He’s so bad. She’s shy. He’s going to be a doctor. She’s a troublemaker. He’s chubby. She’s an artist. Have you ever heard someone say something like this? Have you ever said anything like this? Labels (positive and negative) are powerful and can follow a child and impact how others see them and how they perceive themselves.
As parents and educators we need to create connections based on empathy and grace. We need to understand that a child’s struggle does not define them. We need to find the root of the problem. We should be proactive guides armed with the tools and strategies that will help them move past this bump in the road.
Do you ever get to the door of the classroom and realize that you’ve carried a backpack, lunchbox and jacket while your child has skipped into the classroom empty handed? It sometimes seems easier to be the one in charge of carrying everything but in the long run it actually becomes a burden. In order to facilitate independence in young children it is our job to ensure they are responsible for their belongings.
My oldest child tested what I thought I knew about early childhood development. From the time we brought him home, it seemed that he was fussier and needed more than I knew was possible. I had been a nanny of a newborn, spent time with lots of new mothers, and did my Master’s partially focused on children under the age of three. I was a teacher, special educator, and worked with parents regularly giving advice on child rearing.