Magazine article Working Mother

Teamwork

Magazine article Working Mother

Teamwork

Article excerpt

Jack enjoys explaining to me that queen bees rarely sting people, some dinosaurs were carnivores and dwarf planets didn't exist when I was little. If you have the time, my 4-year-old will tell you the story of Green Eggs and Ham and, upon request, he'll sing a few lines from a Josh Groban song. For him, learning is fun, thanks to his creative preschool teachers at the South Mountain YMCA (a branch of the Metro YMCAs of the Oranges in New Jersey), led by Lisa Drogon, along with Stephanie Riley, LaTricia Crawford and Julissa Diaz.

"I love the wondering minds of four- and five-year-olds," Lisa says. "It's the age of discovery. They want to know everything." The best thing you can do for kids this age is to be specific and involve them, she advises. And she encourages parents to take the time to really answer kids when they tap you on the leg with their latest query. Specificity also helps with discipline. "If your child runs into the street, explain, 'Please hold my hand because if you run into the street you could get hurt, and that makes me worried.'" Redirecting or distracting a child can also be a huge help when you're in a standoff.

Giving students simple, age-appropriate responsibilities, like hanging up their coat when they arrive at school, engages them, Lisa adds. …

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