How to Guide Your Child’s Behaviors

 

As your toddler turns one, he/she starts to perform some behaviors that might be considered "inappropriate" or "wrong". These behaviors go hand in hand with the child's increasing desire to show signs of independence or to seek attention. More often than not, these behavioral deviations are closely related to the child's lack of awareness of the consequences. Wisely, this requires an interference from the parents or the nursery classroom teacher to re-direct these misbehaviors carefully without causing frustration to the child.

Re-directing children's behaviors is all about helping the child grow an ability to judge the appropriateness of their own behaviors independently and switch over to positive ones that would be later translated into essential habits. This can be achieved by following several methods and techniques.

 

Praising a child's good behavior has to be one of the most impactful methods to help parents indirectly control their child's behavior. Acknowledging a desirable behavior can motivate the child to do it more often for the sole sake of pleasing others.

If your child is younger than 18 months, ignoring some misbehaviors can prove to be rewarding especially if the child is merely trying to seek attention or their misbehavior is unintentional.  However, if your child is 18 months or older, allow an opportunity for him/her to take responsibilities for their actions in order to develop a sense of self-discipline.

It's also helpful for parents to stay composed and collected. Losing self-control can only lead to yet more bad behaviors out of stubbornness.  They are advised to stay calm and avoid making negative comments or giving the child direct criticism. Parents are also advised to negotiate privileges with their kids. For example, they can allow them to watch TV after they tidy up their room, or they can promise to take them on a picnic if they stop crying and screaming.

Telling a short story about a desirable behavior using the child's favorite characters can help both for short and long terms goals. In this case, parents can seek help from the teacher at the nursery to play this role as they have a great deal of influence on the child’s behavior. This is something we care about at "Little Academy Nursery" after considering the parents' remarks during our regular monthly parent-teacher meetings.

Moreover, taking away some privileges is another good method used with children who are older than two years and a half. It does miracles to control undisciplined children as they will know that every time they misbehave, something precious to them will be taken away.

Also, parents can hang a board in their child's room to stick stars for every good deed s/he commits to. It's worth noting that limiting rewards to only materialistic ones can be dangerous. Small rewards should be worked out. Rewards can range from a picnic, a sticker, to even just a kiss or a high five.

No matter what method works best with your child, for it to yield desired results, it is essential that both parents and the nursery teacher are on the same page. With this consistency, the child will not be confused, and as they don't sense a major difference between the two environments, it will be easier for them to follow directions.

 

 

What to Do When My Child Lies

 

At around the age of two years and a half, children's self-expression abilities grow stronger, and parents might notice that their child starts to make up stories or talk about untrue things. Parents, then, are usually filled with worry that might be mixed with a bit of disappointment. But are these feelings justified? Can a child who has a fluctuating relationship with reality tell a 'lie'? Does it make sense to punish a child for bending the truth even when they don't recognize that what they're doing is wrong?

Psychologists state that a child younger than six years old doesn't yet have the consciousness to realize that telling lies is a bad thing, and most of the time lies are not told deliberately. It is natural that your child at the age of two or three denies some of their actions to get something done. During their third year and well into their fifth, children live a vivid world of fantasies that is full of imaginary friends. After the sixth year, they start to understand the difference between lies and the truth, so their motives for lying will start to change. Your child might lie out of fear, self-defense, or to simply to compensate for an inferiority they are dealing with. Children also lie when they see their parents lying and getting away with it.

In this article we are having a glimpse into how to address the issue of lying for children who are younger than six years old.

If your child is under two or three years of age, it is very natural that they mix between some events or places, for they don't yet have enough ability to tell the difference between dreams and reality. Don't get upset when your child tells you he went on a picnic with his grandfather today while in fact he actually went two days ago. Rest assured that if dealt with properly these instances of lying won't persist after your child's mental abilities are developed.

At the age of "fantasies" and "tall tales", during your child's third and fourth years, don't insist on trying to prove that the truth is otherwise, even when he tells you that flowers in the park talked to him. Making up stories at this age is a sign your child has a creative, working mind. In this case, you can either just listen, or you can invite him to add more engaging details by asking questions like "Did you tell the flowers about mom and dad's names?" However, if these fantasies continue well into their six year, help them grow their creativity through writing stories or drawing.

Also, children, at this age, tend to lie to get what they want and avoid doing what they don't desire. They aren't yet able to label these attempts as "lies", so they won't feel guilty about telling them. It is prudent that you don't complicate the problem by punishing them.

Before redirecting any behavioral deviation, make sure that your child is aware that what they are doing is wrong. In this case, you have to cooperate with the nursery, the kindergarten, or the school your child attends in order to tackle the problem appropriately. At Little Academy Nursery, we place a high importance on having an educational psychologist whose role involves helping parents understand their child's needs and guiding them through adopting the right methods that can help handle problems to raise a child with great values.  

 

How to Ease Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

 

From the first moment of their life, newborns get attached to their mothers and don’t yet understand that they are two separate human beings. A few months later babies start to discover they have a father, a grandmother, and siblings who love them too. Accordingly, they start to gradually develop a noticeable need to explore the surrounding world.

 Attachment to parents is usually deemed a sign of a healthy relationship. It reflects the sense of security and safety taught in the child whenever they return back by the end of every exploration journey. However, a child's clinginess grows undesirable when they start to show a fear of interacting with others or going to places, like the nursery, without his/her parents.

 Specialists see that clinginess to parents, especially to mothers, starts as early as the toddler turns 8 months and can last well into your child's second year.  During this period, the child would feel abandoned whenever left alone and might cry and scream if the parents are out of sight. After turning two, children start to realize that their parents will leave them briefly then get back to them.

Why do some children suffer from a severe separation anxiety and refuse to go to the nursery?

 There are various reasons that can account for separation anxiety, and overprotecting your child is a major one. Not allowing children the chance to depend on themselves or not letting them interact with peers can result in the unpleasant fear of separation.

How can you help your child overcome separation anxiety?

 Preparation is key before registering your child at the nursery. Prepare them to be alone, and have them get used to the concept of having people other than you around take care of them. You can, for example, ask a friend or a relative to take your child on a picnic without you. When it's time to go to the nursery, convey that you're just leaving for work and will get back as soon as you are done. Tell your child about the enjoyable time they'll spend with friends in the class. Try to schedule playdates where you can take them on picnics to socialize with peers without being attached to you. Also, as you spend time together at home, try to let them play on their own while you watch over and do some work.

 Furthermore, nursery teachers play a major role here to help children develop a sense of safety, capture their full attention with games and activities, and reassure them that their parents will be back soon. We, at Little Academy, are aware that separation anxiety is a natural developmental phase and will take great care of your children to help them grow out of it safely.

If your child cries, don't get emotional or sneak out immediately. Instead, cooperate with the teachers to calm them down and find a comforting activity that might serve as a distraction. You can also send a comfort item from home with your child to nursery such as their favorite blanket, toy, teddy bear etc.

 Eventually, be sure that at one point your child will get comfortable in their new environment and will get involved in fun activities. Children only need time to get used to the unfamiliar faces which will soon enough become loved ones.

Simple, Fun Ramadan Activities for You and Your Child

 

The need to get your child busy gets more pronounced during Ramadan as daily life shifts from during the day and the evening to also taking place at night. Especially during the time they spend at home it is good to have some activities rounded up for them while for example the rest of the family will be preparing for meals or attend to guests. Although children at the pre-school age are too young to fast, they'll surely notice the changes Ramadan brings to their household whether with the new mealtime routines or the special social and religious activities observed by their parents.

How to spend an enjoyable Ramadan with your child?

By the beginning of the month, you can teach your children how to draw a moon and explain to them that it is Ramadan's friend which marks its start and end. You can also allocate a time of the day to tell them stories about the new things they will notice during the month like "Fanous Ramadan" (the Ramadan Lantern), the Mesaharati (public waker), and the firing of Ramadan's cannon.

You can also create some handmade rag dolls together or buy them to act out stories and perform plays about some simple Ramadan concepts. Your cooking chores can also get lighter as children over four years of age enjoy helping their parents with the preparation of simple Ramadan treats like "Qatayef", so why don't you let them lend you a helping hand and have fun at the same time?

As social life gets livelier during Ramadan, it’s essential to have your children accompany you to teach them the importance of getting together with relatives and loved ones. They'll also get the chance to spend more quality time with children of their age.

Let them take advantage of the time in the evening outdoors as well. After the sun has gone down it can be quite enjoyable outside for your children when they can have a cool dip in an inflatable pool. That will keep both of you cool as long as you keep an eye on them.

In this regard, we, at "Little Academy Nursery", take care of bringing the spirit of Ramadan to the nursery. We are explaining the different aspects of the Holy month to the children during our Arabic and Islamic classes. The children also get the chance to be creative with arts and crafts related to Ramadan and they get to experience the Garangao Celebrations. The traditional children's party celebrated after the breaking of the fast on the 14th night of Ramadan, when half of the fasting month is over.

In line with the official announced working hours in the state of Qatar, Little Academy Nursery has adjusted opening hours. These are set to still be convenient for parents to drop off before and pick up their children after work.

The nursery opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 3:00 PM.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Developing Your Child’s Personality Step by Step

 

"I want my child to have a strong personality." "I want my child to be self-confident."  "I want my child to be the best."

Can you hear yourself saying these sentences? Who doesn't dream of having a confident child who stands out from the crowd and is willing to spring into proper action when asked to? In fact this is what every parent wants, however the upbringing of a child who is psychologically and behaviorally stable, with a strong, independent personality requires a lot of patience.

Your first step on the way to develop your child's personality is understanding it and this is done through observing the child’s words and behaviors. Talking with your child's teachers and asking them about her or his behaviors in the nursery can offer a great deal of help.  

It is worth mentioning that developing a child's personality doesn't require changing it. It is rather about allowing them the freedom to behave and helping them overcome their shortcomings.

First and foremost, taking care of your children's nutrition is an essential part of the child’s development and in order for them to grow into healthy individuals. Naturally, that contributes to the improvement of their performance and boosts their self-confidence.

At the age of two, the child starts to appreciate the love and security they are provided in a nourishing family environment. Although they are bit too young to lend you a helping hand, you can let them handle some simple house chores like tidying up their rooms. However, don't burden them with instructions and orders, and remember to acknowledge and praise their good deeds.

At this young age, children tend to imitate fictional characters they love in stories or on TV. You can take advantage of this by choosing the right stories and TV characters that portray positive behaviors. Also, calling your child endearing nicknames like "the superhero of the family" or "the brave lion" can foster their sense of self-worth.

During their developmental phases, children undergo several psychological and physical changes that affect their personality. Turning three, your child grows more comfortable expressing their desires and appreciating the care they are provided. This requires you to rethink the approaches you adopt to deal with them in cooperation with the nursery. Parents should be regularly in touch with their child's teacher to be aware of their progress and address any behavioral deviation at an early stage.

Comparing your child to his/her peers is probably the worst thing you could do to their well-being. Remember that we don't need to create copied individuals, so let your child develop their own personality without limiting them to behave the way everyone else does. Try to develop and shed light on the distinctive traits your child possesses.

At "Little Academy Nursery", we are aware of the responsibilities we share with parents in the process of developing their children's personalities, and we make sure to always provide ongoing feedback. We report to parents about their children's creative potentials as we observe their behaviors, the pictures they draw, their interests in music, the children they prefer to interact with, the games they get excited about, the stories they like, and how they react towards other classroom activities. All of which can enrich your understanding of your child and help you develop their personality.

Child Shyness: A Psychological Problem You Can Treat

 

Does your child avoid socializing or interacting with others? Does he/ she have problems talking to strangers? Does he/ she fear attention and despise being in the spotlight? If your child is exhibiting these signs, then he or she is most probably suffering from shyness which is commonplace for all children turning two or three.

 Child shyness reveals itself when someone talks to the child, or when attention is focused on them whether in a pleasant manner, as on their own birthday, or in less amusing situations. A nursery teacher can spot a child's shyness when they are asked to talk in front of their classmates. The child might get sweaty or suffer from some stomachaches which are signs that a teacher might notice. Shy children might also avoid playing with their peers, never engage in conversations, and turn away from new, unfamiliar faces or situations no matter how pleasant they are.

 According to psychologists, shyness is a psychological problem that exists on the same continuum where emotional tensions do, and it can be addressed in different ways once the causes are identified. Shyness can be traced back to a range of reasons, and physical problems that affect the child's appearance make up most of them. Other common reasons are related to the children's upbringing like their heavy reliance on others, being granted little or no opportunity to express their desires, criticizing them in the presence of peers or strangers, or other reasons related to family breakdowns.  

 The first step to treat shyness starts at identifying its main causes, then encouraging the child follows in order to boost their self-confidence. You can achieve this by emphasizing your child's good qualities in his or her presence. Parents are also advised to cooperate with the nursery to get their shy child involved in team games, assign them tasks within their capabilities, and praise them in front of their peers.  

 At 'Little Academy Nursery', our teachers work hard to get all the children involved in team games. We also run "discussion time" for them to open up and talk about themselves or anything they wish to share, which should help greatly with their shyness.  

 Furthermore, not comparing your child to other children and using positive, assuring words prove impactful. You can use words of encouragement such as "You are special", or "You were wonderful when you played with your friend". Parents should also make sure to provide the child with a sense of security at both home and the nursery. It goes without saying that children need to be shown love and care to be able to overcome their shyness. During holidays, parents can take their children on picnics and help them make new friends.

 Psychologists warn that neglecting the early treatment of shyness can lead to some serious complications like the child's loss of ability to adapt later in the school. That might, in turn, lead to difficulties related to academic achievement which would start as minor personal disorders that can mount up to depression. Moreover, some psychological studies have shown that difficulties with reading, writing and/or math are mainly caused by shyness and the child's low self-esteem.  

Teaching Your Child Problem-solving Skills

 

One of the main characteristics of people leading a successful life is their ability to solve the problems that they face which would, in turn, motivate them to pursue yet more success. Development specialists place a great emphasis on developing problem-solving skills during the early childhood stages. When children acquire good problem-solving skills, they gain confidence in their ability to make good decisions for themselves. As their self-esteem grows, they are also trained to ditch negativity. It is the parents' responsibility in the first place to develop this skill, and when cooperating with the nursery, results can be improved significantly.

In your attempts to improve your child's skills, you have to invest in the presence of a real problem facing them like their inability to use something or having trouble dealing with a person they don't like.

If your child complains about disliking someone at the nursery, you can interfere using two different methods. You can, as a first option, get involved as a parent and ask the teacher to solve the problem without getting your child engaged. The second method is trying to solve the problem by engaging in an active discussion with your child which can help him or her handle similar problems that might arise in the future. This can be done by asking a series of questions like "Why do you dislike this child?", "In your opinion, how can you two become friends?", or "How can the teacher and I help you to be friends?" As your child starts suggesting solutions, value their efforts and make them feel proud of their ideas.

I bet you detected a great difference between the two methods above. The first teaches children to wait passively for a caring adult to solve their problems, while the second motivates them to work out their options and think of logical solutions from their own points of view.

In the beginning, your child's problem-solving skills can be limited, but with a little patience and a bit of training, you'll notice the improvement on their intelligence levels with their solutions getting more innovative because you allowed them the opportunity to use their thinking and problem solving skills.

Besides facing the daily problems, you can cooperate with the nursery to improve your child's problem-solving skills. Good nurseries set up storytelling sessions where children are told stories of fictional characters who get in trouble and have to think of solutions for themselves. Games that depend on trial and error are also employed to improve this skill like assembly and concentration games.

Be sure to choose a nursery that adopts these innovative practices. At 'Little Academy Nursery' we take on efficient learning strategies that teach children to problem solve and improve their creative thinking skills.

 

No Spanking, No Shouting: Your Guide to Positive Parenting

 

By the age of one year, babies start to exhibit, what we adults consider, bad or dangerous behavioral patterns requiring immediate intervention. Most parents resort to punishment to prevent the repetition of such actions. If you think you that shouting or even spanking are helpful in these situations, we would like to inform you that unfortunately you have lost the round to the little one.

There are various positive discipline strategies which you can choose from based on your baby's age. As for one-year-olds, a grumpy face or a sharp look could do the job. Some pedagogists claim that ignoring the misbehavior is actually an effective strategy to follow with one- and two-year-olds. Add to that, the “distraction” technique where you distract your child attention from the misbehavior by giving her or him something else to do.

 

By the second birthday, children start to understand the concept of “time out”. The time-out strategy powerfully works, but it requires a lot of patience. Parents should choose a safe but boring place, then put their children on a chair or a step away from their usual playing area. The time which should be spent depends on their age. It is usually a minute per year of their age. For example, two minutes are enough for a two-year-old. Note that this strategy is pointless if the children do not understand why they are being put in a “thinking” chair. Therefore, parents should explain to their children that a certain unacceptable behavior will lead to a time-out, and be consistent. Children can be allowed to leave the “thinking” chair when they apologize for the misbehavior. After the age of two and a half, parents could start putting away favorite  toys to allow children to reflect on the reason they are being deprived from their beloved possessions. By the age of three, you can use the “reward chart”.  For every good behavior, children earn one star. After collecting a certain number of stars, there is a big reward, such as a toy or a trip.

You might have already noticed that effective discipline methods teach children positive behavior and habits. For example, self-reflection teaches children empathy and consequence assessment while shouting and spanking can only invite violence, aggressiveness, hatred, and develop low self-esteem.

It is worth of note that parents should agree on a unified discipline strategy. They should also familiarize the nursery teachers with it. This is mainly because different parents have different parenting styles which might cause a conflict within the child. Using different discipline methods could induce the child act obediently at home, but cause trouble at the nursery, and vice verse. We at Little Academy deeply believe that the role of the nursery is complementary to that of the parents, so we ensure to be their extension.

Television: A Friend or a Foe?

 

Whenever this question is asked, parents’ opinions divide into two groups. The first group would argue that the television is an unwelcome guest in their homes while the other would  defend this invention for being a source of knowledge for their children. Which opinion do you personally tend to side with? In fact, both parties are to a good extent right. While the cons of this technology are numerous, the pros are also plentiful.

 

On one hand, simplified cartoon programs could be an informative source for acquiring scientific, social and cultural knowledge. Furthermore, children can develop their linguistic competence by picking up new words and expressions just from watching TV. On the other hand, toddlers below two years of age could be the most fragile group when it comes TV exposure. This is due to their brains’ neurological composition. At this age, children knowledge expand by real tangible interaction with sounds and objects. Unfortunately, TVs only offer an intangible projection of such concepts, negatively impacting the development of creative imagination and critical thinking. While TVs could help some children to learn new vocabulary, they could also encourage others to remain silent. Long exposure to the TV could result in language delay problems, in addition to other complications, such as social introversion and violence.


 

What To Do?

Parents and nurseries should work together to minimize the number of hours children spend in front of the television; Because we believe in meaningful face-to-face interaction, our policy at Little Academy requires the exclusion of TV from our daily program. It is not only that, we also, during parental meetings, raise awareness about the dangers of long-exposure to TV, and encourage care givers to play with their children instead.

There is no harm in moderate exposure to purposeful children programs. To achieve maximum benefits, parents are advised to watch TV with their children to encourage their critical thinking by commenting and asking questions. Child-parent interaction during this time reinforces conversation skills and discourages passiveness.

If you feel that your child is too attached to the TV, the best you can do is to distract his or her attention by spending quality time together through practicing interesting hobbies and activities, such as drawing, singing, hand crafts, even family visits and trips.

 

A Nursery Teacher is Not Just a Teacher

" A nursery teacher is not just a teacher" is the least that could be said about an early years' instructor. Call it a teacher, a facilitator, or an educator, but the person occupying this position also plays the roles of a pedagogist, a relationship expert, a nutritionist, and, on the top of all of that, a role model.

 

Children at this age are often described as blank sheets of paper. This is one of the reasons why nursery teachers have a great impact on children. The other reason is that many children spend more time at the nursery interacting with their classmate and teachers more than with their parents at home. Parents are advised to meet the teacher responsible for their child's education to further learn about his or her qualifications and professional experience.

Care, love, and patience are the most important traits to look for in nursery teachers. Add to that positive reinforcement skills which help them handle stressful situations in a calm nonviolent manner. These characteristics create a positive environment where children feel love, safety and comfort. Nursery teachers should also be emotionally intelligent so that they can understand every child's physical, moral, and academic needs. Moreover, one of the most important skills is the ability of simplifying information to children by using innovative educational aids suitable to children's age group and culture.

At Little Academy, we are aware that this job is demanding and the responsibilities of this position are heavy. Therefore, our teaching staff is highly qualified and carefully selected against a number of strict criteria. Our teachers are selected to have a thorough background in Early Years’ and Preschool Education. At our nursey, teachers plan their daily programs ahead taking into consideration children's moral, mental, linguistic, and social abilities.

Our team is a diverse one coming from countries, such as the UK, Canada, USA, Lebanon, Holland, South Africa, Australia, Ethiopia and the Philippines. They are best known for their love for children, and their professionalism in dealing with every day in-class various challenging situations. Moreover, our teachers highly appreciate teacher-parent communication. Therefore, they ensure to regularly hold parental meetings where they can learn more about each caregiver's parenting style so that they could follow a similar strategy at the nursery. The unification of the parenting style between the home and nursery is one of our priorities at Little Academy, and regular parental meetings help us create a positive peaceful environment where children do not feel conflicted between different discipline strategies.

In addition to our unique teachers, you can add to the list our nutritionists, speech therapists, curriculum designers, child psychologists, and relationship experts. All of our staff works together to bring out the best in your child and make the nursery experience an unforgettable one.