**SHOW AND TELL**

Bring something heavy and something light.

REDUCING ANXIETY

There is a group called First Eleven Months (FEM) that generally meets in conjunction with pediatric clinics. Their goal is to enable new parents to feel less anxious. As a general rule, they have found that parents today are well educated in child development. What seems to be the main issue is what the FEM group calls “leading preoccupations”. These preoccupations may be products of experiences the parent had as a child, of guilt trips we put on ourselves because both parents are working, or of adult stresses from our marriages, our jobs, or other issues. Another perspective also has to do with current social issues. In some cycles, we’re prone to give the child extra space, but in other time periods, we’re more disciplined or hovering in our parenting style.

Becoming a parent has a powerful effect on any person. It suddenly places you in an entirely different role, no longer simply responsible for yourself. Marriages must be totally redefined, shifting from maintaining the status quo to a richer commitment to the new life you have created. It’s such a massive responsibility that in our deepest selves we become scared and angry when the least little thing seems to thwart our efforts.

A part of the FEM group’s process is videotaping parents with their child before the beginning of their series of meetings. Parents might be appalled at their observed behavior with their child. From the videotape, mothers and fathers in the FEM group help each other realize their preoccupations. You can watch yourself in your mind’s eye to understand how you are behaving with your child.

Group leaders of the FEM groups emphasize a baby’s effort to regulate herself. Every baby comes into the world with different levels of impulse, different sensitivities, and different abilities to regulate their state. A child’s way of making sure his needs are met raises powerful responses in the parent. This is nature’s way of making sure the baby survives. If we can recognize the child’s need and simply respond to it, a lot of the power struggle goes away. It seems to be a form of communication, where the child can express “I need to feel in control”, or “I need to feel secure”. In each case, the parent can find ways to help the child understand “I am recognized and appreciated”, “I can renew myself”, “I am able to influence what happens to me”, and “I can assert myself so I feel safe”. When the baby’s deepest needs are being met and the parent is confident of being able to parent this new life, the unique way that little children have fun with their parents begins to emerge, anxiety is reduced, and lots of joy is available to the whole family.

Coming Up

Solar Eclipse – What an opportunity! We’ll be talking a lot about what’s happening and why it’s so significant. Share the excitement with your child.

Classroom Seminars – This is an opportunity for you to meet other parents who have chosen this school for their child, and for you all to hear what you can expect for the classes in this new school year. The Infant class will have their seminar on Tuesday September 12, the Toddler class seminar will be Wednesday September 13, and the primary class seminar will be Thursday September 14. Please update your calendar and plan for an information session with your child’s teacher.

Think About It – Our enrichment curriculum has thinking skills built into every portion of its content. One of the questions in our Africa theme is “Could your family live as hunters and gatherers? What would you need to know to be able to do that?” You might like to play with this question in the car or at the dinner table.

     Luau – Even on a Monday many families made it out to this year’s luau and a good time was had by all. As soon as we’ve collected all the pictures we’ll put them up in the foyer and on Facebook for you to view.

 

Classroom News

     A discovery was made when Benjamin and his classmate Charles noticed the lines in the pattern on the kitchen floor tiles, and realized they could make various shape that are just like the shapes in the geometric work in the classroom. Charles identified a square while Benjamin saw a triangle.

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Enrichment Curriculum

Africa: If you have artifacts from this mysterious continent, please allow your child to share.