Preschool training years are character-building years - some ideas about what parents should and shouldn't emphasise during early childhood.
There is a Jesuit maxim that says:
"Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man."
The implication is that a child's life is shaped and moulded considerably during the early years. That is why early childhood is also commonly referred to as the 'formative' years - much of a child's character, his sense of identity and even destiny can be shaped by those who nurture him from birth to about age 7, and beyond.
Personal success for the child, including his later achievement and adjustment in school, depends to a large degree upon a stable, predictable, consistent early environment.
~ R. & D. Moore, Better Late Than Early
In my own experience, I have seen the marked difference between my stepdaughter and my biological children at the same ages and although their innate character and different genetic make-up may have been part of it, I believe the differences of their homes, parental relationships and circumstances of their early childhood development that have contributed to the vast contrasts that are now evident.
So, who is going to be the primary influence in your child's preschool training?
Our generation is being conditioned to believe that their children have to attend preschool to be properly educated and there are a lot of questions and raised eye-brows upon anyone who does not conform.
Believing the lie, many parents push their child onto the 'fast-track' of life. The children's mornings are filled with preschool and all the activities that are involved in keeping a class full of energetic children occupied for several hours and then they are taxi-ed to all sorts of extra-murals in the afternoon to help develop other skills and talents said to be crucial for early childhood development.
Preschool Training Years are Character-building Years
T. Roosevelt said: "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."
I believe that early childhood development and the preschool training years are not about academics, but about building character in our children's lives. The time from birth until about 6 or 7 are precious years that we should treasure as they can affect a child's potential in later years.
Society at large promotes sending children to preschool, starting them off on academic programmes to teach them colours, counting, reading and more from as young as possible to give them a so-called 'advantage'.
Computer companies, toy companies, curriculum vendors, moms and tots tutors and many others all have wonder-products to stimulate our baby Einsteins, but in so doing we allow them to be robbed of their freedom to play, explore and learn in their own time, at their own pace.
"Parents who love their children, who understand their developmental needs, will note that neither research nor common sense dictates sending children away from home during their early years."
~ R. & D. Moore, Better Late Than Early
We also get told that they will learn to socialize and be stimulated by playing with other children. Yeah right - as if a bunch of three year olds can teach each other social graces and etiquette!
Instead our children learn 'survival of the fittest' at the expense of one another's self confidence and self-esteem. Research in numerous studies has shown that children who attend daycare programmes are markedly more aggressive and anti-social compared with children who stay home with their mothers for preschool training.
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