Friday, February 06, 2009

Teaching Preschoolers

You need a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. But no license is required for guiding another moving object that some parents would vow has more energy than a two-ton pickup – a two year old child. Children don’t come with an operating manual stowed under an arm pit. That’s why books like Brenda Nixon’s The Birth to Five” book are so hot – and so needed.

I love Brenda’s emphasis, that parents can be empowered to lead and train their children at home from the beginning. If parents poured themselves into teaching and molding their preschoolers, the job of the educator becomes so much easier. Any teacher or children’s ministry worker will tell you that children who come from a stable family where values have been taught and where the parents have done their job in teaching their children about God saves time and energy, decreases discipline problems and creates a more receptive audience.

But many parents feel overwhelmed and unqualified to teach their children whether it’s how to use the potty, how to share toys with a sibling or answering those impossible questions about God a preschooler must stay up at night concocting just to confuse his parents. Usually, all parents have to go on is what they remember from their own childhood. If a child comes from a dysfunctional family background or was the youngest in the family and doesn’t remember their preschool years, they can easily feel like they are floundering. That’s why parent education is just as important as preschool education and why we need books like Brenda’s “Birth To Five.” Book.

Author, speaker and educator Brenda Nixon has dedicated her career to empowering parents. Brenda severed as the parenting expert on FoxTV in Kansas City. “The Birth to Five Book” is her second parenting book. Recently, I caught up with Brenda and asked her about her new book:

Karen: “What led you to write “The Birth To Five” book?”

Brenda: “Years ago I was writing a monthly parenting column for a local paper. Because I was a speaker as well as a writer to parents, I often had audience members come up to me following a presentation asking for help on a variety of childrearing issues. This demand for information led me to give parents words beyond the platform. That's when the idea struck to collect those columns which focused on the early years and put them together in a short, concise book of answers. Since the foundation of the parent/child relationship is laid in the first five years, I believe that's the critical time to empower parents with practical education and encouragement.”

Karen: “What do you love best about preschoolers and their growing awareness of God?”

Brenda: “I love a youngster's innocence and inquisitiveness. Preschoolers are fun, energetic people with lively imaginations so it's fun to be around them, read to them, and engage them in conversation. They accept what adults say as gospel. That's why we must be careful how we phrase explanations about God and our faith. For example, never say "Holy Ghost" when referring to the Holy Spirit, because children link a ghost to something spooky and unfriendly. Many times preschoolers teach me about faith through their simple, steadfast confidence in God.”

Next week, Brenda and I will talk about the importance of teaching preschoolers about God, when to start and what a preschooler needs to know about God.

1 comment: said...

Hi Karen,

I came to your blog via an article of yours archived in Cross and Quill. I loved your illustrations. I too have written more than one article on the subject of "International Writing".

Please could you contact me on There is something I'd like to discuss.

Thank you in anticipation,

Blessings from South Africa

Shirley Corder