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Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Fostering Healthy Habits in Young Children

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, and Waco at Woodway

Every parent knows that fostering healthy habits in children is important, but there is no instruction manual for how to go about it. It can be tough to recognize habits forming before they become routine, and, as most parents know firsthand, bad habits are hard to break. In the middle of a tantrum or a broccoli boycott, it can even seem like giving in to unhealthy habits is the only option. But healthy habits are some of the most crucial behaviors children can learn, and they can be taught successfully with a little preparation  and a lot of encouragement.

Before plotting your next attempt to turn TV time into book time or to camouflage green beans, keep in mind the following bits of information from Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician, author and member of the Primrose Schools Early Learning Council:

  • The numbers add up. Adults tend to dismiss habits like having one sweet after dinner or taking a daily stroll around the block as being too small to matter, but the numbers really do add up. Even the smallest actions can make a difference in a child’s future behaviors.
  • It’s never too early. The earlier a child forms a healthy habit, the better. Don’t let age discourage you from promoting a healthy routine as long as it can be done in a safe way.
  • Take a step back. Parents are busy – it’s a fact. Try to take a step back every now and then to evaluate whether your actions with and around your child are promoting healthy habits, and readjust as needed.


Dr. Jana also offers the following advice to encourage three very important habits for young children: toothbrushing, reading and healthy eating.


Tooth-brushing
If you want your child to remember and even enjoy tooth-brushing, don’t wait for teeth. Infants love putting things in their mouths and having their gums rubbed. Establish a fun routine using baby toothbrushes, which are designed specifically for an infant’s mouth, to kick-start a healthy habit before your child reaches the tumultuous stage of toddlerhood.

Reading
Make reading fun before it becomes a challenge your child has to overcome. Start reading together even before your child can sit up, hold a book and understand all the  words. After all, the goal isn’t just to raise a child who knows how to read but who loves to read. As your child gets older, find ways to expand the routine or to make it more  fun.

Eating a Healthy Diet
Don’t give up if your child turns up his or her nose at fruits or vegetables – it can take trying a food up to 15 times for children to like it! Consider teaching your child to take a  “no thank you” bite to promote trying new foods. If they try it and don’t like it, respect their preference. Getting children involved in preparing and serving child friendly snacks is another great way to promote trying new foods. You can also help your child establish healthy eating habits by having a consistent mealtime, which ensures that children know what to expect and are hungry for meals, and by being a good role model by eating a wide variety of foods. Encouraging healthy habits in children is no easy task, but getting a head start, taking small steps, and looking at the bigger picture every now and then can make all the difference.

 

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Dream Team, follow us on Instagram @RigleyPrimroseDreamTeam.
For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Simple Summer Activities that Help Children Learn 

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, and Waco at Woodway
 

Summer is a time to slow down, spend time outdoors and have some fun! While this change of pace is an opportunity for families to get more rest and relaxation, it’s important that children still engage in activities that encourage learning.

Fortunately, the summer season provides plenty of ways for children to explore nature and discover science, so “find learning opportunities” does not have to be another addition to your to-do list. The outdoors provides the perfect setting for young children to experience physics, chemistry and biology in ways that they can relate to and understand.

Swinging, sliding and swimming are great examples of activities that your little one is likely already doing that also introduce her to the fascinating world of science.
 
• Swinging: Swinging back and forth on a swing set allows children to experience the effects of motion and gravity. Children realize that as the swing comes to a stop, they must push off the ground to set the swing back in motion.
• Sliding: Slides allow children to experience the effects of gravity and friction. Children realize they can slow down by pressing on the soles of their shoes, or go faster by lifting their feet.
• Swimming: Children experiment with the scientific principle of buoyancy while learning to swim, asking questions like, “Why do I float sometimes and other times I sink?”

It’s not necessary for you to explain the science behind each activity—the experiences alone build a foundation for learning and help children grasp scientific principles later in life. But, to build on your child’s learning and encourage his natural curiosity, consider explaining the science in a hands-on way by setting up simple experiments.


For example, if your child asks what she needs to do to float, try this interactive game to help teach her why some objects sink and others float:

1. Help your child fill a bucket with water and gather miscellaneous items that will not be harmed if they get wet.
2. Ask your child to predict if items will float or sink and ask for the reasoning behind each prediction.
3. Allow your child to place the items in the water, one at a time. As each item is tested, let her change her prediction—it shows she is thinking critically and refining her thoughts based on evidence. Listen to her observations each time.
4. After your child has tested each item, ask her how the items that float or sink are similar to one another.

Finding ways to play with science this summer doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow your child and listen to her questions—science is everywhere!

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Dream Team, follow us on Instagram @rigleyprimrosedreamteam

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog
 

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Ms. McAlister, Plano TX Ms. McAlister has worked for Dr. Rigley's schools for many years, and loves to work in the Primrose Patch with her students!

Planting the Roots for Lifelong Healthy Habits

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley  |  Franchise Owner, Rigley Primrose Schools

Primrose School of Frisco West
Primrose School of Park Cities
Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow
Primrose School of Prestonwood
Primrose School of Waco at Woodway

 
There’s no shortage of challenges that accompany parenthood. Among them is instilling healthy habits in your little ones. With children today spending less time outdoors, more time in front of screens, and as childhood obesity rates grow, nurturing healthy behavior early on is more important than ever before. One simple way to get young children engaged in making healthy  choices that can be done in your own backyard is planting a garden.

Gardening with children can help establish healthy habits that will benefit children throughout their lives. Digging, weeding and watering require physical exertion and increase strength, endurance and coordination. Children who are routinely active at a young age are more likely to grow into active adults.  

Growing vegetables or produce with children can also help them develop positive attitudes toward, and preferences for, nutritious foods. Children are more likely to accept a new food if it’s offered 10-15 times, and they will be more willing to try a new vegetable or fruit if they’ve helped grow and prepare it. For healthy snack ideas that you can involve your children in preparing, check out Primrose Schools’ Snacktivity videos on YouTube.

Beyond fostering traditional healthy habits, gardening with children can also help them practice important traits and skills like patience, teamwork, responsibility and planning. And, gardening
naturally lends itself to valuable science and ecology lessons. Children can directly observe the impact water, sunshine and food have on the survival of plants. Plus, the investigatory skills they practice help build critical thinking skills.

To make the most of your family’s gardening adventure, Primrose offers the following tips:

  • Choose plants together. Take your child to your local garden center or co-op to select plants. To increase the probability that your child will have a positive gardening experience, recommend low-maintenance plants with high success rates for your part of the country, but let her choose a few on her own.
  • Give ownership. Set aside an area specifically for your child to garden. If he wants to drop an entire packet of seeds in one hole, encourage him to experiment and see what happens.
  • Use small tools. Many manufacturers offer smaller, child-sized gardening tools like trowels, gloves, rakes and hoes. Smaller tools are safer and easier for children to handle, and having their own tools will make them feel more responsible for their contributions to the garden.  
  • Show genuine interest. Demonstrate to your child how much you enjoy gardening by tending to the plants daily and vocalizing how you look forward to it each day. The difference between gardening and yard work is fun, and children can tell the difference.
  • Ask questions along the way. Children’s natural curiosity is bound to emerge during your gardening. You can help them learn by asking questions, prompting them to observe changes that occur or differences between plants, and offering information as you go.  
  • Celebrate! After all of your hard work together, celebrate by harvesting the fruits of your labor. Serve the vegetables for dinner (have your child help pick the menu), decorate the table with cut flowers from the garden, and share garden gifts with friends.   
  • Continue the learning and fun. Take pictures of your family’s gardening adventures as fun mementos of your time spent together.

 

Read books and explore websites to learn more about your garden and all of the different parts that play a role in its success! Here are a few book recommendations:

  • “The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss (ages 3-4)
  • “Tops & Bottoms” by Janet Stevens (ages 4-7)
  • “Diary of a Worm” by Doreen Cronin (ages 4-8)
  • “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Lois Ehlert (ages 2+)
  • “Dig, Plant, Grow” by Felder Rushing (ages 6-10)
  • “Grow It, Cook It with Kids” by Amanda Grant (ages 9+)


Follow us on Instagram! @RigleyPrimroseDreamTeam

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.  

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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We are beyond thrilled to officially announce that our Franchise Owner, Dr. Pratiksha Rigley, is the winner of the annual MVP American Dream Award for 2019, given by Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine!

The Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given to only the best and brightest franchisees, and Dr. Rigley was nominated by Primrose Corporate due to her creative thinking and innovative ideas that have grown not only her network of schools, but that have brought even more awareness to Primrose Schools as a brand. The American Dream Award is given specifically to a franchisee who grew up abroad, and who achieves remarkable success in our country.

In Zambia, where Dr. Rigley grew up, education is a true luxury. At the age of 18, she had the privilege to come to the United States for college, which sparked her love for learning. She graduated from pharmacy school at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and began her career as a pharmacist in the retail industry, managing up to 34 stores at one time. Through this experience, she became enthralled with the operations side of business and honed her management skills.

Dr. Rigley’s Primrose journey began when her oldest daughter Maya was born, but it wasn’t until the birth of her second daughter, Meira, that she decided to combine her experience in operations with her passion for education and open a Primrose School in 2008. Now, ten years and four schools later, Dr. Rigley’s fifth and sixth locations will open in Waco and Temple, Texas, in 2019.

Although Dr. Rigley is involved in every aspect of her schools, from the curriculum implementation to the menu, her highest priority is continually placed on the well-being and growth of her staff and students. By providing a home away from home for the community they serve, Dr. Rigley feels she is truly living out her own American Dream. She is committed to making a difference in the communities her schools serve and is actively involved in supporting local foundations and charities.

We are so beyond proud of you, Dr. Rigley, and we are excited for all the big things to come!

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley

The Skills Needed for Future Career Success and How to Nurture Them in Early Childhood


 


 

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley  |  Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Klyde Warren Park, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, & Waco at Woodway
 



 


When parents think about the earliest skills they should be nurturing in their children, language, reading and motor skills likely come to mind. However, a recent survey revealed that another set of skills may be just as important to develop early in life to give children the foundation they need for future success.  According to a national survey of human resources (HR) managers responsible for hiring, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, self-control, adaptability and working memory – collectively referred to as executive function skills – are essential to succeeding in today’s workplace. In fact, survey respondents agreed that these skills are more important than good grades, technical skills and other factors when it comes to hiring.  

Yet, the majority of those surveyed said that entry-level employees are rarely proficient in executive function skills, and agreed that they are difficult to teach. One in four respondents also indicated employees are becoming less proficient in executive function skills over time – a concerning trend given that research suggests these skills will
only become more valued as society evolves.  These statistics may sound worrisome, but encouragingly, executive function skills actually have their foundational roots in early childhood. The Harvard Center on the Developing Child reports that children’s early life experiences influence their capacity for executive function skills, and laying the foundation for such skills is one of the most important tasks of the early childhood years.

All of the adults in a child’s life – parents, grandparents, teachers and others – therefore have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help set him or her on a pathway for success. And nurturing the executive function skills needed to succeed later in life doesn’t have to be difficult – try the following fun activities for children at home:

  • Develop problem solving through play. Children work through their understanding of the world as they play. For example, when children play with blocks, they learn that putting heavier blocks on top make block towers tumble more quickly, but putting heavier blocks on the bottom make the tower stronger.  
  • Promote critical thinking by asking thought-provoking questions.  Whether you’re playing with blocks or at the grocery story, ask your child simple, open-ended questions like “Why do you think…” and “What if…” to inspire deeper thinking. Be sure to give your child plenty of time to answer the question, refraining from giving the answer yourself.
  • Encourage teamwork by leading by example. Children learn how to respond to others mostly by watching their parents and caregivers. Make it a point to model behaviors like listening and being respectful at home.
  • Cultivate self-control by giving instructions. Instructions don’t immediately sound like much fun, but singing songs like the hokey pokey and playing games like Simon Says actually encourage self-control by requiring children to move in a specific way at a particular time.
  • Nurture adaptability through dramatic play. Children can practice adaptability – the ability to take in and adapt to new information – by using everyday objects in new ways, like turning a paper towel roll into a telescope.
  • Foster working memory by reading aloud. Consistently reading aloud with children reinforces sounds and letters, helping them learn and store information in a way that feels more like play. Take things a step further by making up a story together. As the complexity of the story grows, your child will get more practice remembering the information.

By intentionally nurturing these skills during first five years of life, parents and caregivers can help set children up for success that will last a lifetime.


 

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Schools, visit any of the school websites or email jomac@primrosewoodway.com.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Snack Bags

This weekend, the Explorers students at my Plano and Frisco schools, along with their families, teachers, and school leadership teams came together to make TONS of bags for the children at City House!

City House is the ONLY children's shelter in Collin County, serving those through age twenty-three, and this year marks their 30th anniversary in our community. They also offer free individual and family counseling, and they have a Youth Resource and Outreach Center where at-risk and homeless children can come for help, referrals, counseling, food, clothing, DART passes, and other necessities. What a joy to be a blessing to those who need it most, and what a great teaching opportunity for us to model good character for our students. Using the Primrose Design Thinking Process, our Plano and Frisco students solved problems and helped their community by supporting and partnering with City House.

Simply stated, design thinking is a process used to solve complex problems. While there are many different definitions and models of design thinking, the process generally follows this pattern:

Understand and define the problem that needs to be solved. This involves empathizing with the problem and taking the perspective of the person experiencing it.

Use creativity to come up with potential solutions, prototypes and ideas. This phase is characterized by brainstorming ideas, trying out various prototypes and solutions, and adapting them based on the results of various tests (trial and error).

Share potential solutions with others. This includes sharing the thinking and reasoning behind possible solutions with others, discussing successes and failures, asking questions and sharing feedback.

-- Dr. Gloria Julius, Vice President, Early Childhood Education at Primrose Schools

Our Explorers Community project resulted in hundreds of welcome bags and snack/lunch bags for the children at City House, Plano. We are so appreciative of all the wonderful donations from our amazing Primrose families! Thank you to all those who gave their time, money, and energy to helping us make this project happen, we are truly thrilled with your generosity. It is because of our amazing partnerships in our community that we can continue to have such a great impact.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

-- Theodore Roosevelt

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Primrose School of Park Cities, Dallas TX At our Park Cities school, Director Jamie Hatton tours the school with two staff members.

Tips for Selecting the Best Child Care Option for Your Family

By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley  |  Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, and Waco at Woodway


 

Selecting child care is an agonizing decision for most parents. We know from  research that the experiences children have in their first five years of life are critical to their intellectual, creative, physical and social-emotional development. If that’s not enough pressure, the search for child care often starts months before your baby is even born.

Getting child care recommendations from friends, family, coworkers and your pediatrician is the natural place to begin your search. Their experiences will give you a good starting point, however, keep in mind that what they want for their child may not be the same as what you want for yours.

Once you have a list of options, go through the following steps to help narrow it down:

  • Visit each provider’s website to learn more about what they offer.
  • Once you’ve developed a short list of top choices, call for more information.
  • If you like what you hear over the phone, schedule a tour.

There is no factor more important to your decision than your impression when you visit a preschool or provider. Many parents can tell if a school is right for their family based on how they and their child are greeted, how the children attending are interacting and how their questions are answered by the teacher or school director.

Even if you have a strong gut feeling, there are a few key questions you’ll want to ask either over the phone or as you tour the provider. The whole experience of searching for child care can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to write down your questions ahead of time or keep a running list in your phone to ensure you don’t forget to ask something that is important to you.

Following are five topics that are important to ask about when evaluating your child care options:

  • Early Learning Approach: You may be seeking an unstructured, play-based environment for your child; a more structured approach with guidance from teachers; or a balance of both. Know what you’re looking for and ask the school or provider how the approach translates into the daily activities and classroom experiences.
  • Learning Environment: Observe the children at the preschool or provider—how they are playing and learning, how the teachers interact with them, and the atmosphere of the classroom. Do the teachers create a loving, secure environment for the children to learn, and do they seem to genuinely care for the children? Also ask to see the daily schedule. If there are different classrooms for various age levels, ask to see the rooms your child will grow into so you can get a full picture of the experience. You may also want to ask how the school helps extend what the children learn in the classroom at home.
  • Parent Communication: Being away from your child is difficult. Ask about the tools and processes the provider uses to keep parents informed each day. Do they send you a daily overview of the activities your child participates in? Do you know what your child ate for meals and snacks? Do they send you pictures throughout the day? Good parent communication will help give you peace of mind even on the toughest days.
  • Safety: Ask about the safety precautions the school or provider has in place (locks, placement of dangerous materials, etc.), as well as whether it has an emergency plan for various situations. You’ll also want to know how they will communicate with you in the event of an emergency.
  • Accountability: Many child care providers are accredited, but not all are held accountable for meeting certain standards on a regular basis. If quality is a big must-have for you, ask how the school or provider measures continuous improvement and whether a third-party holds it accountable.
To learn about the Rigley Primrose Dream Team, email alexprimrose3@gmail.com or find us on Instagram (@RigleyPrimroseDreamTeam)
 
For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.
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In today’s competitive society, it is easy to think that earlier is always better when it comes to learning. Children are often expected to master skills like learning to read simple sentences or to write their names by a certain age. But just as children grow and develop socially at different times, their brains also develop at different rates.

For literacy specifically, normal development for learning to read and write usually ranges between the ages of 4 and 9. However, while brain development cannot be rushed, parents can nurture the foundational skills that support literacy starting from birth up until children are developmentally ready.

To encourage literacy skill development in children from birth through age 5, parents can use the following tips:

  1. Talk to children often. According to national nonprofit Zero to Three, talking to children benefits their language skills starting from birth. As children get older, engage them in conversations about their day, ask them questions, tell jokes and make up stories together.
  2. Make reading together a daily routine. Fill your children’s bookcases with both fiction and nonfiction books, and read together regularly. For infants and toddlers, read cardboard books so they can practice turning the pages, and ask them to point to familiar objects on the page (e.g., “Where is the ball?”). For preschool-aged children, ask open-ended questions about the book and point out familiar letters.
  3. Play rhyming and sound games. While in a waiting room or in the car, take turns saying a word like “cat” and having your preschooler answer with a rhyming word like “bat” and nonsense words like “yat” or “zat.” For younger children, practice animal noises. As they learn about different animals, ask them to tell you what sound each animal makes. This is a great way for them to start learning how to identify different language sounds and replicate them.
  4. Set up a writing table in your primary living space. Writing is part of daily life, so it’s important to make it easily accessible and part of daily life for children. Starting from when they are around 2 years old, encourage them to write and experiment with different literacy tools by gathering materials like blank paper, crayons, markers and more on a table in the room where your family spends the most time.
  5. Provide activities at home that support motor development. Both gross and fine motor skill development aid children in learning to write. Encourage your children to climb, run and skip outdoors to build gross motor strength, and provide stacking and dressing activities to grow fine motor skills.


Incorporating these tips into children’s daily activities can help promote brain development and guide them toward literacy mastery. But remember, every child learns at a different pace! Don’t fret if your little one is taking longer than others to read and write – it will all happen when he or she is developmentally ready.   

To learn about the Rigley Primrose Schools, visit the school websites or email alexprimrose3@gmail.com. For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Primrose School of Frisco West  |  (214) 469-1381  |  www.primrosefriscowest.com
Primrose School of Park Cities  |  (972) 685-2100  |  www.primroseparkcities.com
Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow  |  (972) 964-6826  |  www.primroseplanoprestonmeadow.com
Primrose School of Prestonwood  |  (469) 791-9131  |  www.primroseprestonwood.com

Opening in 2019:
Primrose School of Waco
Primrose School of Temple
Primrose School of Uptown / Klyde Warren Park

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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Nurturing Good Character Traits in Preschoolers

Every parent wants their child to develop character traits such as compassion, generosity and kindness, but how do you get from point A to point B? Are preschoolers capable of learning and understanding these traits? And if so, how can parents and caregivers support their development?

According to the  National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, the early years of a child’s life lay the foundation for a wide range of important developmental outcomes, like self-confidence, mental health and the motivation to learn. The earlier these softer skills are fostered in young children, the more likely they are to be successful in school and later in life. And while it may seem like your child is too young to grasp these concepts, the foundational behaviors needed to develop empathy and other social-emotional skills that make us good people are actually nurtured in the first years of life.

Oftentimes the best way to teach young children about these intangible skills and traits is to provide hands-on learning opportunities and to reinforce the concepts in a variety of ways. Primrose Schools suggests the following tips for parents and caregivers to use at home:

•      Build an understanding of different traits. Even at a young age, children begin to build their understanding of traits like generosity, respect and gratitude. Read books such as “I Can Share by Karen Katz (ages 2-5) and “When I Care About Others by Cornelia Maude Spelman (ages 4-7) with your child and take the opportunity to discuss the positive traits that the characters possess. Ask questions and help your child apply the concepts in the book to real-life experiences.

•      Introduce important life skills. Even very young children can begin to learn about essential life skills, such as manners, safety and caring for the environment. Letting children take care of their very own plant will promote responsibility while also teaching the importance of caring for the world around them. Modeling these life skills is also a great way to introduce them, especially for younger children.

•      Make time for hands-on learning. Children get most excited about giving back when they are able to experience it firsthand. Introduce your child to helping those in need by starting small in your community. Whether it’s collecting coats for a clothing drive or making cards for the local nursing home, it’s rewarding to see your child begin to understand the huge impact a simple project can have.

Young children learn through repetition and observation. One of the best ways for you to nurture positive character traits is to lead by example and consistently model what it means to be a good person. Sooner than later, your child will start imitating you and be on their way to becoming a kind, caring individual.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the  Pointers for Parents newsletter.

Primrose School of Frisco West 214.469.1381
Primrose School of Park Cities 972.685.2100
Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow 972.964.6826
Primrose School of Prestonwood 469.791.9131
Primrose School of Waco at Woodway - Coming in 2019!
Primrose School of Temple - Coming in 2019!

 

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
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November Pointers for Parents Website and Facebook

Teaching Little Hands to Make a Big Difference

In today’s world, it is important take purposeful steps to help children grow up to be compassionate and generous human beings. Children who learn the value of giving back at a young age are better able to develop a sense of empathy and citizenship. In addition,  research shows that young children who have high prosocial skills – or behaviors meant to benefit another – are also among the most cognitively ready for school.

While teaching young children the joy of giving back can seem overwhelming for parents, helping to instill these attributes in your little ones may be simpler than you think. A study conducted by two Harvard anthropologists, John and Beatrice Whiting, observed the altruistic practices of children of six different cultures. Their findings indicate that, regardless of culture, gender or socioeconomic status, the most significant differentiating variable is that children assigned more household responsibilities are more helpful and giving.

Encouraging children to contribute to the well-being of the family at a young age – by taking care of the family’s pets, helping parents care for younger siblings and performing household chores – teaches them the importance of giving back, and, more importantly, the sense of fulfillment derived from helping others. Parents can use the following tips to help nurture selflessness and generosity in children at home:

1. Model kindness to your child and others. Let your child see you offering to help a neighbor or co-worker and express to him or her the happiness you feel when helping others.

2. Remind your child how helping benefits others. Include your child in simple activities by asking for help. For instance, you might say, “Who wants to be my special helper today and help carry laundry to the washer? We won’t have clean clothes without you!” Or, “The dog looks hungry. I bet he’d really appreciate it if you gave him his food and water.”

3. Acknowledge helpful behavior. Show your appreciation and explain why it was helpful to you. For example, rather than just saying “Thank you,” instead say, “Thank you for helping me carry the dishes to the kitchen without being asked. That saved me a lot of time.”

4. Encourage giving. If another child doesn’t have a toy to play with, suggest that your child offer up a toy so they can both have something fun to play with.

5. Avoid rewarding generosity. Avoid material rewards for helping and giving behaviors. Treats for good deeds may work in the short term, but over time children may become less generous when the rewards stop.

You may also consider taking your child with you to volunteer for a nonprofit organization. Choosing volunteer activities that are age-appropriate is important. Children as young as 3 years old enjoy participating in group activities and are able to follow directions. Think through the following questions to help select a volunteer opportunity that is right for your family: Does the organization have experience working with children and families? Will the organization staff welcome my child’s participation? Is there a specific job that my child can do successfully? Can the organization help my child understand how his or her efforts benefit others?

Compassion and generosity are important traits for every person to have. Helping young children learn the joy and fulfillment of lending a helping hand to others will empower them to make a difference in the world, both as children and adults.

For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at  www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the  Pointers for Parents newsletter.