Thursday, September 15, 2011

GUEST POST: Kathleen Thomas - Caring, Sharing, and Cooperation.

Kathleen is a Communications Coordinator for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

A Lesson in Caring, Sharing and Cooperation for You & Your Child

Cooperation is not a skill babies are born with. It takes learning and experiences in a child's life to pick up the caring, sharing and cooperation skills they are going to need as they grow older.  Most of these skills are picked up from caregivers, parents, and older siblings.  Somewhere around age three (right around preschool), children start to practice genuine cooperation during play by sharing and taking turns.

Learning to share and collaborate with other individuals is how little ones grow the skills needed to work with other people.  It is important children learn these skills early in life so they become part of their nature and exhibit those skills regularly.  Developing the caring and sharing attitude will improve your child's ability to nurture and grow well rounded relationships with others throughout life.  

You are your child’s most important role model. Modeling the type of caring and sharing behavior you expect out of them will go a long way.  Talk to your child about lending a helping hand and show how you and other family members, each do your own parts around the house and with specific tasks.

Show your child the fun in working together with other people to achieve a certain goal.  Coming up with family projects, wehre everyone plays a role, is a great way to show teamwork and cooperation.  It's a fantastic opportunity to show that everyone plays an important part.  Examples include making a shopping list, planning a family trip or making a family collage.

Cooking is a perfect time to discover cooperation seeing that little ones can actively assist by collecting ingredients, measuring, combining, dishing out and eating.  Most children love the idea of helping a parent with a task that, ordinarily, only a grown-up does.  Working together with your child to create a meal or special treat will surely open up communication to talk about the cooperation and sharing of ideas and responsibility that was involved in the task.

Present the idea of cooperation by reading books featuring characters that exhibit sharing.  There are many books available with extraordinary examples of sharing in them.  Ask your child to tell you how they would react if a person needed their cooperation on a task.  Talk about what takes place at the conclusion of the narrative.

Listen to a short musical composition and discuss how the members of the chorus, band or orchestra operated together to produce a divine sound.  It's an easy task to pull together a basic set, and the way little ones react to music is magical.


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