occupational therapist & child development specialist

Month: January 2012

Should I hold my child back from starting kindergarten?

Many children just make the age cutoff to start kindergarten, and parents sometimes have a difficult time deciding whether to send their youngster on to school or hold him back for a year. There are pros and cons to either decision, but there are several factors that parents may want to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to move forward with kindergarten.

  • How mature is your child for her age? Does she play well with children slightly older than her, or does she typically play with younger peers/siblings.
  • What does your child’s preschool have to say on the matter? This is usually one of your best sources of information. Your child’s teacher will know if your little one has the social, motor, and/or academic skills needed for kindergarten.
  • Speak to the staff at the new school. Are children often held back? What are the demands for the kindergarten year?
  • Talk to other parents who have held their children back, as well as those who have not.┬áListen to the pros and cons and carefully consider all of this information before making your decision.

Click here to read a great story that CBS News did on this topic. Be sure to watch the video segment as well.

The Importance of Families Eating Together

How often does your family sit down together at mealtime? When I was growing up, our family had dinner together almost every evening. Some of my fondest memories involve when we were all gathered around the table laughing and talking. I am trying my best to carry on this tradition with my family, despite our busy schedules. Sitting down together for family meals has so many advantages.

First of all, it a natural time to teach children about table manners. Also, in preparing for our family meals, my children take turns setting the table. In doing this, I have taught them how to prepare a place setting, so they now know on which side of the plate the silverware, napkins, and cups belong! They have also learned that their napkin should be placed in the lap, and that no one eats until everyone else at the table has been served. Most importantly, the children are aware that that they must clean up after themselves after every meal by taking all dirty dishes and silverware to the sink. The family meal also offers an opportunity for family members to talk about their days. I would encourage every family to strive to sit down at least once per day for a family meal.

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