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5 Things Your Child Should Know By Age 3
Which would you fancy I wonder? A sunflower, daffodil or maybe a rose? A carnation, lily or maybe an orchid?
All beautiful and needing careful nurturing just the right amount of water and sun. Some more delicate than others, yet all bringing out a unique fragrance, color, and delight to us all.
This same beauty and delight that we derive from flowers can be seen in our little ones. All beautiful and yet unique, each one needing the right nurturing to bring out the best in them.
This has been my experience as a Montessori Kindergarten teacher. As each child walks into the class each day, it dawns on me what great responsibility has been endowed on me to care for, yes nurture these young ones.
Thinking back to your favorite flower, if you and a friend had the responsibility to care for it at different times, how would you ensure that it was neither over or under watered? The key would be co-operation. Likewise co-operation between school and home is vital for your precious child to be best nurtured.
The question that arises is what milestones can you achieve at home that will be of great benefit to your child as he begins his formative years at school?
Firstly an early researcher, John Bowlby believed that, “humans have some biological need to have a close loving bond with their mothers, or permanent substitute mother. If this bond isn’t allowed to form or is broken, emotional development will be disrupted!” Though his theory was criticized by some, we can glean an important point from it, that from infancy children do need and thrive on love and assurance from their families, thus enhancing their emotional development.
Secondly, with regard to cognitive development, you may have noted that children under three years love to imitate what they observe. Hence in a Montessori class setting you will find an area called ‘practical life’ with material that is all child-sized and that enables the child to perform tasks that he would normally observe at home. For instance pouring beans from one bowl to another or spooning from a large pot to between 2 to 5 others. This would allow the child to eventually, once mastered, pour water from a jug to a glass or feed himself using a spoon.
These skills if extended at home would enhance the child’s personality development making him more independent and confident in self.
Fourthly, we want to strive to help our young ones in their development of language and communication. Language is the primary means of communication and thus a good point to note for parents and caregivers is to “use short sentences that contain simple words and that are grammatically correct.” This will surely enhance the child’s language skills.
As noted earlier, children learn best by example and thus with regard to the fifth area, moral development, parents/caregivers are obliged to not just say but do as they say. Hence when setting moral standards for your child practice what you preach as it were, and this will ensure a better response and application of the moral code set out.
Finally be sure to share in fun activities with your children. Jump, dance and walk together! Exercise as a family and this is sure to enhance your child’s physical development.
If we thus strive to inculcate these points in our young ones, just like the well cared for flowers, we will have assisted them to develop holistically into beautiful well rounded individuals.
Ref: An Introduction to Child Development