It’s a special time of year here at Lil’ People’s World! The holidays are a great example of the emotional connectedness between adults and children, giving us extra insight into the many fascinations of Early Childhood Education. This season offers time to embrace tradition, emotions, and loved ones. No matter the culture, religion, or opinion, there will always be something to celebrate — and your children know it too!
At Lil’ People’s World, we’re constantly amazed by our youngest learners’ awareness of adults’ emotions. Although they don’t have the words to tell us quite yet, our children are in tune with our feelings even when we’re unaware. This season stirs up many emotions, both positive and negative, so it’s important to take things slowly as best as you can. Our children are paying attention, and their growing emotional awareness makes them susceptible to our feelings and responses.
Miss Angela, Lil’ People’s World Seattle’s Program Supervisor, exclaims with detailed passion, “As a parent, it’s easy to see the holidays as a time of hustle and bustle, a time of lost coats and gloves, of weaving through traffic on the roads and in Target. The magic is there — we hear the bells, we see the frost on the windows, but it’s hidden. There’s a deadline that looms over us, and that pressure can cloud our way.
“The winter holidays are so important to me, personally, because of this — the hectic rush and the looming deadlines are reminders for me to pause and watch my children. I watch their faces as we drive down Candy Cane Lane, listening to carols and pointing out the light displays. Including them in the decorating of a tree or a mantle. At whatever age they are, this is their first go-round at that stage in their development. The holidays begin to take on different meanings for them.
“[No matter how] we celebrate, whether our focus is gift giving, quality time, or the change in nature that happens around us, their culture is being built in the moments of appreciation that we cultivate. They’ll take the memories created now and carry them into their histories, weaving old traditions, and trying out new ones.
“The winter holiday season, to me, brings opportunities for learning the soft skills that are integral in every aspect of life. Empathy, kindness, and an awareness of others are emphasized at this time of year. We choose to see more opportunities to put these ideals into practice, and our examples are highlighted for the children in our lives through song and display.”
Very well put, Miss Angela!
We all have a vivid picture of what warms us most this time of year, and our children will share this joy. We encourage you to embrace the bright twinkling lights, heightened sounds, intriguing smells, and textures as your child does — which might be for the first time! As Miss Angela so brightly shared, these moments may be overwhelming and go by quickly, but they make a lasting impact on both you and your child.
At Lil’ People’s World, we are passionate about creating memorable experiences for every child in our care, as we believe that traditions formed in the classroom make just as lasting an impact.
Miss Shawn, our General Manager, says “From my earliest years, traditions were built into my holidays. I am deeply passionate about all holidays throughout the year, because of how they were shared with me as a child. A true comfort. [Through] teaching, I was able to learn about each child’s culture and traditions, this allowed me to see the Holidays through their eyes.”
This season inspires us to focus on humanity, teach our children to show kindness in all ways imaginable, and love and appreciate the way you would like to be loved and appreciated. Children thrive on interactions and gain countless lessons through the holidays’ many opportunities for spreading love — picking out gifts for others, making baked goods to share, showing gratitude, and expressing empathy.
We hope you allow yourself to be in the moment and enjoy every second of this holiday season. Remember that our children are listening, observing, and feeling it all. Embrace their young wonder and the opportunity to form magical memories to last a lifetime. And, of course, take notice of emotional and social cues. With so much to take in, sometimes kiddos need a break from the action just like we do. The same goes for our care, as we always pay careful attention to every child’s unique cues and needs.
Enjoy this season and the joy it brings. Happy Holidays from Lil’ People’s World!