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Monday, January 16, 2017

Letter From Ms. Jenn: Praising vs. Making Own Conclusions

If you take a step in the classroom, you won't hear a lot of praising, such as "good job", "so pretty", and "that's awesome!" What you will hear are a lot of phrases where we allow the children to build their own self confidence and self reflection. Before you start questioning what I'm talking about, let me explain.

If you think about the times that you say "good job" to your child, what is actually being said? Could more be said to specify what exactly is good about what they did? For example, if your child drew a picture and showed you, you could say "good job."Or you could say "that's a very colorful picture," "that looks like you worked really hard on it," "tell me about what you drew," or even "what is that?" There is so much more that goes into a response like that in comparison to an empty praise like "good job" or "way to go."

Most children go through their young life growing their self confidence where they know when they do good and they are proud of themselves without adults weighing in with their opinion. When a child looks at you for approval all their lives, they don't have any opinion on their own work. Whatever they do, they won't be able to like it themselves and be proud of their own effort. It's important to allow the children to draw their own positive conclusions from their own work so they can build on that throughout their adolescent lives.

Now I don't want you to think that I'm saying to never praise your kids. They still need to know that you believe in them and that you're proud of who they are and you will always be there for them. I'm just saying to fill your praise with meaning and direction. Empty praising teaches your child to always fish for a "good job" from Mom or Dad and to never accept their own opinions and their own pride in their work. Praise that has meaning teaches your child exactly what they did that was good and directs them to think about their own attitude or effort and form an opinion.

This kind of leads into open ended questions and how to approach discussing your child's achievements with them. Rather than saying an empty praise like we were discussing earlier, you could either say a meaningful praise or ask them an open ended question about their work. We mainly ask open ended questions here at Jellybean so we can really discover what the child is thinking and what they intended with their specific project. For example, a child draws a picture and presents it to you. To ask an open ended question, you would say something like "what is that?" or "tell me about what you drew." Depending on their answers, you can proceed to ask questions of that nature. Basically an open ended question is one where it allows the child to think about their answer more in depth and that asks for any other answer other than yes or no. This gets their brains moving and helps make important connections.

There is so much information out there that backs up this line of thinking. If you ever wanted to know more info, all you have to do is ask! We think this works really well to allow the children to develop at their own individual levels all while being stimulated to think of new and exciting things.

Monday, January 9, 2017

POTM: Immunizations

The following comes directly from our handbook:

Jellybean Daycare & Preschool requires that children are up to date on all possible immunizations before attending care. We follow the Center for Disease Control’s immunization schedule. For a copy of the immunization schedule go to