My child is not participating

  • I think one of the reasons for parents to discontinue with classes for their 1-3 year olds is that they don't feel like their little ones are participating. Just today another mom that has been coming for 1 1/2 years said she was taking a break becasue her 20 month old was walking and wandering in class and she thinks he is bored and will do better in a gym class and she will come back in January. I tried explaining that it was completly fine for them to walk and march and participate in their own way, as I do multiple times throughout class, but really she had made up her mind and already decided to take a break. I am not sure what else I can do other than explain during class that it is OK, and some children are more active than others, point out the different ways that they are participating and explain that this is part of their social learning. The expectations some parents have, seem so unreasonable to me and they always conclude that their children are bored or don't enjoy the class.

    The other thing is that the children just sit and watch and don't do anything in class which to me is also just fine since they are learning so much from observing us. A lot of times, the parents ask me about it and then tell me their children do everything at home, and they pretend to be me and have music class at home and sing the songs. Sometimes I can convince a parent to keep going with it pointing out that they wouldn't do everything at home, if they don't get the ideas in class. They learn by observing and some children need the time to do that in class. It is so frustrating to me though if they drop even when the children clearly do all the songs at home. Where do these parents think they learn all that if not in class?

    Now I always try to talk to parents before they bring it up themselves, with a child that is more quiet, I make sure to let the parent know it's OK and ask them if they sing the songs at home? and with the runners, I try to let them know they are listening and participating and we will work on learning how to sit and take turns in class over the next years. It seems to help a little if I can put the parents mind at ease right away, but I still get some that just don't believe me I guess.


1 comment
  • Anne Haacke
    Anne Haacke I posted a sign in my studio that says, "Sometimes just watching is the best way to learn". It's on the bulletin board and I refer to it quite often as a reminder to the parents that it's okay if a child is just observing and not participating.

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    October 31, 2010