Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2019

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Page 26 of 35 n Hudson Valley Parent 27 he learned how to lose and win graciously as well. School teaches more than reading, writing and arithmetic Unlike children with siblings, appropriate ways to interact with peers are not as easily teachable in one-child homes, says Milena McNally of Beacon. "I think that we try to reinforce sharing behavior and good interpersonal skills like empathy with our son at home," explains McNally. "Ultimately, being with other kids and having to sort these things out with peers is key." McNally's son is currently enrolled in a Montessori program, as the Montessori philosophy dictates child immersion in an environment with peers where the importance of learning to respect others and take turns is stressed throughout each and every school day. Finding a preschool program that teaches and encourages sharing as part of its overall curriculum, can be quite beneficial for only children. Hannah Black of Hyde Park found such a program for her daughter at Dutchess Community College (DCC). "The toddler and preschool program at DCC teaches students that sharing is not just giving up something that the child is playing with," explains Black, "but also the importance of empowering youngsters to identify their feelings and communicate them through meaningful conversation and discussion." Outside of school, Black makes sure to reinforce any sharing behavior she observes by verbally praising her daughter. "It's important that sharing isn't forced," asserts Black. Milena McNally (right) enrolled her son in a Montessori program where they teach respect and taking turns. We asked parents: What are good socialization opportunities for only children? We enrolled our child in karate and sports at school. — Fred K. Public parks, sports and library events. — Dorene P. Children's museums. — Melissa S. Public parks, swim classes, gymnastics, tinkergarten. — Raven R. I strongly support playground time early and often. Be as hands-off as possible to promote socialization and problem solving. — Alexia T. We go to the playground fre- quently, local libraries and events for kids. One of the reasons we got him in daycare was for the socialization aspect. — Kelsea C. (Continued on Page 33)

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