Nurturing New Moms

Nurturing New Moms

By Rebecca Gale

Wonders was featured in an article written by journalist, Rebecca Gale, “Nurturing New Moms: Child Care Centers are Becoming a New Frontier for Postpartum Support,” which was published on page 172 of the May/June issue of Bethesda Magazine. The article highlights the recent post-partum training Wonders Early Learning educators received by Postpartum Support International (PSI), to provide Wonders educators with insight on how to recognize signs of postpartum mood disorders and provide resources that can be shared with families. Liza Pringle, Wonders Early Learning Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, noted, “We can take this on. Parents can know they aren’t alone. We just need to be informed so we know the next steps to give them help.” Access the digital article in the May/June 2024 Digital Edition on MoCo360!

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Curriculum Corner

CURRICULUM CORNER 

 

The Tantrum Survival Guide, By Liza Pringle

As a parent or guardian, it can be difficult to find effective ways to decrease challenging behavior in young children, whether you are a new or seasoned caregiver. However, there are tactics like “the power of the pause” that can help you respond more effectively and intentionally to those difficult behavior moments.  Read the full article HERE.

 

Second Step: The Foundational Unit. By Gerald Bolden

This article by Gerald Bolden, Wonders Extended Day Program Director and Auxiliary Program Manager, highlights how the Second Step curriculum is implemented through creative activities and games. Read the full article HERE.

Consultants Corner. By the Child Development Consultants (CDC)

Parents and guardians are children’s first teachers. These six articles provide families with information and tools to continue social-emotional learning at home by tackling topics of self-regulation, managing tantrums, picky eating, play dates, and sensory processing. Read the full articles HERE.

Hum Your Way to A Calmer December, By Liza Pringle

Holidays can be hectic and
overwhelming, both for little kids & their grownups, 
so having a couple of calming tricks up your sleeve can
go a long way to making the season better. Read the full article HERE.

 

Second Step: The Foundational Unit. By Gerald Bolden

This article by Gerald Bolden, Wonders Extended Day Program Director and Auxiliary Program Manager, highlights how the Second Step curriculum is implemented through creative activities and games. Read the full article HERE.

Consultants Corner. By the Child Development Consultants (CDC)

Parents and guardians are children’s first teachers. These six articles provide families with information and tools to continue social-emotional learning at home by tackling topics of self-regulation, managing tantrums, picky eating, play dates, and sensory processing. Read the full articles HERE.

Take it Outside! By Cindi Dixon

This article by Cindi Dixon, highlights the benefits spending time outside has on young children’s development and mental health. Read the full article HERE.

Take Time to Stop and Count the Roses! By Liza Pringle

You can do so much to help your child “grow” their number sense during your little everyday moments together. This short article explores ways parents can help their children learn the foundation of mathematics. Read the full article HERE.

The Write Time. By Liza Pringle

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to help your child learn the power of print by making handwritten notes. These mini-teachable moments plant the seeds for future literacy learning. Read the full article HERE.

Partners in Potty Learning. By Liza Pringle

Taking a team approach to potty training, in which home and school are in sync, can mean a more positive –and perhaps a shorter — experience for you and your child. Read the full article HERE.

Try Sportscasting! By Liza Pringle

This article by Liza Pringle, Wonders Early Learning Curriculum and Instructions Specialist, highlights the benefits of sportscasting to infants and young children using a style of talking called “parentese.” Read the full article HERE.

CDW Curriculum: By Liza Pringle

This article by Liza Pringle, Wonders Early Learning Curriculum and Instructions Specialist, reflects on the Children Discovering Their World two-year pre-k curriculum study in Wonders’ preschool classrooms. Read the full article HERE.

 

Helping Children Learn to Self Regulate

Helping Children Learn to Self Regulate

The first two years of life is an amazing time of growth and change, both physically and cognitively. Babies experiment with and learn from the environment around them. Beyond physical, thinking, and language tasks, babies are learning about social and emotional tasks. Starting in the earliest months of life, babies have the capacity to experience peaks of joy and excitement and also feel fear, sadness and anger. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions—also known as self-regulation—is one of the most important factors for success in school, work and relationships into the long-term.

By teaching skills around social emotional learning we are able to empower our youngest children to better deal with their own emotions. Social emotional learning is key to every child’s ability to manage feelings and to interact successfully with others. There is growing evidence that self-regulation can be taught in the classroom (Blair & Razza 2007; Diamond et al. 2007). Let’s look at some strategies from NAEYC for doing so.

  • Teach self-regulation to all children, not just those thought to have problems. All young children benefit from practicing deliberate and purposeful behaviors, such as repeated switching from one set of rules to another or resisting the temptation to function on autopilot.
  • Create opportunities for children to practice the rules of a certain behavior and to apply those rules in new situations. When children are constantly regulated by adults, they may appear to be self-regulated, when in fact they are “teacher regulated.” To be able to internalize the rules of a certain behavior, children can practice them in three ways: follow the rules, set and monitor  the rules and finally apply the rules to their own behavior.
  • Offer children visual and tangible reminders about self-regulation. Learning to regulate one’s own behavior is in many ways similar to learning other competencies, such as literacy or numeracy.
  • Make play and games important parts of the curriculum. Not only should play and games not be pushed out of the classroom to make room for more “academic” learning, they need to be taken very seriously. Children learn self-regulation best through activities in which children—and not adults—set, negotiate, and follow the rules. These include make-believe play as well as games with rules.

Through thoughtfully prepared curriculum around social emotional learning, Wonders gives children the opportunity to enhance their self regulation skills. We recognize that each child is different and develops differently from their peers. That is why we believe in developmentally appropriate guidance for children.

It’s easy to asses when children grow physically but how can we tell if a child is learning to self regulate?  A study from Vanderbilt University identified these six cognitive skills as those that are improved upon with growing self regulation.

  • Attention focusing—the capacity to attend to and sustain focus on a learning task.
  • Inhibitory control—the ability to suppress inappropriate off-task responses to distracting stimuli in a classroom environment.
  • Patience—the ability to wait when required by a learning task and not respond impulsively or prematurely.
  • Attention shifting—the ability to shift focus appropriately within a given learning task and from one task to another as situations demand.
  • Organizing skills—the ability to follow directions, engage in planning, and organize sequences of behavior.
  • Working memory—the ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out a task.

All these learned skills lead to the emotional health and success of a child. Children with strong self-regulation skills, empathy, and social skills are more likely to be successful in school. They are more likely to feel connected to both adults and other children. They are better able to struggle, can deal with mistakes and moments of sadness, and are better able to stand up for themselves and others. These children are more likely to develop resilience, self-control, and self-efficacy – all important life-long skills.

Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

ChildLink

ChildLink

ChildLink is an information and referral service for families with young children. Callers may receive simple referrals, consultation on child development or parenting issues, or linkages and follow up for families presenting more complex or at-risk situations which require early intervention services. ChildLink also assists families and providers in accessing mental health consultation on-site in child care programs. Click here for ChildLink

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