Chapter 1, Section 1: Children and You
Think about the children in your life. Perhaps you have younger siblings, cousins or are an aunt/uncle. Maybe you’re a youth leader, or do volunteer work, and let’s not forget babysitting little ones. Part of this course will require you to think like a child. Remember some of those things you did as a child that were wonderful, as well as those that were challenging. What stands out most? Also think about how you used to see the world differently.
There are many different reasons why people study children. Students in Human Services 11 are often interested in taking the course for the “Baby Think It Over” Program (BTIO/Babies/Dolls). In addition to that, most students are thinking of working with children some day in fields such as child care, education, social services, pediatrics, or law. Certainly studying child development can help you better understand any of these careers. But this course will also help prepare you for one day becoming a parent yourself.
One of the most important things to do when you are working with, or parenting, children is to come down to their level. This is both physical and emotional.
You should physically bring yourself down to a level that allows you to look them in the eye. That may mean that you are kneeling on the floor, sitting on small chairs in a classroom or daycare, crouching down, or whatever else you need to do to physically meet them where they are. This helps children feel less intimidated, and more like they can relate to you (though they won’t put it in these terms).
Emotionally, you should remind yourself what it was like to be a child that age. What did you like? Fear? Understand? People working with children do not need to baby-talk, but they may need to bring their vocabulary down a level or two. Adults should also be considerate of big emotions and little attention spans, young children are still learning how to manage emotions, and their bodies and minds are designed for short bursts of activity.
Additional Assignment: Sometime during this week, play like a child. This could be going to a play-ground, jumping in puddles or a pile of leaves. Think of some activity that children do with complete abandon and give yourself a chance to not only do it, but (hopefully) enjoy it. We’ll have a class discussion around this at the beginning of next week.
Textbook Assignment: The Developing Child
Chapter 1, Section 1, page 23
- Check Your Understanding # 1-6
- Discuss and Discover #1.