The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups

 

 

“Young children are important because they contain within themselves the ingredients for learning, in any place and at any time. Parents and teachers are important, too. And that’s because they still control the one early learning environment that trumps all the others: the relationship with the growing child.”

-Erika Christakis

 

I am writing this as the sun’s rays are streaming into my living room. It is early April and the buds are beginning to show themselves on the trees. My tulips are beginning to bloom as well. I love the early, predictable signs of spring. Today nature seems to be the most predictable indicator of what is taking place during these unprecedented times. As the Coronavirus impacts everyone there are some heavy hitters fighting back.

 

The media has referred to the unbelievable volunteers and medical employees as those in the frontline of this fight. There are not enough words to thank those that are working in the hospitals, places providing testing, and participating in the transformation of buildings to house the sick. I would also like to acknowledge the imperative roles of parents and educators.

I have communicated with so many parents asking questions, needing to share their story and their worries. Many of them balancing and managing so many roles at the same time AND in the same place. On a good day parenting can be challenging. Recently I ran a Mom’s Group on Zoom for The Learning Center moms. The one hour gathering called “Complain, Compare and Connect” was a much needed platform to validate our young moms and how important their role is as a parent. These moms were honest and open about what it is like to be parenting during this pandemic. Some moms are working with their elementary aged children, providing creative ways to reach and teach their preschool children and trying to be brave and uplifting when asked: “How come I can’t go play at Nana’s house?” To all of you Moms: “Carry on warriors!”

 

The staff members of The Learning Center are working hard and creatively to keep in touch with our students and families. Activities are being delivered in person (via Zoom) so our children maintain the relationship they have with their teachers. The Learning Center is a very social environment. How do you translate all of that when we are all practicing healthy social distancing? By offering scheduled times when we all can join together and see one another on Zoom. The smiles…not just from our students but all of the adults as well. Staying connected feels great when you are under quarantine.

 

If I have not mentioned this in the pass I need to now. There is no other Jewish preschool in Oakland County that has rabbis that play such a significant role in the lives and families of young children. Rabbi Moskowitz and Rabbi Daniel Schwartz are together with our students and staff during this time of uncharted waters. We celebrate all together on Zoom each Friday morning. Rabbi Dannel Schwartz always told us during a stressful time get in front of it and make it a parade. The one thing that is predictable as we cope with this stage of the Coronavirus pandemic is the strength we gain from connecting with one another.

 

Please feel free to contact Marsha Mitnick MS. LLP with questions regarding The Learning Center or help in understanding behaviors of your young children during this time.

marsha@shirshalom.org or 248.406.4255

 

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