You Are Your Child’s First Teacher

Just finishing this oft-recommended book, You Are Your Child’s First Teacher: What parents Can Do With and For Their Children From Birth to Age Six by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Towards the end (pg. 314) of the book Rahima offers this summary of her suggestions of how to meet the real needs of the young child:
(note – I am writing this after a long day of caring for my own little one’s and not abiding by these suggestions as well as I want to… in any case any typos in this extended quote are mine!)

– “Attend to your own life and emotions. The emotional environment you create for your child is far more important than the material environment.

– Honor the spiritual element in life, especially as it is brought to you by your children.

– Work toward rhythm in family life that can support you and your children.

– Remember that imitation and repetition are the keys to discipline with the young child, not reasoning or punishment.

– Set limits and consistently enforce them; accept that you are the parent.

– Allow plenty of time for your child’s creating free play as well as musical and artistic play. Include time for just being home and ‘doing nothing.’

– Buy or make childlike toys, ones that encourage imaginative play.

– Avoid pressuring your child to be an early achiever in academics, sports, or the arts.

– Continue to pay attention to what your child experiences, limiting overstimulation from loud music, movies, and television.

– Avoid concerning your child with adult problems through news broadcasts, conversations, and so forth.”


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