• Patricia Mezu, LL.M., M.A

My Home, My Pre-schooler!

A prepared home environment is a fruitful environment! 

I recall a visit to a kindergarten in Dubai. I asked the teachers to look around the classroom, while standing and then look around the classroom while kneeling. Their perspective while on their knees totally changed their view of the classroom! I reminded them that the view, on their knees, was how a child sees the class. They then understood the importance of preparing the classroom form this vantage point.

Question: how does your child see his/her home environment? Are things easily accessible? Is he/she given ample opportunity to navigate safely and independently?

4 Principles for a Prepared Home Environment

1. Order - Plan to maintain an organised and orderly home. This will build an innate sense of order within your child. What a child experiences externally will influence what is developing internally. Order also instills a sense of discipline. For example a child should know where his/her toys should be placed when playtime has finished.

2. Consistency - Routines create stability in a child's life. Children able to predict what will happen next and this consistency allows a child to feel safe and secure. Having a routine does not mean boring! However, some things should be fairly predictable, e.g meal times; sitting at a table to eat, using familiar plates, table mats, etc. Another example is a daily walk to the park (weather dependant); at a specific time.

3. Independence -  I am a stickler for independence! I strongly believe in encouraging young children to do things on their own, as long as it's age appropriate and safe. However, they need to be given opportunities to be independent. The home is an ideal place for this. Here's an example, for a 2 year old - ask him/her to help with picking up toys; putting food in the lower shelves of the fridge; loading the washing machine (see one of my earlier blogs:)).

4. Safety - I think it goes, without saying, that the home should be safe. Safety in this sense incorporates physical as well as psychological safety. For young children, objects that they can easily choke on, should not be left lying around; electrical sockets should be covered. Psychologically, the home should be welcoming, open and caring. 

Contact us for more ideas about building and sustaining a safe home environment!

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