Showing posts from 2016

December: Attention

“Attention” in school is often mentioned when referring to how long your child can participate in a group or activity, as in “attention span.”  In this post, we are focused on attention seeking behavior, which is a common cause of unwanted behaviors in preschoolers. All children need attention and some need it more than others! If children do not receive sufficient positive attention through playing and interacting with others, they will often seek out it out in other ways. This can result in unwanted behavior. It may sound crazy to us, but for a child, negative attention is better than no attention at all! Here are some resources that should help explain attention seeking behaviors along with some strategies to help deal with it.…

November-Positive Communication

Communication is what we say and how we say it. Positive communication between you and your child helps to create happy and trusting relationships and develop confidence and a good self-image. Building these types of relationships will also help with limiting unwanted behaviors because your child will be more trusting and want to please you. Practicing positive communication now will have lifelong effects! Check out these tips and suggestions:

DID YOU KNOW? At the Don Earl Early Childhood Center, we strive to be positive. For every one directive we give, we try to notice and say four positive comments. We have 4:1 posters posted all around the center!
FUN FACT: Studies show that children do best when they have at least three loving and supportive adu…


Speech and Language development begins at birth. Language will develop as children learn new uses, increase their vocabulary, and speak and understand more complex sentences. We continue to learn and revise our language over our lifetime, but the first 3-5 years of life are the most important. It is during these years that the brain’s organization, development, and life functioning is shaped.  The preschool years especially need to be filled with experiences that are rich with sounds and listening to the language of others. The following resources will give you some ideas of what to expect and how to promote speech and language growth:
DID YOU KNOW?:Infant educational television does not promote intellectual development, because infants respond to th…

September-Age Appropriate Expectations

Age Appropriate Expectations
Beginning at birth, children progress through their development changing and growing physically, socially, and cognitively. This process involves learning skills such as sitting, crawling, walking, talking, and learning concepts like colors and shapes. It also involves skills such as following directions, being able to attend to an activity, and taking turns. Many of these skills are referred to as developmental milestones and help us to predict when most children will attain them. It is important to remember that although children tend to follow a fairly predictable course of development, each child is unique and may gain some skills a little sooner and some skills a little later than peers of the same age. Some children exhibit developmental delays and it is important to adjust the guidelines and expectations based on their current functioning and not the actual age of the child. For example, children who have not attained typical two year old skills are …

Welcome Post

Welcome to the Don Earl Parent Blog!  The first Friday of each month, we will post about a new topic.  Based on the feedback from the survey we handed out at open house, we picked the topics that parents were most interested in learning more about.  Here is the schedule for this school year: September- Age Appropriate Expectations October- Speech/Language Development November- Positive Communication December- Attention Seeking Behavior January- Social Skills Development February- Stress & Stress Management March- Sleep/Bedtime Routine April- Sibling Rivalry May- Literacy in Preschool   If you have specific questions about one of the topics, feel free to comment and we will reply as soon as possible.  You can access the blog from your computer or mobile device.  It will be on the parent section of our website soon for easy access.  We will also send the link out via our Twitter and FaceBook account.

August-Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety– Ideas for Back to School
Many children experience some separation anxiety when they begin a new school year, especially if this is their first time in preschool. Here are some ideas you can try with your child if he or she is having a difficult time saying goodbye: - Prepare your child by talking about going to school and what will happen there. - Spend a few minutes of special time with your child at home in the morning. - Create a routine around leaving and returning. For example, you may have a special hug, kiss, or greeting for saying goodbye and hello. - Make sure to say goodbye to your child before leaving, “sneaking out” can make the child more upset later. But then leave promptly. - Choose a security object to bring along to school. This could be a favorite toy or blanket, or a photo of your family. It is a good idea to talk to your child’s teacher before discussing this with your child, to come up with a plan that will work for the classroom (many classrooms ha…

June: Summer

We hope everyone has a safe and fun summer!  Here are some summer safety tips: SUNSCREEN, even being outdoors for a short time can result in a sun burn. Remember to put on sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside. If swimming or sweating it is important to reapply often and take breaks in the shade. Sunscreen does not mean that you can be out in the full sun all day and not burn.
HYDRATE as the temperature increases, it becomes more important to monitor that your child is taking in enough fluids; water is the best way to hydrate. Encourage your child to drink water before, during and after playing outside; in addition to drinking water, juice or milk with meals. Remember if you are thirsty you may already be dehydrated, if your urine is dark you need to drink more.
BEWARE OF BUG BITES: wearing hats, long pants and long sleeve shirt can help protect from bug bites. Ticks, mosquitos, bees and other insects love the warmer weather. Be alert after spending days and evenings outdoors.…

May Toilet Training

May Blog: Toilet Training This can be one of the biggest struggles of parenting.  First and foremost, make sure your child is ready to begin the process.  Do they tell you when they have to go, can they pull their pants down by themselves, will they sit on the toilet, etc.  Secondly, you have to remember that this is something they have complete control of; you cannot make them go to the bathroom.  It’s important to also remember that this is a process; kids are not potty trained overnight.  It takes a lot of time, patience, and consistency.  Accidents are going to happen and it is very normal for them to have accidents.  So make sure to pack extra underwear and clothes when you go places and send extra sets to school too!  Make sure to take them to the bathroom often, just as reminders and have them practice sitting, even if they don’t have to go.  Try not to get frustrated, kids can tell when adults are frustrated and that will just make it harder.  For some more helpful information,…

Week of the Young Child

April was a popular month.  In the month of April, we celebrated the National Week of the Young Child, however we extend the fun to last all month long.  Here are some ways to make learning fun at home with your child: Making Play Fun: Nature Fun: Importance of Music: April was also Autism Awareness Month!  We had a very successful Autism Fair.  If you were unable to make it, here is a list of the resources/vendors that were here that night and that provide resources to families in our community: United 4 Children , Ride on St. Louis,  MO-Health Net, STARS Program, Rock the Spectrum Gym,  Disability Resource Association , St Louis Regional Center, Next Steps for Life , COMTREA,  MO-FEAT, JUDEVINE, Helping Hands and Horses
Here is an online recourse guide:
Finally, April was also Child Abuse Prevention Month!  Here are some helpful links and res…


"A positive sense of self is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Children with high self-esteem feel loved and competent and develop into happy, productive people."-Kristen Finello Author of Simple Way To Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem. 
Follow the link below to learn more about the Dos and Donts.

"Self-esteem is about liking yourself and who you are. For children it comes from knowing that you're loved and that you belong to a family that values you." -A quote from the Raising Children's Network. Follow the link below to learn more about the needs of children at different ages of development to help them be successful.

The following links will provide you with more information on how to help your children have a positive self-esteem.…

March- Mealtime/Eating Issues

Mealtime with young eaters can be a struggle for many parents, whether you have a picky eater or not. The following information gives some quick realistic strategies that can be implemented at home to make mealtime more enjoyable and less of a struggle. 

The following information is taken from

My hope is that this page will provide you with the tools to start laying a good foundation in your kid's eating skills.  I believe this list contains the most important steps to getting your kid/toddler/baby (picky eater or not) to eat well. These are the strategies I often give parents when I walk into their home for the first time and when families are able to make these changes I see the most improvement.  As a mom, they have helped set the stage for both my sons feeding skills, and I notice very quickly that when I deviate from these rules their eating suffers.  In those instances, I get back to these basics, and it works!  If the following steps seem overwhelming, t…

February-Kindergarten Transition

Kindergarten Transition
Transitioning to kindergarten can be a difficult process for both parents and the students.  In order to help them be most successful, they need to see that you are excited about them starting school!  Drive them by their new school over the summer and talk about the new building.  Let them play on the playground and take them on a tour of the school too.  The more they see it, the more familiar and comfortable they will be on the first day.  In the spring, the students will all participate in Kindergarten groups and will meet other students in the center that will be going to the same building as them next year.  There will be weekly notes sent home giving suggestions of things you can do at home to help with the transition process and teaching them the social skills they will need to make new friends next year.  They will also get a picture book of what their new school looks like so you can look at it over the summer and help prepare them. Here is a list of b…