child psychologist, family system psychotherapist, teacher of infant development
Your baby has already gained some experience that he uses in his life. Everything still seems surprising to him and causes his genuine interest. The child learns quickly, gets to know the world around us, and models adult relationships in the game. The baby has a great desire to comprehend the meaning of the adults’ actions; however he is not actively engaged in adults’ activities and relationships. That is why the leading activity at this age is a role-playing game in which the kid happily acts out everything he learns and sees around. A role-play is not just fun for a child, he is truly experiencing and living through all the events that he has once witnessed; and through this game he learns a lot and gains a lot. This way, while playing, the baby develops the ability to suspend his affective emotions to assess and predict the situation, to differentiate his states and feelings. The game makes it possible to realize the ethics, socialized speech and eye-mindedness appear, visual-active thinking develops.
A child’s admission to kindergarten, if occurs not in early childhood, is a significant event. Starting kindergarten is stressful, but it is the place where a child acquires the skills of interpersonal interaction with peers in a group and receives a certain status.
Visual art activities hold a valuable place in the life and sphere of interests of the child: children actively draw with various materials, notably, both girls and boys. Even primitive doodling at the beginning of preschool age is a means of developing lining activity. Through artwork, the child learns to create graphic images, the content of drawings is gradually complicated. The child is actively showing interest in the visual art activities, and it is very important to support him in this. Remember that at this age children see the world in their own way, it is qualitatively different from the perception of an adult. This perception is reflected in the content of the drawings, the choice of colors - do not judge strictly the products of your offspring’s creativity, do not form patterned thinking that eradicates the creative element that exists in everyone!
The child’s self-consciousness, that is, knowledge and ideas about himself, gradually develops.
The child begins to understand that his name is not only his own, that it has individual traits: used by different people and in different situations, his name is different. At this time, the child gets to know his patronymic name. A child introduces himself with pride to everyone by name and patronymic, but this is only an attempt to approach to an adult, there is no awareness of the origin of the patronymic yet.
There are changes in the awareness of gender identity: by the age of 4-5, the child learns male and female types of behavior that he sees in his family. A persistent idea of “I am a boy” or “I am a girl” appears, children try to demonstrate this in everything and thus aspire to recognition of others. "I won’t wear the blue T-shirt, because it is boyish color," the daughter claims to her mother. “You shouldn’t offend girls, because you are a boy!” - A girl scolds a naughty boy in the yard.
Changes regarding their perception of present and future are highly interesting, as well. 2-3 year-olds consider themselves grown-ups, they hardly think about the future and it is difficult for them not only to understand, but even to imagine what it is like. They believe that old age is not a regularity of the life cycle, but a person’s desire. At the age of 5-6, children begin to understand the time-phased nature of maturity, they perceive future optimistically. A condescending attitude to their past appears: "When I was little, I did not speak well." Growing up is perceived as a skill. With the awareness of the cyclical nature of life, children begin to be afraid of death of their parents. Dreams related to the fear of death and the loss of loved ones are typical for this age.
At preschool age kids get acquainted with their rights and duties. Initially, they learn about them from their parents and relatives they communicate with. Then the circle of social contacts expands: in kindergarten, in peer relations they are becoming aware of norms, usually of a domestic nature.
Role-playing games, which occupy most of their time, teach not only to interact with peers, to follow the rules of the game, but also to resolve conflicts with friends, to take into account the opinions of others.
As for the development of cognitive mental processes, memory takes the central place.
Preschool age ends with a seven-year-old crisis, which is caused by the development of a child’s self-consciousness.
Symptoms of the crisis are:
Loss of childish spontaneity and naivety. Now, between the desire to perform an act and the act itself, an intellectual, evaluative moment comes in, that is, an experience of what significance this action will have for the child himself arises.
Mannerism. The kid is not always open to others, he puts on airs, keeps something back.
The symptom of "bitter candy". The child will try not to show that he feels low. The child may become self-contained and uncontrollable.
All these symptoms are determined by the fact that the child is aware of his feelings, he understands when he is upset, glad, surprised. Now the kid begins to think what this or that action will result in, whether it’s worth doing it. This is an important component that determines the transition to the next stage of development and requires new conditions and format of interaction with others, which, in fact, the child receives upon admission to the first grade.
All children love cartoons: from an early age, they are fascinated by the TV screen. Many parents do not think about the reasons why the TV, like a magnet, attracts the kids and keeps their eyes in the screen. They are sitting as if enchanted, and are ready to do whatever you want for the sake of watching the next cartoon.
Everyone knows that reading fairy tales and books to kids is a powerful means of developing imagination, speech, the ability to understand the world around us. "Can't a cartoon perform these functions?" - You ask. No, it can’t. The fact is that mother’s voice is the best and most desirable sound for a child (up to 1.5 years old), while listening to it the baby calms down and concentrates. If, from birth, such an interaction through a book is replaced with a cartoon, then gradually the screen image can be fixed in the baby’s psyche, instead of the image of loved ones: the baby will light up, try to interact not with living people, but with an electronic device. It is proved that children who watch television from an early age noticeably lag behind in speech development: they begin to speak later, their speech is noticeably scarce.
A cartoon is not just a beautiful dynamic picture, but also a fairly effective way of influencing the fragile child’s psyche. With the help of cartoons, a child forms an idea of the world, of the values in life. He forms the concept of what is good and what is bad. The child sees certain patterns of behavior and identifies himself with the main character of the favorite cartoon, copying his speech and behavior.
A person develops the “self-concept” during the first 5-7 years of his life. The foundation laid in these years will determine the further mental development of the child. Children are the most vulnerable audience; they can’t critically evaluate, analyze, or filter the information received.
Cartoons create a very large emotional response in children, which is why the plot remains in the child’s mind for a long time. Like a sponge, they absorb any information, often without understanding the meaning. Quickly changing frames do not let the kid realize their sequence, logical connection, ask arising questions to adults. Thus, watching TV is a passive act, during which the child’s mind absorbs uncritically everything that is poured out of the screen.
A 3 year old child begins to take over the grammatical structures of the language on the intuitive level. From the age of 3, the child enriches passive and active vocabulary, becomes aware of the sound composition of a word. From the age of 4, the child begins to assimilate cause-and-effect relationships, gains the ability to reason logically. Therefore, psychologists recommend no TV up to 4 years old. At the age of 4-5, parents should limit watching cartoons to 10-15 minutes per week. At 5-6 years old, watching cartoons can be no more than 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes.
What cartoon to watch?
Adults should be extremely careful and cautious when choosing cartoons for their children to watch.
Nowadays many believe that Soviet cartoons are outdated and they prefer modern animated products. One must remember that the Soviet cartoons were strictly selected and were created according to the peculiarities of the child’s age and the mentality of the country. Frames are replaced much less frequently and more smoothly in them than in modern cartoons. Positive characters always have a pleasant or funny appearance, which causes the child’s sympathy and the desire to identify with them. Each cartoon has its own moral and educational implications. Unfortunately, now the high-quality animated products are being broadcast less and less on TV. During the most popular hours, cartoons are broadcast with those characters that are best sold in the form of toys, images on printed materials, displacing what can be really useful for the development of the cognitive processes of the baby.
On September 1, 2012, the Federal Law of the Russian Federation “On the Protection of Children from Information Harmful to their Health and Development” entered into force. The law stipulates valid information for children of different ages. At the same time, the law reserves the right for a producer or a TV channel to set certain age limits. As a rule, the channel takes into account the absence of violence and swearing, something that is clearly striking. And the fact that a child, due to age peculiarities, cannot understand the essence of the cartoon, its irony, this is not taken into account. So 0+ icon is put, and parents, on seeing the icon, switch on such a cartoon to the child without a twinge of conscience.
The Center of Psychological and Pedagogical Expertise of the game and toys carried out research of various modern cartoons. One of them was Moonzy, to be exact, series 210, where he is coloring plates together with his friends. It is striking how none of the friends feels with Moonzy about his problem, and everyone says his own, interrupting each other. In the end, the idea that everyone has their own beauty is stated. According to the results of the study, after watching the series no child could answer the question what beauty is, how he understands it. The children spoke using the words from the cartoon but they could not relate them to life, they did not find use to them. Thus, for a preschooler it is still difficult to understand that everyone has their own vision and their own taste, their own understanding of beauty. So, what for are such cartoons, if the child cannot grasp the basic idea and relate the new knowledge to life?
Nowadays cartoons about monsters, robots and other terrifying creatures are popular. In many modern cartoons, aggression is translated as the norm of behavior. For example, the animated film about Shrek, where Fiona’s voice tears the mother bird apart, and she takes the 3 remaining eggs and fries breakfast from them. Such a scene puts at stand even adults, and children perceive this as the norm. In the same cartoon, the main character is a terrible, brutal ogre, a giant - cannibal. Despite the fact that all 4 Shrek cartoons end well and the evil is defeated, the male image in this cartoon is distorted. A boy who watches this cartoon may begin to respond aggressively to requests from his mother and grandmother, snap back with the teacher in the kindergarten or the nanny, and talk defiantly to girls of his age. Why not? If such a pattern of communication with women and others is broadcast in as many as 4 cartoons about a single character. In Soviet cartoons, the plot is exclusively child-oriented; it is close to the child’s life, his problems. And modern foreign animation conveys exclusively features of adult relationships.
It is important to understand that, besides the model of behavior and life values, the child also perceives images of man and woman in the cartoon. In the old Soviet and Disney cartoons the female character is always beautiful, gentle, embodies femininity and chastity, while in modern cartoons, most often, a woman is strong on a par with a man and the old qualities and values are no longer relevant. Maternity goes to the background.
Gradually, girls absorb a certain pattern of behavior, broadcast from the screens, while boys also form an image of the ideal woman.
In modern cartoons, one can also note, that evil is defeated only by physical means, and not by ploy and ingenuity, as old-school fairy tales teach us. The child puts the observed behavior patterns into life: instead of resolving a conflict, finding a compromise, the child uses force to make his case.
In addition to the obvious aggression in modern cartoons, there are a number of other drawbacks: ugly main characters, blurred boundaries of good and evil, disrespectful attitude towards parents, old people, other adults, and ridiculing flaws. Plots where a woman is endowed with masculine traits, and vice versa, also distort children’s ideas about the reality. Plots where the main character dies and resurrects many times, are also dangerous. For example, in a cartoon about Tom and Jerry, practically in each series, the characters fall from great heights and other situations in which it is impossible to survive are shown. And the characters get on as sound as a bell.
How to choose cartoons for children?
Cartoons must be chosen according to the child’s age. It is essential that the child is able to learn the moral of the cartoon. The child should empathize with the character. Empathy can hold attention, it helps follow the logical chain, capture and learn what he sees on the screen. Therefore, it is important for parents to understand what and why they show the children, what idea a particular cartoon conveys. The child begins to understand humor and irony from 5-6 years old. At age four, the child is able to empathize and can grasp the storyline. Therefore, it is not recommended to show cartoons to children under 4 years old.
The plot should be close to the child's life. This means that the problems that arise to cartoon characters should be relevant to the baby.
Limit watching time according to the child’s age. Do not give in to your child's provocations to see "one more, the very last cartoon for today." Psychologists recommend no TV up to 4 years old. At age 4-5, limit watching cartoons up to 10-15 minutes per week. At age 5-6, watching cartoons can be no more than 2-3 times a week for 15-20 minutes.
Look through the content of the cartoon before watching. Read a review on it in advance, pay attention to the target age. If the cartoon is popular, it does not mean that it is really useful. Remember that the parents are the ones who are responsible for the healthy psyche of the child. And the media advertise and sell the products offered by producers.
Do not leave the baby alone while watching a cartoon. Discuss the characters, their actions with the child during or after watching a cartoon. Your comments will help him critically perceive the content of the cartoon, analyze the behavior of the main characters.
Pay attention to colors and appearance of the characters: facial features, body proportions. Bright, unnatural colors unnerve, tire out and trigger aggression.
Remember that visual images are very persistent and they have a tremendous influence on a child’s mind.
In many families the question of kindergarten arises after the expiration of paid maternity leave. This happens when the baby turns 1.5 years old. In this regard, many questions arise: "What is the best age to start kindergarten?", "Will the child start catching germs all the time there?", "How will the baby feel in an unfamiliar place?"… and many others.
For parents, the time of the child’s adaptation in kindergarten is no less disturbing than for the child himself. And their feelings during this period affect the child. He feels parental anxiety and gets more tense, too. The way the adaptation period passes will define the baby’s feelings and the comfort of his stay in the kindergarten for the coming years.
At what age is it reasonable to start kindergarten?
A 1.5 year-old has a strong attachment to his mother, and parting for a long time can be very stressful for him. The child is not independent enough yet: not all children at this age go potty or can undress for sleep. But there are a lot of kids in the group, and the nursery teacher cannot physically help everyone. At this age, the child has no need to communicate with peers. Children can touch each other, exchange toys and go their separate ways. No doubt, this is an important part of the development of the toddler, but it is situational in nature.
From the age of 2, the child shows a greater interest in communication with peers, but children still play side by side, not together. It is important that dependence on mother is not as acute as before. If the child gets into the nursery group after he turned 2 years old, then the adaptation will pass easier and more smoothly.
Closer to 3 years old, the child has a need to communicate with peers. If earlier the kid engaged an adult in his game as a partner, now he is interested in spending time with his peers. The age of 3–3.5 years old is time for role-playing games to appear. The baby's speech is actively developing. At this age, the child begins to realize himself, which contributes to the 3 year-old behavior crisis. He can compare himself with other children and thereby learns to form a certain pattern of behavior.
From the age of 3, the child literally needs to communicate with peers, so a kindergarten for a child from 3 years old is almost necessary.
What is adaptation?
Adaptation is the process when the child is getting used to the conditions of the kindergarten group, to its everyday routines and rules. The following factors affect adaptation:
Children with experience of interaction with other kids on the playground or in kid clubs, join the team much faster. The key to successful adaptation is the parents’ contact with the nursery teachers and the psychologist, and their common desire to help the child.
Depending on the age of the child, adaptation may take a different amount of time. If the toddler is open for communication, curious and active, then he will get used to the new environment within a month. But there are situations when adaptation is tough and it slows down to 3-4 months. This happens if the baby is shy, the parents are too anxious, or any baby’s physiological features (for example, hydrocephalic syndrome, neurological problems, asphyxia during labor) prevent him from getting used to new circumstances.
How to help the child during the period of adaptation?
If you want to start kindergarten from the age of 1.5, choose groups in the play support center. Many kindergartens now practice such groups, where a psychologist and a nursery teacher work with a couple mother - baby, as a rule, several times a week for 1 hour. Such groups are useful if you want to continue the kindergarten with the play support groups further on, because the baby gets used to the place, to the teacher, and, with time, to the routines, so his adaptation to the nursery will be much faster and more comfortable. At the same time, he has the possibility of constant contact with a close adult (mother, grandmother, nanny), who brings him to the group. It is also not uncommon when children who attend play support center, get together in one group of kindergarten, this fact also creates a safe environment for kids. There are also groups of short-term stay, where the kids are older, about 2.5-3 years old; they stay in the group with nursery teachers for several hours. Such groups are also called adaptation groups.
It is important to understand that if you leave your baby aged from 1.5 to 2 years old with other adults that are strange to him, his anxiety increases, he becomes capricious. As a rule, children remain inhibited for a long time in a new environment; this is the result of an emotional shock: a change in the daily routines, new people, new place, no dear ones nearby - all this complicates the psychological state of the baby. So, do not leave the child in kindergarten for the whole day at the start.
If you are in a situation when the baby has to stay in the group straight away, then:
It is very important to talk to the child about the kindergarten: to tell him that there will be a lot of toys and other nice children, he can sleep and eat there, play outside, and then Mommy will take him home. Everything new is always frightening, so the baby should know for sure that his loved ones will come for him. Start to discuss it a month or two before the kindergarten opens.
Go to the kindergarten beforehand to get acquainted and to learn more about it. Talk to the nursery teacher; perhaps she will show the group and get across to the child.
At the beginning let your baby take his favorite toy with him. It will protect him from feeling lonely among strangers.
During the first month do not leave your baby in the kindergarten for a full day; as he gets used, finds friends, increase the time spent in the kindergarten.
Make up a farewell ritual. It shouldn’t be long. For example, you kiss the little one and say: “Mom loves you, and she will come for you at 4 o'clock”. Even if the baby is crying and does not want to let you go, always say goodbye. Do not take French leave. This only exacerbates the situation and creates fears.
Never tell lies to the child. If you said that you would come for him at 4 o'clock, keep your word. If you could be late, warn the child about this probability and always say that you will come for him. The child is waiting for you and believes you, do not test his trust.
The period of early childhood is very troublesome for parents, as it requires their undivided attention to the child. Your child actively seeks to know the world around him, he never stops to learn. He has keen interest to examine everything, to touch, to test an object in various actions. Where does this desire to learn come from and how to develop it? What conditions need to be created for this? What cognitive mental processes in this age period are most susceptible to development?
First, let’s consider the specific system of relations of the child in the social reality in which his mental development takes place. On the one hand, the child seeks to handle objects by himself; on the other hand, the way of action with an object belongs to an adult. It is very important to demonstrate all the functionality of the object to the child. At this period, your little one takes his first steps, starts grabbing the object more confidently, performing numerous actions with it, which awakens independence in him. Try to find a balance between the child’s initiative and your readiness to give him a helping hand. Encourage, praise your baby for any discoveries, albeit trivial in your opinion. Being open and spontaneous, your baby can frankly praise himself for something. You should not scold him; share his joy, because right now the foundation for self-esteem, self-respect and self-awareness is being laid, that is, the child begins to understand who he is in the eyes of other people, especially his mom and dad. The child begins to feel proud for himself, his achievements and strides for the first time.
As for the development of cognitive mental processes, perception, thinking and speech improve most of all; and other mental processes (sensation, attention, imagination, memory) are derived from them.
In addition to the development of cognitive processes, the personal sphere of your child is actively developing, too, which largely explains his behavior, the nature of interaction with the surrounding objects. The will is just beginning to form, so, if your child’s attention is captured by a game, it will be hard for him to willingly disengage himself and come to have his meal. Observing the behavior and the way of the interaction of your baby with the surrounding objects and people, you can see the first signs of the type of temperament. You must have noticed that all the children are very, very different: someone cannot sit still for a second and finish what they have begun, others, on the contrary, will scrupulously complete the started action; some kids are reasonable, consistent, others have one thought running ahead of the other. Your observations will help harmoniously build relationships with your baby, follow his nature, accept him as he is: you certainly shouldn’t make the active child sit quietly and put up the stacking rings; remember that the type of temperament is not a whim of the child, but the specifics of his nervous system. Of course, over time, with the development of a volitional component, your baby will be able to control his behavior. During this period, traits of character are being formed, and they are completely dependent on the nature of communication with loved ones during the game activity. Raising a baby, you must remember that his desires are unstable and uncontrollable; there is no subordination of motives: for a child of this age it is extremely difficult to make a choice, for example, what toys to take for a walk today. It will also be very difficult for your baby to understand your or other people’s feelings. It means he is not yet able to put himself in the others’ shoes because of egocentrism. Due to the development of the personal sphere, the baby develops the first forms of manifestation of self-consciousness: the child recognizes himself, calls himself by name and forms a primary self-esteem. But for parents, this seemingly positive side in the development of the personality of their offspring, practically turns into a notorious “three-year-old behavior crisis.”
Showing and demonstrating this behavior, the child wants to defend his “me do”, wants his close people to recognize his independence. Dear parents, arm yourself with patience and allow your child to grow, be a person and have an opinion of his own. At this age the basis of his life style is laid, that is, the child forms his attitude to life and the ways he will build it up.
Mrs. Katya graduated from the medical college in Perm, she has the 2nd qualification category in “Pediatrics” specialty. She has worked in a children's clinical hospital for more than 5 years; she has experience working in child's camps and kindergartens as a nurse. In “Little Angels” Mrs. Kate monitors the children’s physical development and state of health, controls the sanitary and hygienic condition in the rooms, and keeps medical records.
karate coach and sports instructor
Mr. Sergey has the first dan rank in version (THE UNITED SHOTOKAN KARATE-DO FEDERATION); the prize-winner of the Open Championship of the Federation of Shito-ryu Karate-do Kofukan; Prize-winner of various clubs in karate Shotokan style. The winner in the Kumite Sobbu-Ippon competition, in the absolute category at the IMAF Open Championship in Moscow. He has high sports qualification in karate and universal combat. He has been working with children for more than 5 years; he is absolutely passionate about his vocation. In “Little Angels” he conducts sports activities with children and teaches karate, fosters love for sports in children.
Mr. Boris was born in Moscow. He got his chess education in one of the best chess schools in the country - the Sports School by the name of T. Petrosyan (the 9th World Chess Champion), where from 1989 to 1995 he learned from the best coaches of the USSR (M. M. Yudovich, Jr., L. S. Belavenets, and others). In his youth, he was the winner and a prize-winner of a number of Russian and international tournaments both in individual and in team competition. In 1993, he got a high qualification in sports, in 1996 - scored an ELO rating of 2255. He graduated from the Russian Economic Academy (REA) by the name of G. Plekhanov (Now Russian Economic University by the name of G. Plekhanov). He was a champion and a prize-winner of REA in chess, held classes for students. After graduation he worked as an analyst and marketing specialist in various organizations. In 2009, he decided to return to chess: "I love children and I love chess - I decided that I needed to unite these two passions. He has been working in “Little Angels” since 2014. He thinks that the most important thing is to pay attention to each child, regardless of his abilities. In the classroom, children learn to analyze, make independent decisions, and contemplate.
arts and crafts teacher
Mrs. Margarita was born in Moscow. In 1991, she graduated from the University with a qualification of Arts and Crafts Artist and Decorator. She has broad experience in the field of visual arts and in development of skills in this area. She has been working in “Little Angels” since 2007, developing creativity in children.
Working with children is my vocation. She graduated from the Moscow State Pedagogical University with a qualification of Educational Psychologist. From my student hood I was interested in the issues of early learning and education of children. I am the author of articles and the creator of the website for parents moi-deti.com. Traineeship and studies in Vienna, Austria (Paedagogische Hochschule Wien) provided fresh perspectives of this process and helped to develop my own program. Working with children in “Little Angels”, the most important thing for me is to understand the inner world of a child, to understand his individuality, his motives, to increase his reflexivity - this is the basis of social intelligence, it allows a person to adapt to society, to find where he belongs and realize himself. In group classes I teach children to communicate, make friends, find compromises, share, understand themselves and people around them. Studying family systems psychotherapy (FST) helped me take a deeper look at the process of adaptation of children in kindergarten: how they build interaction with other children, how they defend themselves, how they present themselves to the world. Family, parents define it all. I am very pleased with the tendency that parents willingly come to me for consultations, acquire new knowledge, sometimes change themselves, which radically improves their interaction in the family and, in particular, with the child.
key stage teacher’s assistant
Mrs. Kate has been working in “Little Angels” since 2006 and appreciates every day spent with children. Biologist by qualification, Mrs. Kate graduated from the State Pedagogical University, was born and raised in Moscow.
reception group teacher’s assistant
Mrs. Marina has a qualification of teacher of the English language. She has been working in “Little Angels” for more than 10 years. As assistant teacher she has worked both with toddlers and preschoolers.
nursery teacher’s assistant
Mrs. Alice moved to Russia and graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in “Psychology in Economics and Management”. She has been working with children for more than 5 years; she has been working at “Little Angels” since 2011. Mrs. Alice has unfailing love for children; she feels every child and knows how to get on the right side of each kid.
Mrs. Susanna was born and raised in South Africa. Mrs. Suzanna studied preschool education and has a diploma of Damelin College. She has been working in “Little Angels” since 2011. She loves her work very much; kids adore her activities and games, because they are always fun and interesting.