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The world of children seems to be divided among those who throw themselves into everything, those who are hesitant to stretch themselves, and those in the middle. If early childhood is all about preparing to leave the nest, the grade school years are all about leaving the nest and building skills, experiences and friendships, and the competencies and confidence that enable a child to meet challenges. *lucy daniels center

mindful of how our reactions can impact their frame of thinking. As parents and caregivers, we should take the time to explain to our children what “just happened,” what the outcomes could have been, and how it could have not only affected the child, but how it could also potentially affect us. If we don’t, we risk the possibility that our children will trust us less.

Any time we encounter something unknown, many emotions can come into play: excitement, fear, anxiety, thrill. The list could go on and on. But what if, at the time of the new experience, we had minimal life experience under our belts? When our children are experiencing something new for the first time, they often lack many of the “life lessons” or past experiences with which to compare that we as adults have. For example: We know that we need to look both ways before crossing a street and to wait for any vehicles in the way to pass. But for a child who is still learning about the concept of cars and traffic, this frame of thinking may not yet exist.

“Children need to know what they did wrong, otherwise, they are going to enter into the fight or flight mode, and they may not learn anything at all. Fear and trust are related. Where there is fear, there will be less trust. If adults want to create trust, then reducing fear is an important activity.” (healthpsychology.org)

Children are natural explorers. They are inherently curious creatures who are trying to learn how to navigate themselves in their new world --- our adult world. When it comes to situations that our children have yet not experienced, there are several ways that we could potentially handle the situation. No matter how we choose to parent, one of the most important things to keep in mind while teaching our littles about the ways (and rules) of life is how our messages are relayed to them.

Fear is defined by MerriamWebster as: to be afraid of (something or someone); to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant); to be afraid and worried. So when we think of our children, is this really something that we want to instillin them when they are still learning about the way the world around them works? Think about it: If you, as an adult, were in an unfamiliar situation and took the “wrong road” to try and get out of it, how would you feel if you were yelled at, hit/spanked, or punished without explanation? How much of a learning experience would that really be for you? Furthermore, if you were placed in that situation again, what is the likelihood of you actually knowing the “right” way to get out of that situation versus knowing “what not to do” because you are afraid of finding yourself dealing with the same previous negative outcome? (Mind you, again, that you have an ample amount of life experience and knowledge compared to a child.) When it comes to teaching and shaping our children’s learning experiences and how they deal with unfamiliar situations later in life, it is crucial to be multiplicity

Instead of using power and control over children when they are experiencing something new, we should try to use empathy and understanding. It is ok to explain to your child how you are feeling and the emotions their actions elicited, of course after removing them from any potential threat or harm. For example: When the girls and I were baking muffins one day, they helped me line the tins and pour the batter. After I took the first batch out of the oven, I explained to them that everything was hot and asked them not to touch anything. While I was going to get the bowl of batter so we could start the second batch, “N” tried to reach for the muffin tin. I screamed “NO, IT’S HOT!” and ran to move the tin out of her reach. (It was on the counter and she had moved her step stool over so she could put more liners in it.) Once she was safe, I opened

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Multiplicity Summer 2016  

Things are heating up in this issue! From tips for reigniting your passion with your special someone, celebrating summer with 30 fun ideas f...

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