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Heather's Blog

  • Parenting Without Being a Dictator or a Doormat

    Submitted by Heather on Tue, 02/26/2019 - 10:39

    Co-written by Heather Malley and Susan North

    "Negotiating” is a word that covers a lot of ground. Sometimes it just means mediating between your needs/wants and those of your child. These are rich opportunities for emotional conversations (i.e. conversations about feelings) and problem solving. But if you find yourself getting into an argument with your child about every juncture/transition/obligation that comes up in the course of the day, the two of you may have just developed a bad habit.

  • Fostering Autonomy in Children

    Submitted by Heather on Wed, 01/30/2019 - 12:06

    Our role as parent and teacher is to find ways to support children during their journey towards autonomy. The seeming complete helplessness in infancy starts us out with a role of meeting almost all their needs.  We are faced with how to grow our parenting as our children grow, and how to help them become more autonomous as they get older.

  • Thoughts about a book and parenting trends

    Submitted by Heather on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 17:23

    We host coffee hours a couple of times a month for our preschool parents. During these coffee hours a fellow early educator and mentor, Susan North, and myself (Director at Caterpillar Cottage) present a topic and discussion that is relevant to parenting preschoolers, such as discipline, media, sibling rivalry or numerous other topics. This is also a time where parents have opportunity to bring up and discuss any topics that are pressing for them.

  • Media and Screen-Time: Tips and Guidelines

    Submitted by Heather on Mon, 10/29/2018 - 10:45
    1. One piece of very valuable info, if you don't already know about it, is a website that has a lot of articles and reviews for all things books, shows, games, and movies.  Here is the link, you can browse a number of topics and it gives reviews for shows and movies, which we find VERY helpful. This particular article link is about screen time, and what is considered the upper limit for various ages.
  • Child-led Versus Teacher-led Art

    Submitted by Heather on Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:38

    Let’s talk about art, such as painting or molding or collage.  Artistic creations are where skill and creativity combine to imitate life, or communicate an idea or a feeling. Skill and confidence are two essential components of those who create art. Many art projects are common to preschool and elementary school curricula. Reflecting on your own childhood experience of art in school may offer some examples of teacher-led projects and open opportunities to use art materials without specific direction.

  • Tell, Don't Ask!

    Submitted by Heather on Sun, 09/24/2017 - 10:40

    -Reflections on how we approach our children when it’s time to go.

    We want our children to have choices, to feel they have some say in what is going on.  

    Sometimes, this can cause us well-intentioned parents to make everything their choice. The word and questioning inflection “okay?” becomes a tick that pops up after every statement we make to our child.  Inadvertently, what can result is children honestly answering our questions with resistance.

  • The Trouble with Bribes

    Submitted by Heather on Wed, 06/14/2017 - 11:23

    We All Bribe our Kids

    You’re running late.

    Your four-year-old is tightly focused on a play task, but you absolutely have to get her into the car in the next 10 seconds. To avoid the inevitable power struggle, you grab a piece of chocolate and say “If you get your shoes and come to the car right now, I’ll give you this chocolate for the ride to your friend’s house.”

    She runs to grab her shoes and follows you immediately to the car.

  • Why do our children have such flooded, intense, upset or angry moments?

    Submitted by Heather on Wed, 10/12/2016 - 18:16

    Big feelings of anger, upset, sadness, frustration and discouragement are common for preschoolers. So much so, that we are all well acquainted with the term “tantrum.”  It is natural and normal for children to emote freely and with great intensity from time to time. Often this is more frequent in the preschool years.

  • Listening to children: the importance of respecting emotional process

    Submitted by Heather on Wed, 10/12/2016 - 18:15

    Often when a child is hugely upset about something that seems small, like not getting a certain colored cup at lunch time, or having to have a certain ball that someone else is using, this can be an indication of bigger feelings underneath that may need to come out. The eruption may have been just waiting for an opportunity to let loose.