Torn Earlobe from Participating in Physical Education!

Pic: Pixabay

In my almost two decades of being in childcare education, I have not come across a child having torn earlobe from participating in physical education in the UK. My aim on this topic is to bring a balance equation from both a professional and parent perspective. Research shows no incident or accidents of pupils wearing earrings or studs has occurred during physical activity or swimming. I will be glad to be proven wrong, and the evidence based on a real ratio. The keyword such as ‘Serious accidents have occurred as a result of contact between pupils wearing earrings or studs’are included in school policies and educational establishments., but none on a real accident that occurred. It bothers me that the same swimming pool the public swims is the same pool our children’s activity takes place. The public is not told to take off their earring before swimming, just a thought. In a nursery school setting, I can understand toddlers pulling other toddlers earring, which can result to torn earlobe. However, a more realistic explanation should be provided as to why children in most UK primary schools are being instructed not to wear stud earring.

The Department of Education suggests that ‘Common sense should be used in assessing and managing the risks of any activity.’ Some UK schools have lost common sense when it comes to the health and safety of children activities. The UK Health and Safety website supports this on pages 9-11 of their newsletter.

Pic: Pixabay

Parents are baffled as to why this rule exist and have asked questions on various parenting forums on if a child has being hurt from wearing stud earring. As a parent, I have experienced this too, thou the earring was the tiniest nose stud. I believe it is more unhygienic to keep having the earring taken in and out of the ears due to an infection transferred from day to day hand germs. As a childcare professional I understand rules of risk assessment are put in place to prevent any litigation. However these rules have to be based on common sense, cultural diversity and respect for the choice of parents for their children.

What Book Is Your Child Reading?

teddyreadingThis question is not directed to fiction and imaginative books such as Harry Potter, Star Trek, The BFG, Matilda, The Lion the witch and wardrobe. Ofcause fiction books help children expand and develop their imagination of the world. Providing opportunities and realities that they may never be able to imagine. Fiction books help children think outside the box of normal to the abnormal, where anything imaginable is possible. It develops the creative and the what if of any world within the child’s imagination. Fiction ensures that all things are possible and helps to continue with the development of children’s imaginative and creative process. Fiction book can help children develop the understand and ideology that a world might exist outside the realities they know or associate to. Fiction books can help children link with happens around them that they never knew existed, between reality and non-reality experiences.

On the other hand, non-fiction books are about facts. Things that have to do with real occurrences, when fiction comes alive in real life situations that happened to individuals. Non-fiction books are informative to children. It provides history, cultural and educational information facts to children. It should be said, most children are not a big fan of non-fiction books outside the class or educational setting. Most non-fiction books found in homes with children include the dictionary, encyclopaedia and books related to subject specific topics.

The question, what book is your child reading? Focuses on the non-fiction books children are reading. As a parent and childcare consultant, it is a concern when research shows that the number of young children suffering from depression, bullying and self-harm is on the rise. Is it because children are being labelled more easily by the establishment, parents want a named problem for their children’s unappropriate behaviour, or these cases are being detected and recorded better based on research? Whatever the answer, the non-fiction books children read can help have a positive impact on their mental mindset. It contributes to providing them with facts and truthful information on how past circumstances may have improved and gotten better. Non-fiction books can help children solve problems better and equip them to develop a stronger mindset on emotion, relationship and peer pressure. Is it easy to get children to read non-fiction books, obviously not? However, when parents put in the same effort to reading non-fiction books as compared to fiction books to their children from a tender age, it is possible for children to be interested in non-fiction books continually.

It seems strange when parents express they find it difficult discussing certain topics with their children e.g. how babies are made, sex, drugs, alcohol, depression, bullying, pornography, friendship, relationship, etc. Schools are discussing these topics with your children so why not add your parental voice to the discussion. If it is not an easy process for you, start with a non-fiction book on the topic that is age and developmentally appropriate. Whichever way you want your child to read the book, independently or with you, provide your child with the opportunity to ask questions, which helps to start the discussion.

In the very fast and informative world we live in now, it is important to equip our children with the correct information that will help build a positive and balanced mindset. So, what book is your child reading?

Helping Children Manage Failure Positively

The word FAIL has been the acronym to ‘First Attempt In Learning’. This means the possibility of not getting things right the very first time is guaranteed. Let’s start from the very first time a baby latch on the breast. Most mothers have mentioned it took some adjusting for both them and the baby. Moving on to a toddlers’ first step, sitting up or trying a new food taste. All these instances show failing is part of the human development and journey of life, but what makes the difference is how individually we deal with the challenge. I have seen parents given up on the first try at introducing new food to children while others have gone on to successes with the right support.

As children grow, they will fail in friendship, relationships, task, accomplishment, homework, class work, sports and different types of activities. However, we as parents should be there to provide the help and support needed during the situation. The first major exams my son wrote, was the first time he dealt with failure. He did not make the marks needed for certain schools. He cried so much as this was very upsetting for him. When asked why he felt this way he indicated he had let us his parents down and felt he did so well on the day of the exam. As parents what did we do to help him during this process?fail

  1. Reassured him that he did not let us down, thou we would have loved him to make the marks needed.
  2. Prepare himself better for the next exam. Asked him what he thought were his weakness during exam, we then gave him the tools and techniques needed to improve these weaknesses.
  3. Told him, it was not the end of the world. Thou that opportunity was gone, there are more opportunities to come.
  4. Help build back his confidence. Focused and reminded him of other accomplishments he had achieved.
  5. Tell him failing is part of life but not to get stuck in it. To move on or try again at the task.

In the 2015 Wimbledon and 2016 Australian women tennis tournament, Sirena Williams has shown an A star behaviour of managing failure. Although as of when these games were played, she was the number one world female tennis played. When she came the runner-up and failed to reach the first place for these tournaments, she dealt with it gracefully. This example shows we all deal with failure, but how we deal with it is what makes us different. Helping children have an understanding of failure contribute to their output in life and seeing it from a positive perspective.

Dyslexia, What A Load of……

I remember at the age of 5 or 6 my dad asked me to spell ‘Cat’ and I found it quite difficult. I sounded it out phonetically but still found it hard to spell. He tugged my ear, and said, “listen to the sound”. It took him writing the word for me to actually spell ‘Cat’. I remember being told in university I was lazy in writing and spelling, and needed to use my dictionary more. I should listen more and teach myself how to read and write again. I later realised I enjoyed reading from back to front, I found it difficult identifying my left side from right and had to reminded myself by feeling a scar on my left palm before I knew left from right. This was my coping mechanism. Not too long ago someone identified I am creative with visualising things, which I did not notice.

helping with dyslexia|renny adejuwon

Due to the lack of understanding dyslexia, many children and teenagers still have stories like this. The debate by educationalist and theorist is endless (Read), one side suggest there is nothing like dyslexia while others suggest it exist. Institutions label children of having learning difficulties and not identifying their dyslexia. In educational learning and working with children there are three major different learning styles, visual, kinesthetic and auditory. Why hasn’t this been applied to dyslexia? Identifying that some children are creative and maybe have different way of reading and spelling.

While studying Applied Child Psychology one of the modules was on phonetics and how children learn to spell. One fundamental lesson was based on how some children spell phonetically while others learn by memorizing the words. This should be considered and applied into classes by teachers identifying children that learn phonetically or by memorizing words. Children should not be labeled wrongly for having dyslexia but rather teaching should be creative in the class room to help children reach their full potential. Children with dyslexia can be helped from a young age to become competent readers and writers but first the the right support needs to be provided. 

37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia and The British Dyslexia Association can be of help.

Why I Love Childcare

what is childcare, what is early years?

  • It is exploration.
  • It is imaginary.
  • It is creative.
  • It is impacting.
  • It is empowering.
  • It is mind opening.
  • It bridges connection.
  • It is the next generation.
  • It is playful.
  • It is childhood.
  • It is meaningful.
  • It affects everyone.
  • It is thoughtful.
  • It is developing relationship.
  • It is learning.
  • It is full of surprise.
  • It is colourful.
  • It is growth.
  • It is personality.
  • It is passion.