JMS NEWSLETTER

Toddler Community News

Thank you to those families who have already met with me for their conferences. Several of you will have your conference on April 15 since your child started later in the year. I enjoy meeting with you all and talking about your children’s progress. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share observations, fun stories, and ask questions.

One common theme that runs through the conversations is the importance of making choices. I’m sure you’re aware by now that this period in your child’s life, the toddler years, is a very dynamic one. They are changing so quickly it can be hard to keep up with their needs. They have learned to do so many things independently; this is a critical time in laying the foundation for making good choices. We want our children to have the intellectual ability to know what they want and how to achieve their goals. This is a long way off for toddlers, but part of the process in this intellectual ability involves making choices. The ability to make a choice is different than choosing something out of curiosity. We help the children develop the ability to make a true choice from knowledge. For example, if you go to a restaurant and you’ve had several things on the menu before, you can choose what you’d like based on your knowledge of those meals. If, however, you’ve never tried anything on the menu, you choose what you’d like based on curiosity. In order to choose, one first needs some knowledge of each thing. In the Toddler Community, we give knowledge through showing the children how to use a variety of different materials and then ask them which activity they’d like to do based on their experience.

At home, it’s important to offer your child the opportunity to make choices as well. Many toddlers are only able to handle a choice between 2 things, but as they get older more options can be added. As a parent, make sure that you’re comfortable with the choices you’re offering. For example, if you’re laying out 2 outfits for your child to choose from be sure that you are definitely comfortable with either choice (if it’s a cold day, one of the choices probably won’t be shorts and a t-shirt!) A child who’s given the opportunity to make choices feels like they are important and that their ideas are valid. Many difficult behaviors will often disappear when children feel that they have some power in their own lives!

We will be having another new child joining our community- Evan Peyer will be starting on March 16. I know you’ll join me in welcoming his family!

Reminder: now that winter seems to be ending, mud season is beginning! A good pair of rubber/rain boots is a perfect thing to have for going outside. While the snow is still around, snow pants are still a good idea.

Lynn, Amy, and Barb

Dates and Details to Remember:
March 27 – April 5: No School, Spring Break
April 15: Conferences (for those who didn’t have one in March)