Food for Thought Friday

It’s Friday, and this week I have some food for thought on preschool, raising leaders, how to deal with angry children, and tips on getting the kids on your life to listen. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on these posts!


Just a little picture from our winter break in the little snow we could find! 

Play Based or Academic Based Preschool?

A couple years ago, I went to a playgroup for the first time with my young daughter. The topic of preschool started up, and which preschools were the “best” in our area. By “best” it seemed everyone wanted their kids in a academically based program. As we chatted, it occurred to me that we all wanted much of the same things for our young children, yet we didn’t all agree on the way to provide those things to our children. I was the only one in the group considering a Montessori preschool, with another mother asking me “but if it is all child directed, how will your daughter learn colors, numbers, counting, and phonics?”

It was an honest question, and I appreciated that. I wish, very much, that I had been able to show her Amanda’s post from Not Just CuteHot Topic: Is Preschool the Place for Play or for Academics? Amanda really hits the nail on the head for me:

“Academics are the subject.  Play is the method.  Learning is the outcome.”

This is a must read, especially if you are a parent starting to look at preschools. Read the post over at Not Just Cute.

How to Raise Leaders?

A friend shared this Fobes article 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders this week on Facebook. I found myself nodding along in agreement as I read, not because I am out to raise leaders, per se but because I aim to raise happy, competent, kind and independent children who think for themselves. In fact, we have been working a lot around here on having my kids solve their own problems with my help (I’ll be blogging about this soon). It is amazing how a 5 year old and 3 year old can actually do this! I would say, I probably struggle the most with this one:

7. We don’t practice what we preach: As parents, it is our responsibility to model the life we want our children to live. To help them lead a life of character and become dependable and accountable for their words and actions. As the leaders of our homes, we can start by only speaking honest words – white lies will surface and slowly erode character. Watch yourself in the little ethical choices that others might notice, because your kids will notice too. If you don’t cut corners, for example, they will know it’s not acceptable for them to either. Show your kids what it means to give selflessly and joyfully by volunteering for a service project or with a community group. Leave people and places better than you found them, and your kids will take note and do the same.

Particularly in regards to frustration. I tend to get frustrated easily, as does my daughter. However I found that I was trying to hold her to higher standards than myself in her ability to deal with her frustration…and she is FIVE! Oops! So we have been working on it lot around here and seeing such positive results!

What about you? Which of the seven do you feel you struggle with the most?

How to Deal with an Angry Child

Let me tell you, I deal with an angry child quite often. One of my children gets angry quite easily, especially if things don’t quite go the way that was expected. WHich is why I really liked this post by Above All Else: Angry Kids: What Not to Do…. I would say, as a parent, I struggle the most with #2:

2. Do Not React out of Pure Emotions: When your child is angry, instead of acting out of raw emotion which is what we most often do, try stepping out of the situation. By staying in the conversation and reacting with emotion, things only escalate more and more out of control. CHOOSE to WALK AWAY… take deep breaths, and try your best to stay objective and most importantly stay in control of yourself. Often times, it maybe necessary for you, the parent, to put yourself in “time out” in order for you to regain control of your own emotions in order to deal appropriately with your child. During a behavioral issue, meltdown, or anger fueled discussion, your job as the parent is to model the correct and appropriate ways to DEAL with the emotions at hand, not to mimic their behaviors.

I think this article has great advice for both parents and those of us who work with children in general. Great read!

Advice on Getting Kids to Listen

I think a common problem all parents and educators face at one point or another, is getting young children to listen. TrueParenting shares this post: Getting Kids to Listen: 7 Ways to Reinforce Cycles of Active Listening at Home and it has many great things to remember when working on this skill with children. I specifically love #2:

2. Respect that you may have interrupted something: Give your kids the same consideration that you would like them to give to you. When your children ask you to get them a cup of water while you are cleaning the bathroom or carrying thirty lbs. of groceries in from the care, you let them know that they will have to wait until you are done. In the same way, it is more effective to give your child some time to respond, either give them a time frame or allow them to finish the task they are engaged with, depending on the length of their task and the urgency of your request. I know it feels like what we are doing is much more important than what our children are doing at any given moment, but to them, their Lego creation is just as important as your meal creation. Sometimes they are engaged and distracted by others things. Don’t take it personally.

I have to remind myself of this a lot. I certainly would not expect my husband to drop everything he is doing immediately because *I* need him to do something. I need to remember to give my child the same respect.

Check out an article or two above…and tell me what you think! Happy Friday!


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  1. says

    Katie, Great post! I really like your site. It looks great and there is so much great information here. Thank you so much for sharing TRU Parenting’s article with your readers. I appreciate it and love the format of this post! Thanks again. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this. I also think it’s so important to realize that our children are little people and that they deserve respect too. You make many good points about this. As a new mom (and an over-researching SLP :) I am very interested in topics like these. Preschool is a ways away for us, but I’ve already been thinking about it. I think part of the reason I feel a play based/children guided approach is essential at that age is because that’s what I’ve seen in the field myself. I wouldn’t have a three year old doing structured tasks and drill them the whole session. As you know, you just kind of have to go with the flow and sneak in targeting your goals when you can. There are surprisingly a lot more opportunities than many might think!
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