Back to Basics Childcare for Melbourne Nannies. Not Just Babysitters

They need their space...

Louise Dorrat, early childhood consultant and educator, counsels that kids need to given more scope to be themselves than is often now the case. They don’t need constant organised stimulation, and parents and carers should worry less about whether they are 'learning something today’.

Louise speaks in terms of the three tenets of the Early Years Learning Framework(EYLF): belonging, being and becoming.

Kids need to know where and with whom they belong. They need to have the chance to just be in the here and now. And we (carers and parents) need to recognise the importance of letting children become their individual selves as they learn and grow.

What does this mean?

What this means in practice is less ‘helicopter parenting’ – less parental/carer anxiety.

It means spending more time outside with the kids being left to play.

It means not constantly asking them what they’re doing, but rather just letting them get on with it.

And it means not feeling like they need something new to do – actually allowing them the luxury of getting to the point where they’re bored. When it comes to play, sometimes your job is to remain in the background.

'Play' can also be reading!

Graham Davey, performance storyteller, emphasises the role of belonging in home reading. He argues that kids see reading time as less about the book, much more about the opportunity to be with you. In fact he recommended that when reading to a child, you should choose the book – one that you enjoy reading – as this will make for a better experience for both of you. For the same reason, Graham also suggested that reading time should sometimes happen when kids are wide awake, not just before bed.

One of the other tips he gives is to make sure you use the free resources available to you for reading – in particular your local library. He suggests giving a child a library card as an impromptu gift, something that they can use to access all the books they could ever want. What a great idea!

Louise and Graham give us that renewed appreciation for the need to let kids be kids.

Note since this was written in 2012, Graham Davey has sadly passed away. His wit and kindness are sorely missed but I hope that the joy he instilled in readers will live on.


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