Bring On Big School!

by Dana Smith Bader
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I thought sending my first daughter to nursery was a big transition until BIG SCHOOL started looming on the horizon. Once again, I had to research and visit schools, talk to the heads, meet the teachers, bring my child for an assessment (what?!?), and prepare my little princess (and myself) for the big day. As I visited the schools and met the teachers, I had one thought in my mind, “How did this day come so quickly?” Well, maybe I had two or three thoughts in my head, “How can I take her from the nursery she loves?” and “How will she cope with the rigors of big school?” Well, maybe I had a million thoughts, all of them spinning through the tumble dryer of my mind. Needless to say, I was anxious about the transition, and I did not want to pass my anxiousness onto my daughter. I wanted her to look forward to big school and transition with courage and confidence.

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Sensational Sensory Play

by Dana Smith Bader
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When my eldest daughter was little, I hated messes.  I was always washing her hands, changing her clothes, and, of course, doing everything for her instead of allowing her the freedom to explore, just so she wouldn’t make a mess.  Nine years after she was born my second daughter came along, and, by then, not only had I changed my mind about messes, but I actually encouraged my children to make messes to fully experience the joy and value of sensory play.  It was a good thing, because my youngest daughter turned out to be the ‘Queen of Messes.”

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Building Self-Esteem

by Dana Smith Bader
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The first time you see your child take pride in overcoming something difficult is an amazing moment.  I remember when my middle child had her first day at nursery without crying.  When I came to pick her up, she met me at the door of her class, and, with a trembling chin and big brown eyes full of tears about to spill over, she said is her shaky three-year old voice, “Mommy, I didn’t cry today.”  Then, as I clapped and hooted and gave her a big hug, one single tear slipped down her cheek as she gave me a wobbly smile.  I know she felt proud of herself, and I felt overjoyed that she had managed to settle into her class after one long, heart-wrenching month of settling into nursery.  I also knew that her accomplishment had laid a fundamental block in building her self-esteem.

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