From Our Educators
Debra Hasbrook, M.Ed.
If you spend time with young children “Up!” is a phrase you here often. Children will inevitably want your attention when you are in the middle of something such a cooking, talking on the phone or trying to complete a task. The timing can be inconvenient. When I finally had time to sit down and take a break it was not unusual at my house to have at least two children climb up to sit in my lap for a snuggle or a story.
When I was teaching in the classroom it was the same scenario. Only then I had at least seven children who needed “up” or some other type of interaction. Their family was not there to meet this need, so it was up to me to pick them up, or sit down so they could climb up into my lap to hear a story. The school of thought by many today is that teachers should not let children sit in their laps. This is a shame, because often that is just what a toddler needs. This is an element of responsive care giving, building attachment, making a child feel valued and loved.
As children get older and too big for sitting in laps their needs for attention are different, but still important. Many years ago there was a popular song called “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. He sings about a father who was so busy working that he didn’t have time to spend with his young son. When the father grew old and wanted to spend time with his son, his son was too busy raising his own family.
Now I am a grandmother. I am proud of my grown children but I sometimes miss them as small children climbing into my lap. My grandchildren are growing up too fast. Some are teenagers, and some are still small. I know that one day they will all be adults living busy lives, so I cherish each “up” that I hear.