I’ve noticed that the more you care for others, the less you have time to dwell on what others ARE NOT doing for you. “My life is not my own!”
No matter who we are and what we do, relationship play a major role in our lives. We encounter these relationships at home, work, and in various public settings. Some relationships are personal, while others may be strictly business. As we research the importance of partnering with parents, we must also take some time to look into ourselves.
Most of us build relationships based on our own personal views. Our circle of relations are normally built by experiences. These experiences are directly responsible for our thought process and actions. I think that all relationships are based on trust. We must trust that the person we are interacting with will not mislead us. This is the most challenging thing about maintaining relationships. Once trust is broken, it is really hard to rebuild it.
I have many significant relationships. Most of them are with people but I also have a relationship with my dog Mango. She relies on me for personal things like food and water but she also relies on me for interaction. The most important relationship in my life is the one that I have with my children. It is important that I constantly interact with them so that they become productive adults. Our interaction may determine the relationships that they develop in the future. Ages 16, 13, and 5 years old, they are watching the relationships that I have in my life. I try to lead by example.
Breastfeeding in China
If you are thinking about giving birth in China, do not expect the hospitals support for breastfeeding or nursing. There is a lack of knowledge about the concept of breastfeeding. Women receive samples of formula during prenatal visits. Mother who desire to breastfeed have less support and therefore most do not make that their first choice for feeding. China has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Their government acknowledges the issue and had even placed a ban on companies to advertise formula. This was in an effort to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers. According to my reading, less than 16% of new mothers in urban China breastfeed for the recommended six months. This is very different from the United States. What puzzles me is that according to one of the articles that I read, breast massages are common in China. While we have lactation consultants in our hospitals, China has breast massage therapist. These therapist visit the mother and “she can expect to have at least one visit a day” (www.havingababyinchina). The therapist will “freely” squeeze the mother’s breast and can tell them whether or not they have an adequate milk supply. Statements such as “your mild is bad quality”, “your baby has a vitamin deficiency” and “your baby is underweight” are discouraging to the new mother that is trying her best to stick to the regiment of breastfeeding.
According to the CDC, 80% of babies born in the United States start out breastfeeding. The topic of breastfeeding is very meaningful to me. There have been many recalls on formula in the United States. Some of the issues with the formula can have a devastating result on our little ones. While breastfeeding is no easy tasks, once a mother completely makes up her mind to do so it can be a rewarding experience for both the mother and the baby. Most of the time, we consider the best interest of the child in the early childhood field. But, breastfeeding is also in the best interest of the new mother. Choosing to breastfeed helps the mother save money by not having to purchase formula. Breastfeeding also has physical benefits for the new mother. During the post partum period, nursing the baby helps the uterus to return to its normal size, reduced post partum bleeding, and provides one on one time with the newborn baby. After the post partum period, breastfeeding continues to provide a benefit to the mother by burning calories.
I had the luxury of being able to breastfeed all three of my biological children. Of course, the first time was the hardest. There was so much support during and after my hospital stay. The support of my family and friends made a big difference when I was ready to give up. I never made it to breastfeeding for an entire year but I was able to make it six months with my oldest two and four months with my youngest. While I had to begin to introduce formula at six months and four months, I was still able to provide them all with breast milk by pumping. Reading about the breastfeeding practices in China made me appreciate what we have in the United States. I will continue to support the breastfeeding efforts of the parents in my child care center. Based on the information received, I will do more research on the topic and provide information to the parents that enroll in my center.
Need breastfeeding help or support? Contact La Leche League International. Here is there website: http://www.llli.org/
Traditional Chinese beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth
My Birth Experience
The birth of my daughter was the greatest experience of my life. I spent 9 months getting prenatal care and my husband, at that time, never missed a doctor’s appointment. The hospital that I selected was wonderful. They allowed my husband in the room along with my mother-in-law, best friend and my mother. It was a family affair. My daughter was one week late and I had to be induced. Because of the induction, I was not able to move around. I was confined to the hospital bed. After the longest nine and a half hours of my life, my little red hair baby girl arrived. She was kicking and screaming and I was eager to hold her. For the first time in my life I felt a major sense of nervousness. How was I supposed to be responsible for the life of someone else? I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to be the “perfect” mother. My postpartum period after my daughter’s birth was very hard. I was a new mother, trying to learn to nurse and really didn’t have the help that I needed. My friends and mother did not breast feed so they were eager to tell me to use give her formula. This was the hardest part of becoming a new mother. I was determined to breastfeed so I stuck with it. Eventually I became a “pro” 🙂
As I begin to think about my birthing experiences, I become emotional. I can picture that day as if it were yesterday. At times, it is hard to believe that it has been sixteen years.
The birth experience plays a role in development. For example, my son had a knot in his umbilical cord and the cord was wrapped around his neck. This caused a delay in the development of expansion of his lungs causing him to have asthma. As I think about my own birth experience and that of the Chinese, I realize that our birth experiences are different. In America, many expectant mothers are expected to take it easy during the first 12 weeks and then resume normal activity during the rest of the pregnancy. Most of the births in America take place in birthing centers and hospitals, which are considered controlled environments. The postpartum period in America is similar to that in China. We are allowed six to eight weeks depending on the type of birth or birth complications. We are allowed to eat what ever we want and the food does not have to be bland. Most Americans are not interested in creating a balance. Our experiences are different than the Chinese culture. During my pregnancy, I was expected to continue working as usual. In America, most hospitals allow more than one person in the delivery room. This was important for me because my husband is an only child. His mother wanted to be present and my mother wanted to be their too. I was able to have five people in the room and this made the birth of my daughter a family affair.
Here are a few Codes of Ethics that are meaningful to me. The first are from NAEYC.
“I-1.3—To recognize and respect the unique qualities, abilities, and potential of each child.”
~Each child is a unique individual and should be treat in that manner. Lessons should be implemented in a way that various learning styles are addressed and children with learning disabilities are able to have their needs met.
“-2.5—To respect the dignity and preferences of each family and to make an effort to learn about its struc- ture, culture, language, customs, and beliefs.”
~We have an obligation to respect the diversity of the families that are enrolled in our programs.
Here are the ethical codes from the DEC that I found to be meaningful to my profession.
- PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PREPARATION
“We shall continually be aware of issues challenging the field of early childhood special education and advocate for changes in laws, regulations, and policies leading to improved outcomes and services for young children with disabilities and their families.”
~ As professionals in the Early Childhood field, we have to stay up to date on the issues within the field. This will help improve our programs and will benefit the families that we serve.
We Can’t Predict the Future, But We Can Change the Way It Unfolds for Children in Poverty
Click the link below for more information on the article above.
The Huffington Post has several current articles that I found to be interesting and informational in the early childhood field.
The Baltimore’s Child also publishes information that is beneficial to families of young children. Click the link below to experience this month’s edition.
In order to be the best that we can be, we must tap into resources and implement what we have learned. Here are a few resources that I think are helpful to our industry.
NAEYC. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/dap
- NAEYC. (2009). Where we stand on child abuse prevention. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/ChildAbuseStand.pdf
- NAEYC. (2009). Where we stand on school readiness. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/Readiness.pdf
- NAEYC. (2009). Where we stand on responding to linguistic and cultural diversity. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/diversity.pdf
- NAEYC. (2003). Early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation: Building an effective, accountable system in programs for children birth through age 8. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/pscape.pdf
- NAEYC. (2009, April). Early childhood inclusion: A summary. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/DEC_NAEYC_ECSummary_A.pdf
- Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. (2010). Infant-toddler policy agenda. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://main.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ter_pub_infanttodller
- FPG Child Development Institute. (2006, September). Evidence-based practice empowers early childhood professionals and families. (FPG Snapshot, No. 33). Retrieved May 26, 2010, from http://community.fpg.unc.edu/sites/community.fpg.unc.edu/files/imce/documents/FPG_Snapshot_N33_EvidenceBasedPractice_09-2006.pdf
- Turnbull, A., Zuna, N., Hong, J. Y., Hu, X., Kyzar, K., Obremski, S., et al. (2010). Knowledge-to-action guides. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(3), 42-53.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
How to Manage Your Early Childhood Classroom is a reference book that I find to be helpful when not only managing the ECE classroom, but also when managing a child care center. The information contained in the book is helpful and gives ideas on various ECE topics. If you are a teacher or director, you should look into this resource.
Early childhood educators must keep themselves up to date on topics relate to the industry. We are able to do so by completing continuing education workshops and trainings. Here is a resource that I find very convenient for teachers and educators in our field. Visit http://www.carecourses.com/PublicPages/Home.aspx . This is an online training company that offers various topics that are related to early childhood education. There’s a map on the website where individual are able to select the courses that are approved based on the state that they live in.
Sue Bredekamp, Ph.D – from the childcare sector of Early Childhood Education
- was the director of accreditation and professional development for NAEYC
- help revise statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) in Early Childhood Programs.
Lillian Katz, Ph.D – from the Public Early Childhood Education sector of Early Childhood Educations
- introduced the four Developmental Stages of Teaching and co- directed the project approach for learning.