Dec 192011
 
Arlington Daycare

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It can be very frustrating to ask your child over and over again to complete their chores without them ever getting done. If this describes your house to a tee, consider designing a chore chart. Chores might include taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning their room, yard work or putting laundry in the laundry room. Each chore has to be done just once or twice a week. Anything more is unrealistic. After your child completes each chore, they can put a check mark on the chore chart. At the end of each week, it’s very inspiring for both parent and child to look at the chore chart and easily see that each designated job was completed. Just like our ‘to do’ lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it’s completed and take pride knowing they accomplished a set task or list of tasks.

Once you’ve sat down with your child and discussed and designed a chore chart, it’s time to discuss the rewards for accomplishing each task listed. Perhaps at your home you decide you will give a set sum for each task accomplished. If you should decide to grant your child some sort of monetary allowance, make sure it’s age appropriate and granted on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is 50 cents per year of age. So your 8 year old child would earn $4.00 per week if each chore on the list has been completed. If it has not been, they do not receive their allowance.

This is a great opportunity for you to teach your children the value of both earning and saving money, and also giving back. Perhaps the child can divide their allowance into thirds: 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, and 1/3 to use to help those less fortunate than themselves. You might also want to consider designing a ‘bank book’ for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much has been saved, how much has been spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.

Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as chores payment, be sure you set clear parameters for your child. Be sure they understand that two hours each weekend of their favorite video game or going to see a movie with mom or dad is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week. You might want to consider writing these on a slip of paper as ‘currency’ for the child to keep in their ‘privilege bank’ and they can cash it in with you when they’d like.

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind this can be a valuable tool for both you and your child.

Dec 152011
 
Arlington Montessori

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Studies have shown that the most important period of a childís life is their first five years. Children are capable of learning from a very early age, so it is ideal to expose them to a nurturing and educational environment during those years. By providing an environment that is fun-filled, safe and stimulating, you can ensure that your child gets off to a great start.

While adults typically think of play-time as a form of entertainment, it can actually teach your child a great deal about themselves and the world around them. Believe it or not, playing peek-a-boo is actually beneficial for your child. The earlier a child develops these skills, the more significant the long term impact will be.

Self-esteem, confidence, coordination, problem-solving skills, and social skills, are but a few examples of the benefits that can be gained through play. Self esteem can be enhanced by responding affectionately to your childís actions. Whether they coo, gurgle, burp, cry or smile, giving your child a positive reaction and providing lots of enthusiasm will have incredible benefits.

Physical coordination can be developed by changing your childís position, and allowing him/her the opportunity to move about. Encourage movement and mobility at an early age by placing toys and objects a short distance away from your child. Giving your child different toys with different shapes, textures and colors will encourage interaction and help develop physical coordination. There are many toys on the market specifically designed to stimulate creative thought and action.

Playing hide-and-seek can help your child develop problem solving skills. By placing a toy behind your back and encouraging your baby to find it, you will give your child an early appreciation for cause and effect. Also by giving a baby a rattle, the baby will comprehend they can make noise by themselves if they shake it. An understanding of cause and effect will put your child on the right path to a lifetime of learning.

As your child grows older, consider giving your child some household duties or chores. A child as young as two can start to learn the meaning of responsibility. Use the word ìspecialî frequently and give them age-appropriate tasks such as handing out napkins at the dinner table. Be sure to encourage your child through positive affirmation of his/her actions.

The following are other general tips to enhance the developmental stages of your young childís life:

  • Go to the library with your child to pick out a book, and then read it together.
  • Encourage your child to explore arts and crafts to develop their creative side.
  • The internet is a great educational tool for children. There are some great sites out there!
  • Watch TV with your child and talk about what they see on screen.
  • Buy them educational toys.
  • Allow your child the opportunity to interact with other children regularly.