She repeats everything but refuses to pay attention when I try to teach her numbers and alphabets.
It is the middle and upper class that focus on child development in their young. One reason is that this is the way they were raised. In life we copy what we see and do what we remember. After all, there is no official book that details how to raise children. We repeat what was done to us. As individuals, everyone is unique. This is why as young adults, we filter what was judged as acceptable and moral from the opposite. These values and beleifs form a new system of thinking which guides the way we raise our children.
In poor families there are little to no options in child development. As I study poor economic neighborhoods across America, one thing sticks out like a sore thumb. Poor neighborhoods lack order and structure. The means of creativity is there but is used to demoralize the scenery. Poor neighborhoods have just as much creativity and gifted people as the middle and upper class. The ideas are there. The people do vision. But repeatedly, generation after generation families do not rise above that of their parents level of functioning. America blames the parents of poor households for not seeing to their child's education. I beleive all parents want the best for their child and I have seen exceptions. The problem with child development in poor communities is that 1. Poor parents work harder for less money. 2. There is no resources in the home to increase the child's alertness and cognitive maturity. 3. The cycle of poverty dictate limitations of proper role models and visionaries. 4. Education is not a priority, survival is... 5. Poor people are shunned in society and assigned lower standards by everyone.
Genetics has some influence on your child. In my recent observations of a foster child genetics appeared to dominate choices and decisions the child made. For example, the bad habits of the parents were carried out by the child who never observed this behavior. The father has multiple charges of theft. The mother has the same. The child exhibited craftiness when attempting to take something that was forbidden. This may seem normal because at the toddler stage, they are not able to contol their desires and wants. Nor can toddlers id control its ego. In this case the child cleverly apprehended known restricted items in the presence of the adult giving the charge. The adult did not recognize what was being done and became shocked when this genetic marker was exposed.
Environmental rearing is very important. In this case the child is corrected each time the unwanted behavior occurs. However, delivering consequences was not so rewarding. The child continued the unwanted behavior despite increasing discipline measures. Persistence gradually gained momentum in controlling the behavior but it is still not extinct. Rearing a child with a difficult temperament is a taxing job for most parents that reared easy temperament children. The goal in the environment is to pursue correcting the child and teaching the child what is acceptable. One option to get the child on track is to use the reward system when the expectations are met. As time elaspes, gradually removing the reward is warranted until no reward is given.
Children have stages that they pass through over time. Learning thses stages can help a parent determine if their child is at or above target at the age group. When a child is not meeting the markers of a particular stage, the parent must seek help from another source to determine how to get the child to advance. In poor families there is little or no knowledge about resources to get the child help. Often poor families accept the deficiency in the child using genetics as an excuse.
Every mother should initiate an educational program from the moment they confirm pregnancy. Nutrition is very important and folate is one major nutrient that is needed for brain development in neonatals. In the case of the foster child, an hypothesis is that the child picked up unwanted behaviors and language while the mother carried her. The child is above target after three years of special attention and help from social programs.
Literacy is the name of the game parents must play to prepare their child for life. It is noted that illiterate people end up in undesirable places throughout life. In poor families literacy is a must have dynasty. Early learning must begin while the child is in the womb. Once the child is born into society there is only a few years to build a solid foundation for your child's life. The goal of literacy is to offer general skills to advance your child's cognitive functioning.
Educating toddlers must include language, science, math, technology, and social skills. The best method of educating toddlers is through playing and creative activities. Field trips expose children to all these subjects at once. Children remember field trip experiences because it ignites the neurons in the brain when a new environment is being explored. As a parent you are your child's first and best teacher. You set the stage for future learning. We should not wait for the pre-k teacher to educate our child. Waiting for another to do our job is taking a big chance and in most cases parents are the ones that takes the lost.
Finally, it is important to build self efficacy in yourself and child. Having an I can do it attitude changes the momentum in the learning game. I watched the toddler in care become frustrated and said, I can't do it. This is one place the parent uses to build self efficacy. Assisting the child to do it each time with gradually little or no help is the goal. A child gains confidence from the outside first and then inside. Once inside confidence is achieved the goal is accomplished. Pick your fights wisely parents. You can't fix everything at once but you can choose the most important issue at hand, then move on to the next battle.