That Button in the Top Right Corner…

One of the experiences that parents enjoy in our Hopkins ECFE classes is the feeling that they are not alone.  Each group of parents understands the trials and joys of raising a child of a certain age, because they are all going through it together. Parents don’t have to be from the same neighborhood, or have the same strategies for dealing with parenting issues.  They don’t have to be friends before the semester begins, or even see each other outside of our early childhood center.  When one parent sits down at a table and explains the difficulty of dealing with her two-year-old’s tantrum in the local grocery store, all the parents in the room start to nod and sigh together and say “We are so sorry that it happened to you, but so happy that it is not just me that is going through that exact same thing!”  Caring and sharing about children in an ECFE class brings people together to find common ground and from that, friendships. The friendships that form create the community within which our children grow and flourish.

Another way that parents feel supported is the “we’re all in this together” attitude of the parent classroom.  When a parent, maybe sheepishly, brings up a question that she is sure she is the only one wondering about, the whole group works together to discuss different angles of that question, find multiple solutions, and gain insight and information from the parent educator.  The truth is, that very same question was often also on the mind of other parents in the room.  Not only do parents get to discuss opinions and strategies, but the research-based feedback by the parent educator provides everyone at the table with further information with which to make their own decisions about how to parent.

The Hopkins ECFE staff enjoys the chance to lend a listening ear, information and resources during our classes.  We as a group have also greatly enjoyed the chance to offer our insights about areas of concern for parents through this blog.  We have often based our posts on discussions from classrooms, creating concise articles so that others who may not yet be enrolled in a class could also benefit from the information. The Hopkins staff is invested in answering your questions, the questions of the reader.  Therefore we have provided an easy-access, one-click option for parents who would like  feedback on a specific child-raising issue or concern.

If you have a question for our early childhood staff, remember that others who are reading this blog likely have the same question.  We invite you to click on the “Questions For Our Parent Educators” button and send us an email.  Rest assured, we will not connect your name to the question you ask.  We will simply use your question as a starter for one of our round-table discussions–which is how we begin the process of creating our posts. Once our post is published and you have the information you were looking for, you will also have helped any number of families deal with exactly the same thing.  You can almost hear the collective sigh now: “I am so happy to know I am not the only person wondering about how to deal with that issue!”

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