Lots of talk happens about kids and their socialization. How do they get along with others. How do they handle themselves in a group, etc. etc. Parental modeling goes a long way. We don’t always think about what an important part of our child’s development we are as role models. You can tell kids to do things over and over again but in the end they really tend to mimic the behaviors they’ve seen. A child that can both be exposed to a group where they get to play and learn to listen to a teacher, as well as watch their grown up do the same, is possibly the best teaching environment EVER!
Not only that, but we grown ups need other grown ups. Sometimes it feels like we don’t get a lot of adult interaction, and that can be crucial to our sanity. Maybe a situation at your house makes you feel like you’re on an island. It’s good to have other parents to confide in, share with, and get ideas from. Group class, where you already have the activity in common is a great kick starter to relationships and other play activities for everyone.
Group reinforcement for behavior is a powerful thing. Let’s face it, peer pressure, positive or negative, works. It’s that whole scenario where a child will do things for others better than they will for their grown up. There’s a lot of psychology studied and written about that (another blog to come) but we’ve all seen this play out. Smart adults know how to use this to their advantage. They make the most of “teachable moments” and these come about constantly in a Parent/Child Class situtation. Everything from physical locomotor skills, gymnastics skills, motivation, inspiration, attitude, manners, patience, you name it…pops up and we have to deal. A favorite teaching quote that I love is “the best way to improve a child’s hearing is through praise”. Grabbing onto situations where you can praise instead of nag, build self esteem instead of always redirecting or scolding, these are what make your life easier and less stressful. It’s always best to be able to work smarter not harder whenever possible. We parents get tired enough as it is.
Parent/Child Class can literally be the best time of the week you spend with your child. Everyday activities that have to get done; feeding them, changing & grooming them, napping/sleeping. These go on for us without question. Then there’s other life stuff; job, siblings, driving everywhere, getting to activities, paying the bills…A scheduled class once a week can definitely be an oasis where you can come let your hair down and just play. It’s focused time on your child and all the magic that they are at that age. It goes by so quickly. The snapshots of absolute fun, playfulness, imagination, and watching your child grow up before your eyes will always be time well spent.