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The Importance of Self-Regulation
The everyday crowded public spaces echo with the sound of loud voices.  The harsh glow of florescent lights are suspended somewhere off in the distance like a balloon floating out of sight.  Through the eyes of a child, this moment may feel out of control filled with endless impossible choices, “I can’t, I won’t, Stop!” The young child screams and kicks at mom. Shoppers stare in dismay as mom feels their judgement and shrinks in hopelessness or with freshly-fueled frustration.  What is driving this behavior? The answers are almost as many as there are children and families, since each child is unique and lives his/her view of the world. What does this world look like to an out of control child? What does he/she want? What does he/she need?

The answer is that they need to feel safe and nurtured and feel that they belong.  Current research guides our practice exploring how developing young children need to feel safe and nurtured and to have a sense of belonging. How do we support young children in this overly stimulating, fast-paced world? We support them through teaching self-regulation, or the ability to manage one’s feelings and emotions (and thus one’s behavior). 

Self-regulation is so important, in fact, that a famous research experiment in the 1970’s (the “Marshmallow Test”) demonstrated that the ability to self-regulate may be more important to a child’s future success than either IQ or SAT scores.   Watch the following short video, entitled  “The Marshmallow Test” at

Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Child Learn to Read

Parents can be instrumental in helping their children learn to read.   In fact, it can make a huge difference in a child's educational achievement.   Here are some hints from the U.S. Department of Education to use for children birth to six.  Yes, even infants!

Reading Together
Mother and Child Reading
Imagine sitting your baby in your lap and reading a book to him for the first time.   How different from just talking!   Now you're showing him pictures.  You point to them.   In a lively way, you explain what the picture is.   You've shown him that words and picture connect.   And you've started him on his way to understanding and enjoying books.   While your child is still a baby, reading aloud to him should become part of your daily routine.   Pick a quiet time, such as just before you put him to bed.   This will give him a chance to rest between play and sleep.   If you can, read with him in your lap or snuggled next to you, so that he feels close and safe.   As he gets older, he may need to move around some as you read to him.  If he gets tired or restless, stop reading.  Make reading aloud a quiet and comfortable time that your child looks forward to.  Chances are very good that he will like reading all the more because of it.

Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day reading to and with your child.  At first, read for no more that a few minutes at a time. several times a day.  As your child grows older, you should be able to tell if he wants you to read for longer periods.  Don't be discouraged if you have to skip a day or don't always keep to your schedule.  Just get back to your daily routine as soon as you can.  Most of all, make sure that reading stays fun for both of you!

Follow this link to much more information on this critical topic.  You will be giving your child(ren) one of the best gifts you can possible give them...the gift of reading!