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Information for parents


Being a parent is a great privilege, but we realise that parenting has its challenges. The AECYC management believes that ECD centres should be extensions of the home. Both parents and educators/ caregivers play an indispensable role in the life of the young child.

The notes for parent below focus on empowering parents and educators/ caregivers for the important task at hand: raising young children. There are no copyright on the information; in fact, we invite you to forward it to the parents and educators at your school. You are welcome to use it in a newsletter or via the School Communicator application. Please remember to add the specialist/ therapist’s contact details in your communication.

Feel free to contact the office if you have any queries.

Nature deficit disorder - reconnecting children with nature
Holiday fun with your young child
What is visual perception and how does this influence my child?
The benefits of outdoor play
Hand dominance
When children steal and lie
"Only children"
Separation anxiety in the baby and toddler years
Tender Touch
Fussy Eaters
Stimulate your child at home
When your child goes to hospital
Dealing with peer pressure
Sibling Conflict
Dyslexia
Oral hygiene
Bullying
Healthy Eating for Toddlers
Discipline effectively
Become More Clever with Creative Mathematics
Colouring-in activities: fine motor skills
A new baby in the family
Constipation. More Fibre, How?
Immunisation
The value of play
Movement...why is it important for children?
Why I bite my friends
Breakfast for children
When is my child ready to read?
Tips when taking your child to the doctor
Safety tips in public places
Listening Skills
Deal effectively with separation anxiety
Emotional development in the baby years

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Nature deficit disorder - reconnecting children with nature
Elvira Burger

One would have never imagined that people from sunny South Africa would suffer from Nature deficit disorder but sadly most of us with our over-scheduled, technology driven lives suffer from this new “epidemic of inactivity”.

The way most of us structure our lives,  deprives our children from direct contact with nature and the experience of unstructured free play in the out-of-doors. Nature-deficit disorder is not a formal diagnosis, but a way to describe the psychological, physical and cognitive costs of human alienation from nature, particularly for children in their vulnerable developing years. The term was coined by Richard Louv in his book “Last Child in the Woods”  that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors. This modern lifestyle hurts our children, our families, our communities, and our environment.

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Holiday fun with your young child
Wietske Boon

We all look forward to the holidays, but how do we keep those little ones busy?

It should not cost you a lot of money to have fun. You can use things from your house and garden to create new toys and games.

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What is visual perception and how does this influence my child?
Carla Grobler

This is the ability of the brain to interpret and process what the eyes see.

This is the building blocks that a child needs for reading, writing and maths.

Visual perception and vision may influence each other but kids with poor vision don’t necessarily have poor visual perception and vice versa.

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The benefits of outdoor play
Wietske Boon

Nature is a resourceful learning environment. Something we often take for granted and don’t use optimally. Outdoor play is beneficial for each area of child development: physical, cognitive, social and emotional. 

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Hand dominance
Carla Grobler

Hand preference usually starts to develop by the age of 3 years.

Hand dominance should be fully intact by the age of 5 years 6 months old.  By now your child should use 1 hand, dominantly, for all of the tasks he performs.

If your child is still switching hands to perform tasks there might me an impairment with laterality and/or midline-crossing.

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When children steal and lie
Dr. Marisa van Niekerk

Many children take things that don’t belong to them at some point. Here are a few common reasons and solutions.

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"Only children"
Dr. Marisa van Niekerk

About 50 years ago only 10% of children under 18 years old represented the group of only children.  If you mentioned the word “only child,” people’s first thoughts were of a spoilt brat, or socially incompetent (unfit).

Over the years a lot of books and articles (based on scientific studies, observations and personal experiences) were written about the only child.  Although different perspectives still exist on whether it is good or bad to only have one child, the number of only children is climbing drastically.

Only children are the first- and lastborn children in their families.  Although some people can only have one child, while others choose to only have one child, it is important that people know the benefits and drawbacks of having only one child.

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Separation anxiety in the baby and toddler years
Charmaine Jooste

According to Sarah Abbot, director of Family Counselling Centre in Los Angeles, separation anxiety can strike any child at any given time even as sudden as overnight.

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Tender Touch
Elke

Are our modern children being deprived of close personal touch?

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Fussy Eaters
Sr Ida Bester

From one to three years, your child will make the big transition from infancy to childhood. During this phase it is very important to create a foundation of solid nutrition for healthy later years.

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Stimulate your child at home
Karyna le Roux

Our active lifestyles keeps us busy and often we feel that we do not spend enough time with our children: we drop them off at school and in the evenings we might have to help older children with homework, we have to prepare dinner and a number of other things that needs to be done.

 

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When your child goes to hospital
Wietske Boon

Going to hospital can be a very traumatic experience for any child. 

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Dealing with peer pressure
Wietske Boon

Peer pressure usually occurs when a person is manipulated by others, especially friends, to do things he/she wouldn’t necessarily want to do. Peer pressure is sometimes so subtle, we are not even aware of it!

Peer pressure can be positive and negative. Friends can have a bad influence on a child, but good friends can also influence a child positively.

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Sibling Conflict
Wietske Boon

Sibling conflict is a normal and unavoidable experience within every family.  I can assure you, this happens in all families.  

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Dyslexia
Ronita Engelbrecht

According to The Dyslexia Awareness conference hosted by the Mail & Guardian in September 2013, there are 5 million people in South Africa with dyslexia. This means that one in ten South Africans has a literacy problem.

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Oral hygiene
Natasha van Oudtshoorn

With my knowledge as an oral hygienist, it was my experience at home that made me realize things are not always as easy as the book says, therefore I'll give you a few guidelines and tips to help keep your baby's teeth healthy.

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Bullying
Wietske Boon

Bullying is any verbal or physical behaviour that is aggressive of nature that harms or injures any other person.

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Healthy Eating for Toddlers
Ora-Mari Olwagen

Children’s requirements for high-energy food are much greater than those of adults. Toddlers need about three times the amount of calories per kilogramme of bodyweight than that of an adult. Their stomachs are about one third the size of an adult stomach. A toddler’s diet should therefore include some foods high in fat and low in fibre. 

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Discipline effectively
Wietske Boon

There is, like many other things in life, no ‘one-size-fits-all’ discipline strategy.  Every child is unique, every family’s dynamics are different and parents’ views are not all the same, all of which will determine the discipline style that will work effectively for a family. 

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Become More Clever with Creative Mathematics
Nicolene du Preez

Did you know that mathematics form part of problem solving? Did you also know that problem solving have a direct relation to creativity? Creativity is the process to identify a problem and then to solve it. 

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Colouring-in activities: fine motor skills
Monique Harris

How do fine motor skills influence colouring?

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A new baby in the family
Wietske Boon

How to prepare the firstborn for a baby brother or sister.

 

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Constipation. More Fibre, How?
Ora-Mari Olwagen

Constipation is a very common problem amongst young children.  A lack of, or too much fiber can cause constipation. 

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Immunisation
Sr Kristel Steyn-Battheu

Immunisation is the best way to protect your child from many infectious diseases.

Vaccines are given from birth up until 12 years of age. As a parent you have the responsibility to protect your child by ensuring that you immunise.

 

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The value of play
Nicolene du Preez

Years of research has confirmed the value of play. In early childhood, play helps children develop skills they cannot get in any other way. 

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Movement...why is it important for children?
Monique Harris

Children in today’s day and age spend most of their time in a sitting position.  Children need more exercise and movements that are more intense than adults.  This is necessary for the good development of the body’s big muscles as well as other skills like balance, using both sides of the body together in activities, crossing the midline and coordinating movement.  

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Why I bite my friends
Wietske Boon

Small children have not yet learned how to communicate their needs and emotions effectively, thus they might bite or pinch their friends to give them the message that they are not approving of the current situation. In most of these cases the child is feeling angry, frustrated, irritated or even overly excited. They have a feeling that needs to be expressed – now!

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Breakfast for children
Ora-Marí Olwagen

Children who have breakfast, are more energetic, participate in more physical activities, have higher concentration levels and eat healthier in general.  Breakfast boosts your child’s metabolism and it helps maintain a healthy bodyweight.  Without the correct breakfast, children may be more irritated, restless and tired.  Not only is it important to make sure your child has breakfast, but it is also important to make sure that the correct foods are eaten.

 

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When is my child ready to read?
Dr Lettie Horn

This is a question often asked by parents.
The Gr R child is NOT SUPPOSED to read yet, but some children begin to show signs of interest.

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Tips when taking your child to the doctor
Wietske Boon

Taking your child to the doctor is never easy. Here are a few tips to prepare them for a doctor’s visit.
 

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Safety tips in public places
Annelie Etsebeth

It is advisable to teach your child a few safety tips before going to a shopping centre or any public place.

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Listening Skills
Alet de Jager

With all the technology at our finger tips, children get a lot of visual stimulation and they need to rely less and less on their listening skills.
Poor listening skills influence a child's ability to learn a language and sounds. Therefore it also influences their reading and spelling abilities.

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Deal effectively with separation anxiety
Wietske Boon

Many young children experience separation anxiety sometime in the toddler years.  Although the cause of severe separation anxiety should be determined,  there are a few tips to limit separation anxiety.

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Emotional development in the baby years
Nicolene du Preez

Emotion is a complex condition which activates different nervous systems in the body, the intestine and feelings (Gouws and Louw 1979:73). The child’s emotions have an influence on his/her whole body from the inside out.

During the first year of the infant’s life it is important that a strong and close mother-child bond is formed. It is important for the child to experience a sense of safety, love and belonging. The emotional bond between the parent and the child is the first impulses sent to the brain to develop the architecture of lasting relationships.

 

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