Showing posts from August, 2016

Why Do We Love Willy Wonka So Much?

Today, actor Gene Wilder died.He portrayed Willy Wonka in the classic film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”He was the first to portray this character and, for many of us, the iconic version.News of his death is spreading on social media and so many people are commenting about how much they love that movie.What was it about that movie and Mr. Wilder’s portrayal of the character from the Roald Dahl book that resonated with so many of us?
I lecture and write about how young children think so I am intrigued about the movie’s appeal. There was a lot in that movie that spoke to the ages and stages of development that we learned from theorists like Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and others.The movie had so much melding of reality and fantasy.Like the world in which a child lives, there was magical thinking – entirely edible rooms, tiny doorways that anyone could fit through, a drink that would have humans floating among the bubbles.There were catchy tunes and children love lyrics they can …

Tips for Handling Your Young Child’s Separation Anxiety

It’s back-to-school season.  The stores are filled with fall clothes, backpacks and lunchboxes.  Parents are busy gathering all of the things their children will need.They also have the important task of helping their children to adjust to a new school year. Parents bringing their children to preschool or kindergarten often worry about both how their young child will react and how they will feel if their child tries to cling to them. Here are some hints for getting through separation anxiety:
Know that being anxious in a new setting is a normal human response. If this is your child’s first time being dropped off or the first day in a school setting, anxiety about the unknown is a reasonable emotion.Imagine being brought to a room where you know no one, do not know what will happen and people tell you, “Have fun!” Most adults do not enjoy attending events alone and entering a room full of strangers. Why would children be any less uncomfortable? Even children who have been to a school se…

Lessons for Children from The Olympics: It’s Not About the Medal Count

There are so many lessons that children can learn from the Olympics. From a young age in today’s world, children understand producing a product. Toddlers are asked to show off their latest tricks for excited family members.They show everyone how well they can walk.They begin to sing songs, show signs of logical thought and quickly develop an ability to pass adult tests of their knowledge.They don’t need to know about the Olympic medal count – the product of the ability of the athletes.They need to learn that it is a process.Young children need to hear about the hard work that goes into being an Olympian.
Olympic athletes make it all look so easy. Children don’t understand the dedication that it takes to achieve greatness.It is such an important bit of information as we watch the games.When my children were young, we talked about the hours gymnasts spend in the gym and swimmers spend in the pool. We pointed out the sacrifices the athletes make in order to be the best at their sport.Hard…