(Blooming Prairie, January, 2022) :
Promoting Positive, Loving Relationships
In a recent December 22, 2022, childcare blog, I was reminded again of the importance of promoting positive, loving relationships with the children that we care for. Early brain development and ongoing learning are shaped by the relationships and interactions that children have with parents, adults, and caregivers in their lives. Most often this begins with parents and families at home. Home and childcare connections can support positive family relationships and promote positive interactions for children. Spending quality time with our children and “being in the moment” are likely two of the most important things that we can do to become fully engaged in their lives.
By providing our time and energy to be with a child, we show them that we love and care for them and will help keep them mentally and emotionally strong. Also, by regularly spending time together, we are demonstrating that we are a reliable adult in their lives and that they can come to us with their worries, needs, and wants.
Creating an environment of trust and respect is important to their healthy development, whether they are in our infant, toddler, preschool, or school-age program.
For our older children, having unconditional positive regard expresses to them that they have value and that they don’t, specifically, have to do anything to prove that value to us. As Academy staff, this is important to ensure our children are always treated with equal respect, regardless of what they accomplish or achieve. Sometimes unconditional positive regard is just as simple as how we greet our children when arriving or leaving, which can then communicate either unconditional care or lack of regard. Quite often, as we focus on building those positive relationships with our children, it may come in the small moments that don’t necessarily get a lot of attention. The quiet, kind, and consistent actions and support can help children to recognize, use and understand their emotions.
As we focus on social-emotional learning and education at the Academy, the skills below are benchmarks used to guide our teaching and learning.
- Self-Awareness – a child’s ability to understand their strengths and limitations.
- Self-Management – a child’s ability to control their emotions, actions, and complete tasks in new or challenging situations.
- Social-Awareness – a child’s ability to display empathy for those around them.
- Relationship Skills – a child’s ability to consistently make socially acceptable decisions that build positive connections with others.
- Goal-Directed Behavior – a child’s ability to complete tasks of varying difficulty
- Personal Responsibility – a child’s ability to be careful about their actions and contribute to group activities.
- Decision Making – how a child solves a problem that involves learning from various sources and accepting responsibility for their actions.
- Optimistic Thinking – a child’s attitude of confidence and positive thinking regarding themselves and others.
We greatly appreciate the support and partnership that we have with you, the parents, and the families of Leo Augusta.
May the year 2023 provide you with blessings and joy.
Doug Anderson, Director
Leo Augusta Children’s Academy