When I was in college I majored in “Human Development and Family Sciences”. My focus was social work and I took a ton of early childhood and child development classes. As such, I should probably be an expert in children and family. BUT…$X,000 in loans later and I feel like my degree failed me in some ways. While I definitely have an array of knowledge in my arsenal, there are quite a few things that they just don’t teach you in those early childhood classes that would be incredibly useful when dealing with children in the real world. Here are some things I feel like I should’ve learned. Perhaps my university will take some cues and add these topics to the cirriculum.
Piaget for real 1 of 7I recall learning about developmental psychologist Jean Piaget's theories on cognitive development and particularly the senorimotor stage. My professors probably should've mentioned that this stage will likely involve a baby trying to put every potential choking hazard and electronic device ever invented into their mouths, 25,000 times a day. You will need to become quite skilled at removing any and all objects from their playing radius and become quite adept at swooping in to remove such items from their mouths.
Learning through play 2 of 7While play is an important part of learning, sometimes nap time is better for not only your own sanity, but your cranky child's sanity as well.
Practice reading to cats 3 of 7Reading to your baby is important, so start practicing by wrangling and reading to unwilling house cats. The premise is very similar - or at least it is with my baby. I remember that during college, one of my volunteer opportunities involved going to a local school and reading with Kindergarten students, but I'm pretty sure reading to house cats would've been equally useful practice.
Cleaning and Feeding 101 4 of 7Who knew that a large part of the early childhood years would involve cleaning and feeding. I didn't learn anything about this in college, but it would've proved useful in my work as a preschool teacher and even more so in my role as a mom. Some days, I'm pretty sure my entire day is spent cleaning and feeding my child.
High Functioning Sleep Depravation 201 5 of 7I realize that my early childhood education classes weren't intending to teach me about being a mom, but rather to work with children, but perhaps they could've thrown this class in as a freebie? It would be truly useful.
Creative Learning Environments 301 6 of 7This class would teach all about creating a lovely child-centered learning environment (in my case a nursery) and then watching as they brought in real babies who would turn up their noses at it and go straight for the ugliest plastic toys they could find. Wooden blocks? Pretty Waldorf dolls? Who cares! Bring on the shiny lights! Which brings me to my finally class suggestion...
The Science of Ugly Toys 7 of 7This class would delve deep into the inner workings of the minds of babies and explain the science behind why they prefer the ugliest, most random toys, because I sure don't understand it.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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