance. I remember having to tell him that she was dead. At the funeral he wanted to see her, he said goodbye. He wanted to visit her grave and everytime he asked we did. He would just sit and talk to her and tell her that he missed her. I think that he handled it much better than I did. As adults we may struggle with grief and dealing with that loss. But what about our children? What can we do to help them to get through the grieving process with us? Children will react to the emotions displayed by the adults around them. They may not fully comprehend what has happened but will react to strong emotions displayed by us. We should always gear the discussion based on their developmental level. They may respond by not showing any emotions at all or regressing to more childlike behaviors such as wanting to be held, rocked, sleeping with their parents, having anxiety when their parents leave them. When children continue to ask the same questions over and over, they are trying to grasp an understanding of the situation, it may be something that they don't fully understand. They may act out physically or emotionally. We should never assume as teachers that all children understand death and loss at the same level. We should always tell them the truth. They will be able to tell the difference in our behavior. We should keep it simple, answer questions as honestly as we can. We need to remember to that grieving is a process for us as well as children. They may have delayed reactions, something simple may happen that will set off a memory and they may act out. Be patient, ask them what's wrong, understand that they are dealing with the loss in their own way. Help them to understand. We need to be reassuring with them. Children will react differently at different stages of development. As parents we can look up resources online, check out books or buy books that deal with loss and death that are appropriate for their age levels. Most importantly we need to be patient, with ourselves and our children. We need to realize that loss and death are a part of life, and that each one of us deals with it in their own way. Help your children to cope with grief. Look for grief counseling groups if it is too much for you to bear alone, find support from family and friends for both yourself and your children. Allow yourself to grieve and allow your child to do the same. For my son, the loss was great, there are things that he used to do with her that he wouldn't do for a very long time. Even now he still will talk about her. He has helped me deal with the death of a very close loved one. Something else that has helped me very much is grief share.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Music lovers

   It is very important for babies to that babies are exposed to music and sounds especially once they are born. This helps babies to develop hearing and language development. Here is a look into the life of the Little Lambs classroom.

 The past couple of months we have been blessed with a talented music teacher who brings her jazzy guitar and her bubbly personality to Partners In Learning. It was intended for her to sing with the older classrooms and we were accidentally left out of the classes until one day I said hey what about the infants, they love music too. So our wonderful music teacher joined us one Wednesday morning about 8:45. The infants were really not sure about her right off the bat, but once she opened her mouth to sing and play with her magical fingers, they were hooked. I was amazed of how drawn they were to her. She only plays for 15 minutes a week.

    Having another person come into our classroom to give the infants an opportunity to hear music has made our weeks more enjoyable. She brings us new songs to teach our babies and gives them the same inclusion as the rest of the center. We have become really close with our music teacher and she provides us with lively entertainment. These babies have come to really love her. One infant gets so excited she bounces, claps and smiles when she hears her voice. That is what music is all about. It shows us teachers how the infants respond to the tone and volumes of the music that they hear.

This helps us when we are accessing the children later for developmental goals. So parents get out those drums, guitars and other musical instruments and play for your baby. It doesn't have to be perfect they don't judge us. They just want to move with you, move with you, They just want dance with you, dance with you.These are some words from one of the songs we sing. So play that funky music, get down tonight and fly away. Music is a great thing for the soul.

Beach Safety

Summertime brings lots of fun in the sand and surf for families and children who live near, or travel to, the beach.  While a trip to the ocean can be exciting and memorable, kids and parents must follow some important safety rules so the day at the beach results in pleasant memories.

Sun: Since one blistering sunburn early in life drastically increases the chances that a child will develop melanoma later, it is crucial that you protect your kids from the sun’s harmful rays. Apply a broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen liberally to all areas of exposed skin. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on all children age 6 months and up. In addition to consistent sunscreen, provide children with other protective gear, such as sunglasses, hats and a shady place to rest out of direct sunlight. If possible, avoid lengthy sun exposure during the middle of the day with the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

Swimming: Swimming in the ocean is different than swimming in a pool, since ocean waves and currents can overwhelm even the strongest swimmers. Be aware of potential tide and current dangers in the area. Always swim with a buddy, and keep kids away from piers, where people are fishing, rocks or other structures, since currents can be strong around them. Rip tides can quickly pull swimmers out to sea, so instruct kids to swim parallel to shore if they get caught in one. Once out of the current, they can swim back to shore. Coast Guard-approved life vests are a must for kids who cannot swim, or those who struggle with swimming.

Food and Water: Beach picnics are delicious, but the hot temperatures can quickly spoil food that is not preserved correctly. Avoid mayonnaise-based foods, and keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Since maintaining proper food temperatures at the beach can be challenging, try to pack non-perishable items, such as peanut butter sandwiches or dried fruit. Everyone, especially active children, must drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Marine Life: Jellyfish are common visitors to many beaches, so teach kids to keep their eyes peeled for these stinging animals. Dead jellyfish can still sting, so tell kids not to poke or prod animals that wash up on the sand. Though shark attacks are extremely rare, follow simple rules to minimize the risk even further. Be aware of shark danger in your area. Do not swim if you are bleeding, and avoid the ocean during twilight hours. If the water is murky or fisherman are nearby, avoid swimming or wading. 

Rules: Children should follow all instructions from lifeguards. Pay attention to flags and signs that warn visitors about tide conditions and the presence of marine life, and teach your kids to watch for these helpful indicators.

Beach trips can be very memorable when following the above suggestions. 

So. Have fun, be safe!  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Every child deserves to be loved especially when they don't seem to deserve it

So many times we may look at a child and say "wow that child is so bad!" or maybe we just shake our heads and say "mm, mm, mm". Well perhaps we should consider the possible causes of the child's behavior. Very often we can't tell just by looking at a child what the issues may be. We don't know if there are problems at home. We don't know if there have been changes that the child doesn't understand. We don't know if there are developmental delays that cause a child to act out. So what can we do to be a bright spot for that child? We know that it is difficult for families to tell us that something may be wrong at home. There may be problems between the parents, there may have been a death, there may be some kind of abuse either of the child or of substances. We should always let the child and the family know that we care about them. Let the child know that we are not mad at them. We can tell them that we don't like the choices or the behavior but that we love them. Ask them if everything is okay, what is wrong or bothering them. Help them to understand that we are there for them. A small hug or pat on the back. Reassuring words, a smile from across the room can let them know that they are cared for and may help them to act out less often.Offer help to the parents. Sometimes a parent may be at a loss for what to do, they may not know that there are resources available to them. We have to remember that we are there for the whole family. Remember to be patient. Remember we are there for the child, love them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New and old friendships: How early do they begin?

Friendships start at a very early age and its all in the proof of a picture. Approximately 53% of infants spend at least 10 hours a day with a childcare provider and other children. This is where the bonding begins. In my years of teaching young children, I have learned that friendships begin really young. How young you ask? Well in my own experience it started in the womb. I started working with a girl 17 years ago at a child care facility. We both knew each other through mutual friends and quickly learned that we were both expecting. Not only were we expecting girls, we were expecting close together. So immediately we started planning what our little girls were going to do when they grew up and that we would make sure that they grew up and stayed friends forever.
Well things didn't happen the way we had planned, my friend ended up delivering her baby girl early and had to leave the job. We didn't speak much after and of course we went our own way. Months passed by and I decided to move childcare centers and place my daughter with me. It was just like a scene from the movies, here comes this cute little girl with her mom and grandma. I looked at the girl twice and said " oh is she starting here"? This must be fate, both our little girls were together again. These two were friends instantly. I only can think of what we were in for. They both had very different personalities, likes, dislikes and weird thing was that they seemed like they knew each other forever.
What is the reason for this story, well these two girls are 16 years old and they are still best friends and live 45 minutes away, attend different schools, have likes, dislikes, different friends but yet when they get together its like they have never been apart.
This summer we were on a trip to the beach and because social media is such an important role in most of our lives; a post was on a site that we were only hotels away from each other and they wanted to meet up. So what do two moms do, they meet up and get them together even if it is for 8 hours. These two were able to catch up on some rays, laughs and memories.
This story shows that babies do learn about other infants in the womb and that infants are building relationships even at 6 weeks of birth. Letting infants sit with others during circle time and play time helps  to build social skills and interactions. So when you are leaving your infant with his/her teacher and classmates just think of the friendships that your child will be making.Brooklinn and Emma