Debra Pierce

The Tragedy of Emotionally Abandoned Children: What They Grow Up Believing about Themselves

sad child

Living in a neglectful home can have devastating effects on a child. The way he is treated, responded to, or ignored provides a strong undercurrent of messages that become part of his identity. He will lack self-confidence, self-esteem, and a basic understanding of himself. What this child has learned will follow him throughout his life, […]

Helping Young Children Deal with Disturbing News Coverage

It’s right in your face, 24/7… terrorist attacks, shootings, disasters, accidents, and violence. This can be upsetting for adults, not to mention children. Last week I couldn’t turn on any screen without seeing the eye-witness phone video of a state fair ride in a neighboring state, breaking apart and hurling riders to the ground. I […]

Children Were Born to Learn! Get Out of Their Way!

If we look back in history, children were once taught by sitting alongside those who were skilled at something, participating in active learning. This type of pedagogy was aligned more closely with the nature of young children. They are, after all, born learners. They may be easily distracted and unpredictable and diverse, but they all […]

Never Ignore a Child Who Asks “Why?”

Anyone who has young children, teaches them, or has spent time with one knows that “Why?” is their master question. Once it starts, there’s no stopping it. Although adults do their best to come up with answers, the interrogation becomes an endless loop. When one question is answered, the next one comes right on its […]

Bedtime for Young Children… It’s More Important Than You Thought!

bedtime

So, adults generally agree on the importance of children’s intellectual development. Throughout the day, we are creating a multitude of opportunities for learning, both intentional and unintentional. Helping a child expand his mind and grow cognitively is essential, but so is something else- developing his character and supporting his social/emotional development. Oh, my. There’s a […]

Starting 3-Year-Olds in Organized Sports? Let’s Get Real

soccer ball

Generally speaking, most parents can’t wait to get their young children into activities. They want to do something that’s out of the house or outdoors. They’re anxious to find out what their child’s talents might be and signing them up for a team seems like a good first step in that direction. But, there are […]

So…Outdoor Play at Child Care Centers Is Optional? Huh?

swing set

On my way to work, I pass no fewer than 6 child care centers. As my life revolves around Early Childhood and young children, I am always interested in seeing what’s happening in programs in the community. It had been puzzling to me, no matter the weather or time of day, how few children I […]

“Does he act like this all day?” “No, Mr. Gibson. Only when you’re here.”

2e1ax elegantwhite entry raw emotion 1

This isn’t news for any teacher of young children anywhere. We’ve all experienced it. Four-year-old Carter is a good listener, follows the rules (mostly- he’s 4!), and gets along with the other children. Then, at day’s end, Mom arrives and a crazy transformation takes place. For Carter, rules are forgotten, as well as his inside […]

Expecting Preschoolers to Learn Self-Control… Is That Even Possible?

We know that during the first 5 years of life, there is significant brain development. However, some areas of the brain are slower to mature than others. One such area is the prefrontal cortex, which is the center for executive function. This is why young children often have difficulty with emotional and impulse control. But, […]

Are You Listening? Preschool Matters!

preschool children

I just returned from our state’s annual Early Childhood Higher Education Summit feeling a mix of angry and frustrated. Our NAEYC state affiliate maintains a staff of attorneys and advocates who actively participate in legislative conversations and hearings dealing with early childhood education. This month, a bill comes up for a vote on whether or […]

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