Whew! That was a long (and unintended) hiatus from blogging! Although I had every intention of writing over the past few weeks – I even had topics picked out…promise! – life just got in the way. Between the general craziness of the holiday season, and various other intervening factors, I am embarrassed to say that my poor blog fell by the wayside. Fear not – I am back with even more information, and I feel like I have so much to share with you!
So, one thing that has been on my mind, what with the holiday season now over, is the topic of thankfulness. I think most of us grew up with the adults in our life constantly reminding us to say “please” and “thank you”. I, for one, have vivid memories of my mother repeating phrases like, “What do you say?”, and “What are the magic words?”, on pretty much an endless loop. Although this memory is burned into my brain – eternal repetition will do that – I know that I learned to be grateful for what I have through other avenues as well. It’s an abstract concept, for sure, but there are some strategies that teachers (and parents) can employ to ensure that their children begin to feel truly thankful.
As with most other skills, teachers often model the relevant language that they want their students to use themselves. Thanking children for passing the basket of crayons or for helping a friend put her jacket on is a good start. Children look up to the adults in their lives – if we show appreciation, so will our students. Also, we can introduce children to the concept of thank you notes at a relatively early age. When I was a teacher, we used to write whole-class thank you notes on big paper to send to classroom visitors or to express our gratitude for a special activity or event, and this is something that the teachers in my center do as well. Finally, talking to children about how to contribute to the community in a positive way will help to foster a spirit of giving. Even simple things like participating in a coat drive, reading to a younger child, or donating needed items to a local food bank, will help children begin to appreciate what they have.
The above are just some examples of how the teachers at The Children’s Workshop help your children develop an attitude of thankfulness. Of course, these are all easily adaptable for home as well! And if you are looking for more information, Zero to Three has an amazing online article about this topic. It is located at http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/social- emotional- development/raising-a-thankful-child.html.
Also, I want to give you a quick preview of what is to come in the weeks ahead. You may have noticed that our centers are now working hard to roll out our new Curriculum Frameworks program, and I will be using my blog to provide an overview of what’s new and exciting next week. Since we are also always looking for new ways to increase family engagement at our centers, I will also spend some time writing about easy (and painless) ways to become more involved in your child’s education, even if you feel super-strapped for time. Honestly, I could go on and on, but you’ll just have to check back weekly to see what else is in store. I promise I won’t keep you waiting as long next time!