Teaching Children to be Flexible

One of the chief concerns (and complaints) from parents I work with is that their children are super rigid and irrational.  (Claire Lerner of Lerner Child Development)

Educators are all too familiar with classroom scenarios that include some children crying or melting down because things are not going quite their way.  Children can become upset over the littlest things or so it seems that way to the adults around them.  When children become upset because they cannot sit next to the friend they sit next to every day or that the crust is not cut off of their sandwich as it usually is or that they do not want to wear the only jacket available to wear, what can caring adults do?

Well, the first thing that we can do is listen and try to understand how the child is feeling.  Some children are flexible by nature and others are not.  Although it is difficult to expect a child with a more rigid nature to go with the flow, adults and educators can help them to become somewhat more flexible by the kinds of things that they expose the children to.

Flexibility is so important in being able to navigate life and handle all of its many challenges.  As parents and educators we can provide daily opportunities for children to practice flexibility.  Consider the following:

  1.  A teacher can move classroom seating around so children sit next to a new friend periodically.
  2.  Parents can introduce different foods into their children’s lunches so that they have new food experiences. 
  3. When adults make changes in a child’s routine or schedule it can be pointed out to the child in a way that helps them to understand that things change and that’s o.k.

Adults can model flexibility for children.  When you take your child to the doctor and the doctor is running behind schedule which makes you late for work, your reaction to this chain of events teaches your child something.  What do you model for them?  Do you model patience and understanding or are you irritated and unable to wait?  If caring adults model flexibility for children, they can see it put to practice and they in turn can practice it too.  Comment on your child’s flexibility “You were so flexible and cooperative in the grocery store today, we now have extra time to go to the playground.” Praise children for their flexibility and let them know how important and useful it is to exhibit this quality.

Please use the link to read Ms. Lerner’s full article on helping children learn to be flexible and cope.


The Meaning of Childhood

To see things through the eyes of a child is something we all try to do as adults.   As educators we are lucky enough to spend time with young children every day and because of that, we are able to experience the magic of childhood through their eyes.  All experiences can be new to us again as we look at it through their eyes.

Children see everything in life as an adventure

Hide and seek to see what they find

Interested in all that is in front of them

Laughing with abandon at everything

Delighting in things that adults take for granted

Holding hands with anyone willing to play

Open minds

Open hearts

Determined to experience all life has to offer

Experience these things again with a child in your life and see them as if for the first time.

  • Go to the zoo
  • Celebrate a holiday
  • Read a beloved children’s book
  • Explore the beach and the ocean
  • Walk through the woods
  • Bake or cook
  • Sing and dance to music

Let’s Get Singing

This article is written by our Music Specialist, Miss Patty.

 “When preschool children explore instruments, create melodies, learn songs as a group, and make-up songs, they develop appreciation for different kinds of music and become comfortable with different forms of musical expressions.”

Newton School for Children Creative Curriculum

Playing the guitar and singing with children brings me such pleasure. Music has always been a part of my life and I love sharing my talent with children. My music program is designed to foster the children’s social, emotional, physical and language skills through music and movement. The learning experience includes instruments, movement songs, finger plays, chants and multicultural songs that relate to the monthly themes at Newton School for Children. The children enjoy leaning new songs but always ask for their favorites!

Cultivating The Spirit Of Giving

If this pandemic has highlighted anything for us a human race, it’s the importance of thinking of others and reaching out a hand to lift up, support, provide or encourage a neighbor, friend or even a stranger at this most desperate of times. We are thinking about each other in terms of how we can all be safe and stay healthy, but there are other ways that we can help our fellow neighbor. This pandemic has impacted some families more significantly than others. Some people have been directly impacted by the virus itself and others have felt the financial impact of the virus by a reduction in hours at work or the loss of a job or uncertainty about how bills will be paid or even eviction. If you find yourself one of the more fortunate people right now and you have been impacted minimally, this is the time to lend a hand. The example that you show your children in how you give, support and donate is one of the ways in which you cultivate a spirit of giving in even the very youngest of children. Your children are watching you!

In Our Experience

As we post this 4th blog you may be wondering why we started a blog.  Why would we start blogging now?  Well, Newton School for Children has been educating and nurturing young children for almost 40 years and with so much knowledge and so many things to share, it was either write a book or create a blog.  And since everyone is at home doing everything remotely and on line these days, we thought that we could share our expertise and experience and at the same time support parents and children with a weekly informative blog.

A New Halloween

Early childhood educators all believe that children can adapt to almost anything and helping them to understand a change or a new way of doing things is all in how it’s presented.

Parents are concerned this year that their children may not be able to trick or treat and that this incredibly fun childhood tradition will be snatched from them.  The current pandemic has changed so many things and Halloween is likely one of them.  But this Halloween can still be fun for children of all ages if the adults adjust their attitude about it.  Most parents are creative and innovative and can certainly create a new Halloween for their children that is both safe and fun. 

Let’s Go Apple Picking!

Apple pies, apple donuts, apple cider and apple picking are synonymous with Fall in New England.  New Englanders in record numbers head to apple orchards in the fall for that quintessential on the farm, fresh air and hay ride experience.  This past Monday at school almost every child approached the center at drop off with a tale of apple picking that weekend.  It seemed as if literally every child had done the same thing that weekend.  I know parents like to take their little ones apple picking, but I’m not sure adults realize the impact this experience has on children and how many amazing things are learned by visiting an orchard or a farm.  If you haven’t already taken your children apple picking this season, here’s why you should.

Masks In Preschool

What is wearing a mask in preschool like for children 3 to 5 years old?

I wonder why it is that young children manage to wear their masks all day and not have a problem with it?  Adults are frustrated with this pandemic, we want it to be over.  We don’t want to wear these masks any more more, we can’t tolerate it, we can’t breath properly in them. We are tired of not being able to go out or do what we want. And we don’t want to be fearful of being too close to other people and exposed to COVID.

To prepare children to be safe, parents place a cloth covering on their child’s face every morning before preschool. Most children have just accepted wearing their mask as the new normal.  They are happy with the color of their mask or the character on it.  They run with it on, play with it on and smile behind it.  Children even become new characters behind their masks and remind their friends to keep them on.  And although children may occasionally take it off, teachers remind them and they put it right back on.