Play

With the recent little snow storm, it made me think about play and how important it is.  Play is such a simple thing, but it can have a huge impact on children. Play teaches children so many things socially, cognitively, and emotionally.  It is during play that you first learn how to interact with others, learn to share, and learn basic movements such as stacking blocks or even just running around. All of these things build the fondation for future learning and then improves these things as you grow and develop.  Not to mention play is fun! If anything that should be reason enough to get your children playing or enough reason for you to continue playing yourself as adults.  We tend to think that play is a child’s activity, but it is something that is important at all ages.  We may have different forms of play as we get older, but that by no means means you should stop playing and also doesn’t mean you can’t still do some of the things you loved as a child. It’s still okay to go to the park and take a whirl on the swings or jungle gym or even on the snowy days like we have had recently going outside to throw a few snowballs or build a snowman.  The great thing about play is it’s ageless. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do in life, play is something we can all share and enjoy and is part of what brings us together. So I encourage all of you to take some time out of your busy schedules and just go play for a bit!

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Public Policy

During some of my readings, I have really gotten into the subject of public policy. Though the subject of public policy is something that people can debate about forever depending on the policy, what interests me more is the updating of public policy. What I have found that though there are many policies in place either a) they are not enforced properly or b) are so out of date that it is hard to enforce and apply them.  I think that it is important that these policies are made and there are still a lot of things that need to be done and changed, but at the same time we have to work with what we got.  What is the point of making new policies if they are just going to go unused. I think that we need to put more of an emphais on making sure the policies we already have in place are reviewed and updated so that they apply today and today’s situations, not situations that happen 10 years ago, or even just a year ago.  A lot can change in a short time, so we just have to make sure these tools change with them and keep up with our face paced changing world.

Family Convo

This week I want to talk about communication within the family.  We all know that communication is important in any relationship, but even more so in the family. But, I’m not just talking about how your day was at dinner or planning the next week, I’m talking about every aspect of family communication.  You can’t not communicate, so this includes direct converstations but also non verbals and body language. In many of my classes we have learned about the different types of communication and what they look like. We have also discussed which of these typically work better or worse. Though knowing this is helpful, I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out and learn the different types of communication and listening to be a good communicater.  I think the important thing is to make sure that you are aware or whatever it is you may be doing and noticing whether or not it is working for you relationship.  If it is then great! But if not maybe it’s time to step out of your box and try something a little different. It may or may not improve the situation, but its worth a shot if it can help buid stronger relationships and a more stable family.

Below is a link to some of Miller & Miller’s communication styles of talking and listening if you want to learn more

http://www.primarygoals.org/books/core-communication-skills-and-process/

Families and the Workplace

I was doing some reading earlier and it mentioned how though society is moving toward more gender equality the work structure isn’t.  Today we live in such a face paced world.  There are always a million things going on and even more things to do. It is almost impossible to balance sometimes. So many times when talking about family structure we think of the sterotypes of the men working and the women at home taking care of the kids and house.  Today we live in a world where both the men and women work and the home is thrown into a juggle between members of the family. Though it is important to balance that between members , it is important to remember that the workplace policies play a part in this balance too. It use to be that men worked and women stayed home so the workplace didn’t have to compensate for making family friendly hours and flexibility so that you could leave early to get your sick child or didn’t have to worry about finding a babysitter at 3 in the morning. Now however in many families both caregivers are working or there is only one caregiver and there isn’t that person to stay home and take care of the children while you are at work, so you have to balance getting the kids to school, finding a babysitter after school, scheduling doctor appointments when and if you can get off work, etc. Everything is just building and how  do you balance that if the workplace itself isn’t flexible and take the family aspect into consideration. In my opinion instead of worrying about whose job it is to do the dishes or laudry this week, we need to make a push to have the workplace be a place where you can have a safe secure job while also being able to support and balance your family, whether you have kids, siblings, spouse, or an elder parent in your life.

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct

I recently read the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Code of Ethical Conduct and this is a wonderful resource that anyone working with or around children should utilize. As many know working with children can be so much fun and has an endless supply of rewards, but at the same time can be very difficult.  We all face those tough situations and ethical dilemmas of what we should or shouldn’t do and many times the answer isn’t a clear cut either way.  This code helps those working with children with what to consider when it comes to the child, the family, and the community. In a sense it helps clarify our priorities when dealing with children and all the ethical challenges that comes with that. I also love this source because even when you do know what you should do, sometimes you don’t always have the support from others in the situation.  This code allows you to do whats best for the child and still have that back up to follow through and hopefully improve that child’s life and development.

You can get a copy of the Code at this site for only $.50  http://www.naeyc.org/store/node/450

Why what I do matters

As a child development with a family emphasis major what I do is very important for everyone. Families are something that all of us have and most of those families have many dynamics. We all like to think that families are this perfect little group of people with parents and children and grandparents etc. and everything always works out, but for most, if not all cases, that is not the case. There are divorces, health issues, financial issues, separations, and so on that all affect the family and its functioning. What I will be doing is helping others to get through and move through this process so that those things that can really push a family to the edge can be work through in a way that is manageable for everyone, most importantly in my focus that if anything the children are protected and can live the lives they deserve.  

Also, in my position if I cannot be helping directly, I would like to be able to at least provide information to parents, grandparents, caregivers, and any others how to raise children and how to incorporate them into their family while also creating a lasting and stable environment they can grow up in and prosper in.  This may happen through directly speaking with family member, but also through educating the surrounding the communities on how to help all the children within that family, neighborhood, or community develop in the best way they can, and also in a way that fosters the family unit itself.

This is an important focus to me because I believe that families are the main unit that everything builds off of. You can look back at your life and your family or lack thereof and say that that experience was good or bad, but either way it had some kind of effect. It is the first thing you see and begin to understand and hopefully what me and other people in my field can do is make that the best experience as possible.