Ways to Support a Healthy, Early Childhood
Early childhood is the time we have the most impact on our children's lives!
The following is a list of "gifts" you can bless your children with each day.
- Unconditional LOVE
- High protein / low carb diet
- Replace technology as a form of entertainment with something that has to do with real life and offers a real learning experience
- Peaceful family meals (set the mood with candle, flowers, etc.)
- Peaceful bedtime ritual (the quality of sleep is affected by the mood in which the child goes to sleep, and the behavior of the child is affected by the quality of his/her sleep) — bedtime stories should not be too exciting. Lullabies and back rubs can bring calmness. A child should go to bed early enough to wake up on his/her own for school.
- Acknowledge what your child is feeling rather than try to talk them out of what they are feeling.
- Free time in nature, if possible
- Do not over schedule. Kindergarten is quite enough for most of them. They need lots of time in their own creative space to further discover who they are.
- Be true to your word
- Do not share worldly news with your child — instead, create a home that feels secure
- Give your child the gift of chores. Entitlement can be a handicap in the real world
- Keep stories age appropriate
- Feed your child whole organic foods as much as possible
- Dress your child appropriately for the weather
- Be present and set limits
- Acknowledge the child when you see what you want more of
- Unconditional LOVE
Reprinted by permission. Rudolf Steiner College 2013
Kindergarten HomeworkRead to Your Child Every DayIt is important that you read to each child every day/night. Make this a special bonding time for you and your child where you are "present" and are nurturing your child with the gift of your undivided attention. This activity not only fosters a child's imagination, but it also lays the foundation to build reading skills later on.
Chores and ResponsibilityGive your child the opportunity at home for meaningful work — a chore or two which he or she is responsible for every day. Examples such as helping to set the table before a meal, feeding a pet, folding towels/napkins. Simple chores help a child develop a sense of self worth, confidence and a sense of responsibility — not to mention, good life habits.
Down TimeGive your child the gift of "down time" every day. This should be a block of time where nothing is scheduled (such as sports, dance lessons, or other activities) and the child is free from any outside sources (computer, TV, friends). It is during this time, a child exactly what they want — as much or as little need. This may be a very creative time or a very peaceful time. It should be left up to the child to find a way to discover him or herself.
Food and NutritionNutrition and meal times are important in the life of a young child. Whenever possible, it should be a purposeful time (sitting down at the table in his/her own space) rather than eating-on-the-go. Taking the time to set a table or making a proper picnic is a wonderful opportunity to foster communication as well as build relationships within a family. In short, there's much to be said of the importance of a family sitting down together for a meal especially at dinner time. Breakfast is also an essential meal as it often sets the tone for the day. Skipping breakfast should never be an option as a child will undoubtedly be low on energy and "cranky" throughout the morning/day. Providing a hearty breakfast with a good source of protein (eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, milk, etc.) will give your child much needed stamina for our active mornings in kindergarten. Finally, please remember to pack a hearty, healthy lunch for your child as we build up quite an appetite near the end of our kinder day!
Here are a few suggestions for healthy lunches:
Here are some excellent books that we recommend:
Simplicity Parenting - Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne M.ED., with Lisa M. Ross
The Hurried Child by David Elkind
You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin
Waldorf Education - Teaching From the Inside Out by Jack Petrash
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge - Nurturing Our Children From Birth to Seven by Barbara J Patterson and Pamela Bradley
Toymaking With Children by Freya Jaffke