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My Connections to Play!

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Always jump in the puddles! Always skip alongside the flowers. The only fights worth fighting are the pillow and food varieties. -Terri Guillemets

If I get to pick what I want to do, then it’s play…if someone else tells me that I have to do it, then it’s work.-Patricia Nourot

 

These pictures recalls play of my childhood. My sister and I along with my brother and cousins would always go to my grandparents backyard to play in the dirt and make mud pies or full course meals by adding grass, rocks, and sticks.  they also had a swing set in the back yard that we always played on. The Hula Hoop was something we did and competed against.  The people who supported play when  was my family(immediate/extended family). I grew up with my cousins and we would meet up at our grandparents house everyday after school and in the summer. My uncle would always takes us riding on his bicycle around the block or in the back of his 60’ Chevy Truck, My Aunts or grandparents would walk us to the library to check out books or attend the activities the library had each week. Our parents were working so the weekend would be the time for us to go to the park, zoo, or have family outings. My family would get in the trenches with us to play whether it be dirt, snow, or rain puddles. They would teach us how to make things or play. It was a very happy time.

Play today is different from the play I engaged in as a child. Children today are more technology savvy and would rather be playing video games, watching tv, or on their tablets than be outside playing. I have a 2 and 4 year son who loves to play outside and build things from things inside the house and outside. They have a huge imagination which I love to watch. I make sure to have that quality time with them as those are things they will remember. My niece who is also 4 wanted to stay in the house or play on her tablet. But now that she comes over more often to visit my boys, she loves to pretend play. She spent the night this past weekend and I swear they played for at least 5 hours straight non-stop. I had to make them take a break just to eat lunch. They woke up playing and went to bed playing. My hope is that parents start turning off technology and have their children to go outside to play. The games we use to play as a child is foreign to most kids today. I feel it is because the world has become so busy that they forget the importance to slow down and let children experience the wonders of play.

The role of play throughout my life started out as being the student and explorer but as I grew older and now into adulthood it has become the teacher as well as the student, explorer, and researcher. It has not changed much in my opinion because even though you get older there is still a lot you can learn about and from.

When I think of Childhood Development

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We spend the first 12 months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 12 to sit down and shut up-Phyllis Diller

This quote is a powerful and true statement.  We as caregiver and educators must always remember to encourage children instead of discouraging them.  Thank you classmates and Dr.Meyers for this experience and reading everyone’s blogs. I have learned alot tin this course and being able to read others thoughts and professional experiences has been inspiring and educational.

Testing for Intelligence?

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I feel that if we are committed to view the child holistically then we should assess or measure the child’s intellectual abilities, interactions with family, and family structure/support system to name a few along with cognitive, psychosocial, and biosocial development. As a case manager we assess the foster child’s home life prior to placement, the interaction they had with family, and their independent living skills to see where they are and what they need to work on.  I feel that all children should be assessed to see where they are at the moment no matter if they have a disability or not. I know it may seem like alot of work but I feel it would help children and their families as they continue to further their education.  Each child should have a individualized holistic plan that discusses the goals for the child and have a team consisting of parents, educators, medical professional (if needed) and the child to meet twice a year( at the beginning and end of school).   I feel this will allow the parents to be more involved and see the importance of their child needs. Home life has a major effect on the child schooling along with the emotional/social/physical support the child maybe lacking. I feel academic test for children does not meet the child in a holistic manner.  I feel the school district should send out a questionnaire designed for children ages 2-18 that contains a parent checklist of skills they observe in their child that addressees cognition, social-emotional, communication, language, interaction, behavior, reasoning, memory, and others.  I believe this would help decrease the amount of children that drop out by the time they enter High school.

 

 

In Canada children must be enrolled in school by age 6.   All of Canada Provinces develop and measure their own assessments. These  measurements assess numeracy and literacy, and core-subject tests to determine graduation eligibility in senior high school.  arents also receive regular reports on their child’s progress. One assessment  called Pan-Canadian Assessment Programme  assesses the reading, math and science skills on 13- and 16-year-old students. The program also  collects data on Canadian learning contexts. Students, principals and teachers complete surveys, which ask about their learning environments and how much value they place on the core subjects.  The method of instruction in Canada changed from primarily rote learning to  focused on child-centered learning following reforms in the 1960s and 1970s. Students are not required to take any  tests in order to move on; they advance to the next grade based on completion of the previous grade. High school graduation is based on examination performance and/or course credits, though the specific graduation requirements vary across the provinces.

 

References

Center on International education benchmark. (2015). Instructional systems. Retrieved from

Canada: Instructional Systems

 

 

 

 

Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

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My father has told me many stories of his childhood and ways he survived and coped with the stressors he faced. My father grew up in a very chaotic environment as a young child.  During his childhood ages 2-6 years old he has witnessed his twin brother dying after falling off the piano onto his neck and the verbal/physical abuse of his mother and siblings. His mother was lady of the night and had many men come and go. He had 16 brother and sisters who all lived in 3 bedroom home.  He would say that they were always hungry and never had enough food for everyone so some would go to bed hungry.  Their clothing was not always fitting or weather appropriate. My father stated he started stealing things by the age of 6 just to make sure he had enough food to eat. His older siblings would also have him steal things as well just so they could get by with socks, gloves, and shoes. He was aggressive as a child and stated he fought a lot at school and with neighborhood kids. He was sent to the principal’s office many times for his behavior and recall being whipped with and extension cord for his behavior.  His grades were mediocre and exhibited defiance on many levels.  My father dropped out of school by 8th grade and had his own place at 13 years old.  My father has a reading disability and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult.

A country that has been highly talked about in the news is Syria.   I was thinking about the children of Syria and the impact of stress that war, isolation, and violence they have endured these past few years. The stresses these children experience can have lasting effects on their socio-emotional well being and their growing brains (Schaffer,2015).  According the article, physical consequences on a child’s brain development can permanently change the brain’s architecture.  It can have a lasting impact on the child’s learning and memory abilities, social interactions, response to fear and stress and ability to control emotions.  The children of Syria affected by crisis were observed  and it was noted that the children exhibited developmental delays, emotional attachments issues, education and behavior jeopardized. Not only can the stress effect their brain development but can also have higher rates of heart, liver, and lung disease one they are adults. World Vision has set up what’s called Child Friendly Spaces which is a place for children of Syria to go to for safety. They have a locations in Lebanon, Ethiopia, and Uganda. These programs have shown stability in the Syrian children’s mental, social and emotional status.  They have also notice a reduction in the level of toxic stress and limiting the damage to their health physical, emotionally, and mentally.

 

Schaffer,A.(2015). Syria’s children-how conflict can harm brain

development. World Vision International. Retrieved from

 

http://www.wvi.org/experts/article/syria%E2%80%99s-children-

%E2%80%93-how-conflict-can-harm-brain-development

 

Child Development and Public Health

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baby

Breastfeeding is a choice for most women, for others it is a must(life or death). Breastfeeding can also be welcomed with open arms and accepted while other times it is looked down upon. I chose this topic because it was a choice I made after finding out I was pregnant with my first born. I was aware of the benefits that breastfeeding had for both me and my baby. The benefits for me was that it was a form of birth control and weight loss, while lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, but most of all it was a form of special bonding between me and my baby. The benefit it had for my baby was that it was providing him with nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for growth along with antibodies that help fight diseases. What I was not prepared for was the struggle I would have to breastfeed. I have inverted nipples and so my son was not able to latch on. I had to use a nipple shield every time to breast feed my baby. It was hard for me at first as I wanted to breastfeed like other women. But I got over it after I saw that as long as I was able to give my baby breast milk it did not matter how it was done. I was only able to breastfeed both my boys up to the 4-5th month. It was becoming more difficult for me to produce milk fast enough for them to be full and satisfied. And I also told my self once my boys got their first tooth I was stopping but I continued to pump just so they would still get the benefits breast milk had to offer. In China, breast feeding is not as accepting compared to other countries around the world and the number of women who chose to breast feed is lower as well. Women in china who chose to breast feed their babies gets backlash from their family members, constant persuasion form medical professionals and advertisements to use formula. The practice of breastfeeding is delayed by many different factors such as traditional Chinese beliefs, occupation, socio-economic status, misconceptions that breastmilk does not give the baby proper nutrients, limited public places for breastfeeding mothers, and the large market of infant formula. Formula is considered more healthier than breastmilk. Women in China who do breast feed are likely to be from “a lower socio-economic status, a rural region, a lower education level, or a younger age group”(Piazza,n.d).

Piazza,M.(n.d). Breast feeding in China. Cross Cultural perspectives on sexuality. Retrieved from
https://crossculturalsexuality.wikispaces.com/Breastfeeding+in+China

Childbirth in my life and Around the World

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A personal birthing experience I will talk about is my own. My due date was set for Oct.28th 2011 but I did not give birth until Nov.4th. My doctor had called me in to be induced the morning of Nov.3rd and so me and my husband went to Baptist St. Anthony’s. My doctor planned for me to have a 9 pound baby, I was praying that was not true. The nursing staff was very nice and prepped me to be induced. They started the IV, hooked me up to monitors, and started the Pitocin. Well after 18hrs of instance, contractions water being broke, and an epidural I had only dilated to a one, my pelvic was not opening like it should and my babies heart rate begin to drop. Emergency C-Section was not what I wanted to hear. Early morning Nov. 4th my baby boy was born and he was 7lbs 8oz!! After recovery I was put in the postpartum room and I was able to have my baby with me. But I became very ill and was vomiting everywhere. I could not keep anything down for 2 days and you can imagine the pain I was having. Praying and hoping I would not blow any of my stitches from my surgery. My husband took care of my baby while I was being cared for by the nurses. My family also came in and helped relieve my husband to allow him to rest. I was finally able to get relief after realizing I was having an adverse reaction to one of the medications. I started to breastfeed my baby and boy was I happy, my Breast were very engorged. The hospital staff was very nice and took care of me and my baby. My baby was discharged two days before I was but the hospital allowed him to stay with me until my discharge on the 8th.

ChildBirth in the Netherlands
I was surprised to learn that the Netherlands have the highest percentage of home births in the world. The women are referred by their family doctor to a local midwife and if a specialist is needed the family doctor has to provide a referral or the expectant mother cannot get in. Doctors only intervene in high-risk cases or if complications arise during delivery. Dutch women are able to choose whether they want a home or hospital delivery which consist of 30% of women. Expectant mothers are required to pick up a kraampakket which includes all of the medical supplies necessary for the home birth. As stated by Van Den Berg, “Health insurance does not cover the full cost of a hospital birth unless there was a real medical imperative. In 2005 women who elected to have hospital births without a medical reason had to pay around 260 euros (355 dollars ), a sum seen as considerable in this socialized medical system where home births and midwife care are free, as is delivery in hospital for medical reasons.” The midwife will make a house call to check on the progress of their labor to decide when it’s time to go to the hospital. Once at the hospital another midwife will take over. If a woman to see a specialist then they are required to go through their family doctor for a referral. Dutch women do not get epidurals be it home birth or hospital birth (unless deemed medically necessary). Unless complications arise, the woman and the newborn are sent home within hours after given birth. For seven days a nurse comes to the home to help the mother out. This is called kraamhulp (maternity home care) which is covered by insurance. The nurse provides medical care for the mom and child, as well as help with the cleaning of the home, shopping, cooking, and trains new parents in basic parenting skills.

Whats similar to me is the Netherlands and United States allow women to have home births. The difference is that its the “Norm” in the Netherlands but not so much in the United States. What else is different is the fact that the Dutch Women have a nurse come to their home for a week to support them in anyway. Its normal for US to give women epidural but not in the Netherlands. As for as similarities to my personal experience, there isn’t any.

Schalken, L.( 2015). Birth customs around the world. Retrieved from
http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/vaginal/birth-customs-around-the-world/

Van den Berg, S. (n.d).Why the Dutch cherish home births. Retrieved from
http://www.expatica.com/nl/healthcare/Why-the-Dutch-cherish-home-births_100749.html