Routines and Schedules

During the first three years of life, the sense of order is particularly strong. When my son was born, my mother insisted that I put him in his pajamas every night. “He sleeps all day in his regular clothes; he’ll never know the difference,” I insisted. She prevailed and told me that starting the routine of changing into pajamas and getting ready for bed would go far in establishing a bedtime ritual. When my son went to bed easier and started sleeping through the night earlier than his peers, I was thankful for our routines.

Bath time was another important routine. Every morning after breakfast and right before his morning nap, my son had a bath. He learned to love and look forward to the ritual of bath time. It was a special time for us both when I talked to him, named body parts, sang songs, and gave kisses. Bath time was never a struggle because it was part of our expected daily routine. He anticipated it and knew that with a full tummy and clean clothes, it was then time for nap.

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The Value of Self Directed Play

Learning to play with toddlers can be difficult for adults — whether they are parents or
educators. Our instincts as adults are not always correct and understanding the importance of not playing can be a hard lesson for us.

A mother of toddler twins recently shared a story of a rough day that she had when she tried to play with her toddler twins. While the children were playing, she suggested they see how high they could build a tower of blocks. As a result, she spent the whole morning building towers for them. By the end, she was exasperated and exhausted, trying to keep up with the children’s demands. My question to her was, “Why were you doing it?”

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In the Toddler Classroom

Aarav was wearing an orange kurta for the Diwali party. He came to class and showed his kurta. I said, “Wow, it’s looking very nice. You are wearing an orange coloured kurta.” I told him that I was wearing an orange kurt a too. He was happy to hear that and a big smile appeared on his face. Throughout the day he kept tapping me, calling out for attention, pointing to his kurta and then to mine. His infectious smile brought a broad grin on my face too.

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The Feelings of A Child

When a young child throws a tantrum we often don’t understand where it stems from. Sometimes we think it is because of something she can’t have and at other times we just tag it as bad behaviour. We help the child get over it by distracting her or giving her a toy or a chocolate.

A tantrum is a child’s way of communicating her feelings. She might be too young to use words or if she is a verbal child, she may not be able to express her feelings. When we ignore these tantrums we are in effect ignoring the feelings of the child. A child whose feelings are ignored is likely to vent out her anger as more tantrums.

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When your 3 year old screams and cries he is not being naughty

Our youngest children express themselves in the strong ways when something upsets them. Logic and explanation don’t work.  This can be attributed to the nature of brain development in an infant.

At birth, your child’s brain is underdeveloped. In fact 90% of the growth of the human brain occurs in the first five years of life. Over the first few years millions of brain connections are formed and unformed due to the influence of your child’s life experiences and in particular his emotional experiences with you. Around 7 years this sculpting activity of the brain slows down.

The human brain has 3 parts:

  • The Mammalian Brain (Lower Brain) – this is the emotional brain. This part of the brain activates feelings of rage, fear, separation distress, caring and nurturing, social bonding, playfulness, explorative urges, lust in adults

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Our Journey though DVM

I am Bhakti Bhatia. I am a Directress, in the Toddler Program at Da Vinci Worli. My journey with Da Vinci began 4.5 years ago – first as a Hindi and Yoga Directress at DVM Babulnath and later at Marine Drive. My son Yug Bhatia joined the toddler batch at DVM Babulnath soon after. Like many of my little toddler students, Yug too was 17 months old when he joined school. He could say a just a few words, was well coordinated physically and had a wondrous smile.

17 month old Yug on first day of school

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Nature and Nurture!

How often do we find ourselves stopping our children from jumping in that muddy puddle, getting wet in the rain and filling their pockets with the little things they find on the street?
We often worry they are getting their hands ‘dirty’ and clothes ‘wet’.
But the next time we think that way, maybe it’s time we pause and remember, our children need and feel most alive when close to nature. Just as birds are happiest when they fly freely, our children too are happiest when they are outdoors!

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नन्हा बच्चा

नन्हा बच्चा
ना समझो तुम मुझको छोटा,
मैं हूँ सबसे ज़्यादा तगड़ा!
चलता हूँ मैं हिलडुल हिलडुल,
पर दिमाग़ हैं मेरा चुलबुल!
अगर तुम समझोगे मेरी बातें,
तो बनना चाहोगे मेरे अपने!
मैं हूँ छोटा, मैं हूँ भोला,
मैं हूँ इस दुनियाका शोला!
बनना चाहता हूँ तुम जैसा,
मगर हूँ अपनी मर्ज़ी का राजा!

– रितु शाह

Ritu Shah, Toddler Program Babulnath

Coping with Separation Anxiety

NAMC montessori preschool separation anxiety tips for parents teachers happy high five

Coping with Separation Anxiety: Tips for Montessori Parents

    • Make the goodbye prompt and positive. This sounds easy, but can often be one of the most difficult things to do. Giving your child “one more minute” or staying to work on a puzzle together simply prolongs the inevitable. As a parent, the best thing you can do is give your child a hug and kiss, say, “I love you” and reassure him/her that you will be back soon.

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