Friday, December 4, 2009

A Parent’s Role in Parent-Child Classes

As both a mom and a teacher, I have always loved parent-child classes. This is a wonderful opportunity for the parent, most often the mother, and baby to spend quality time together. The mother gets to socialize with other mothers who are experiencing the same things she is, and the child gets to see other babies in action. It’s also a wonderful way for a family to test out a preschool, to get a feel for whether it might be the right fit the child when she’s ready to start preschool on her own.

In the school where I teach, there are two teachers in the room to facilitate these parent-child classes, though the point is for parent-child bonding. One year, I had a class where all of the mothers were very good friends. They couldn’t wait to come to socialize with each other and catch up on the latest gossip. My teaching partner and I would attempt to lead the one year olds in a rendition of Old MacDonald, but their parents would be so busy chatting with one another that getting them to join the circle seemed to be an intrusion. That year, I felt that I was constantly trying to engage the parents who seemed very uninterested in getting involved.

While I do believe that the social interaction between moms is vitally important, in that class, their children were definitely cheated. The teachers did the best we could to facilitate the activities, but it was impossible without cooperation from the parents.

By all means, take advantage of parent-child classes and enjoy the interaction with other moms, but don’t forget the reason that you are there.

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