The family center approach believes a child’s family is very important to the cognitive and social development skills. Our family defines who we are as a person and oftentimes is a reflection of self. Our family defines culture, economical, race, values and beliefs. A child’s first teacher is the parents, and without parental guidance a child would lack important skills to become successful in society. In this paper I want to explain how educators and parents can work hand in hand to promote desirable behaviors in preschools in classroom and in home setting.The focus to the educator in family center approach is not only the child, but on the family as a whole. Attachment One important behavior I want to discuss is attachment. Attachment is an emotion that a child will experience within its first years of life and continued throughout its whole life p. We often associate attachment with the heart, but actually it is very much needed for the development of the mind, or intellectual development (Gonzalez, 2009). Positive, nurturing attachments helps a child to become secure and promotes a sense of well being. Attachments are formed when there is trust in a relationship.
Children that are abused and neglected grow up seeing the world as cold and unwelcoming. Sure we all have our own issues of trust, but children that grew up in a hostile environment have a harder time coping with trusting others as adults. And adults who were neglected and abused as result grow up seeking the caregiver that never met their needs, often forming co-dependant relationships. Others will deal with the problem successfully if the people involved in their lives are responsive to their needs. Family Center approach teaches staff in child care centers can make an impact in that child’s life.
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The frame work that can be used is called “protective factors” this is used to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect. Its purpose is to strengthen families and protect children. The goal of the program is to build trusted relationships with the parents and assist them while they are going through difficult times. This type of attachment is different to what just normal staff provides to a child. Getting attached to someone else’s child is a very delicate subject. You could be the first one to sense abuse, and you could also be that important influence in that child’s life.
It is important, however, to make sure that you do not look down on the child’s parents, or even attempt to outdo the parents. It is very important to identify those tendendencies, if they do occur, set them aside. It is your job to support the parents. If you look down on them, then you cannot support them. Keep in mind that your attachment is important, but it is only temporary. Be caring and compassionate but also keep the attachment at a professional level. One of the first signs of attachment and independence in a toddler is when he/she begins to say the word no.
The first word out of the mouths of most toddlers is the word NO, because this is the word that is most said to them while they are learning their limits and boundaries. Parents tend to use the word NO because they think it gets their attention and they stop for a brief second. But in fact the word No is used so often the toddler thinks it’s ok to say the word No for everything. We have problems with children in our two year old room telling the teacher No and in the next breath they want what the teacher offered them. The word No is there first thing that comes to their mind.
As teachers we have to teach the children when to use the word No at the appropriate times. Toddlers need the opportunity to learn how to make choices and see how their choices affect their surroundings. Self-Help Skills Another behavior for growing autonomy is self-help skills. A child has a natural curiosity of its surroundings, and continually wants to explore. How an adult responds to this will conclude the child’s behavior as an adult (Ramming, 2006). When a child is restricted, they often lose their curiosity and willingness to become more independent.
Cultures vary on whether they want their child to be independent or interdependent. In our American culture we want our children to explore and be as independent as possible, we push for that. But is some cultures, such as Japan, want the child to be more interdependent. The culture would rather the child to feel more like a family unit than an individual. As a professional educator it is very important to have a better understanding of culture, and to respect the parents view points, even if it may be different than your own. It is very hard on a child to have two conflicting approaches.
Do not find yourself in an argument with the parent over your point of views, but practice good communication skills instead. Self help skills are very important in the life of a toddler. We can let Children learn self-help skills are by letting them feed themselves with a spoon or put on their own shoes to help them gain control and develop their self help skills. A toddler wants to be in control of things around them. As teachers we need to encourage toddlers to do things that they can do for themselves. Toddlers are learning new things everyday and need to use what they learn to gain some control over their environment.
For example: children need to learn to take turns with toys and what it feels like when a child takes a toy from them. As a teacher we can ask the child to share with their friend and find times when the friend can share with them. This will show the child that they have control over sharing and by sharing, friends will share with them. A child needs many choices throughout the day to help them gain the confidence in her self help skills. This attitude of teamwork makes the toddler feel a little less rebellious because the adult is sometimes seen as a partner rather than as an adversary.
This gives the child empowerment over their surroundings. Empowerment Self help skills are a way to make a child feel empowered. Empowerment is a way of making the child feel part as and that he/she is worthy of respect (Yoo,2010). It is important to allow a child to be as independent as possible. An example would be allowing a child to eat finger foods, and feeding herself. Sure it will be messy until the child gets older and learns to be neat, but this allows the child to feel more in control of her world.
Giving the child chooses as to what to wear, and eat is an approach that is suppose to help the child to learn to make chooses in life. With choices you also have to set limits on what will and won’t be accepted. Children will often test limits. That is why when a parent set boundaries they must always remain consistent. Not being consistent with boundaries only lets that child know that it isn’t a real limit, and if the child is persistent enough the child will get his/her way. Providing security and empowerment to a child you must set limits and stick to them.
Family Center Program also gives the families chooses. Like what activities they want to pursue in, how they want to be involved, and what type of help they need, are just some examples. This program, focus on the families wants and not on what the program feels they need. This type of empowerment has been proven to be successful and there is more participation with the families. Pro-Social Skills It is also very important that families and educators teach children social skills. The earlier they start interacting with other children the easier it is for them in the long run.
It is also necessary to teach a child good problem solving skills (McArthur, 2002). The must not only learn how to interact with children, but also how to maintain relationships. Another way to install this into children is by teaching them how to help out and be a part of something. It makes the child feel important and that they belong to something. Another good way to teach a child’s social-skills is by having good role models in its life. Children will learn and adapt to their environment. It is very important to have the child surrounded by people who has faith that things will work out and that life has meaning.
It is very important for families to help the child develop a sense of responsibility and learn not only leadership skills but also follower’s skills. Self Esteem Often times in our society we believe that a child might have “self esteem issues”. We think that all the child needs is to be uplifted or given compliments and praises. As often, there are conflicted theories on where self esteem derives from. Some theorist will say that esteem comes from “nature” such as a human biologist that will tell you that esteem in form of our “DNA” while others, such as Marxists will describe self such as social-economic or “nurture”.
However, in my research I am going to describe self in relation to relationships with people, because that is the “self” that is often broken, and the only one that can be fixed. A baby's experience with self develops at an early age. Often the reflection of the caregiver or the image of themselves in the mirror is their first experiences (Luxmoore, 2010). Later on the baby will reflect “self” without the need of another person. Relationships are very important in developing a child's self-esteem early through life.
Poor parenting can affect the child’s development of self. Too often do we wait until a child is 14 or 15 when a professional tries to get involved with “self esteem issues” and the damage has been done? Too much heartache has happened for another adult to make an impact on the child's life. Often children’s experiences that deal with “self esteem” projects into the child's environment. When a child's self esteem is low, their feelings towards their environment are also negative. Parenting plays a big role in the development in a child's self image.
Sometimes the people in the child's life that are expected to be the nurtures can be very disappointing leaving the child feeling misunderstood. As caregivers it is our job to make sure our children are safe. We can let a child be in control of their feelings and help them gain self help skills and build self esteem as long as the children are safe and are in the right environment. For example, when a child does not know how to make the right decisions and keeps trying to bite their friends we have to take control of the situation and make sure she does not have opportunities to bite friends.
I would stay around the child and make sure they did not have confutations with any of their friends. If I had to walk away to do something the child would come with me. Children need limits and boundaries so they will understand what is right and what is wrong and can make good choices when learning to get alone with others. In my community we have toddler behavior specialist who does trainings on what to expect out of toddlers and how to enable toddlers to be themselves and be independent children. These trainings are for teachers as well as parents.
Caregivers are given lists of age appropriate characteristics to give to parents so they will understand why toddler’s act the way they do and how they can help the child grow. In the conclusion of this paper we have discovered how important it is that the Family Center approach helps the child’s development and sense of self by empowering families to become more involved. This has been proven to eliminate child abuse and neglect. It has also provided ways to help families network in the community. This program has taught the importance of parent/child relationships and how educators can better support the family.
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Family Centered Approach. (2016, Aug 22). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/family-centered-approach/
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