Thursday, September 08, 2011

Parents as Teachers, Thoughts on Thursday

Yesterday (9/7) was our first visit with our parent educator from Parents as Teachers. I had been looking forward to this for several weeks. I actually signed G up in May, but they had a wait list and they took a break for summer. Because she is young and I am a first time mom (and I sent a really nice e-mail to the coordinator), we got off the wait list pretty quickly. Our parent educator is very sweet and G took to her right away. G loves anyone with a smile and some new toys. I liked her because I looked like a hot mess when I answered the door, and my house was not nearly as orderly as I had hoped it would be by the time 10:30 AM rolled around, but she acted like she didn't notice.

Wait, wait, wait.

What is Parents as Teachers, you ask? It's a program funded through most school districts (often with matching grants) that help parents become better teachers to their children 0-3 years old. The parent educators are trained by the district, and have some sort of background working with families or young children. They make sure the children are hitting the benchmark milestones, engaging in the world around them, and developing healthily. If something is 'wrong', the parent educator can direct the family to specialists or other programs that can help them. The parent educator comes to your house with a bag of goodies and some handouts related to the child's age. There are also district-wide playgroups and parent meetings to address a variety of topics. It's a great way to meet other parents/babies.

At home meetings, parents and parent educators mostly just play with the baby in an educational way (developmental toys, books, songs, games). Because the Internet has such a wealth of knowledge about rearing children, I don't know that the handouts our parent educator brought to us are necessary. They are full of great information, though. I liked how we just talked about G's skills, "weaknesses," and preferences. We discussed what's going on in her life right now, and when to expect some things to occur. It's really just one more person to get advice from, because she's a mom herself. Our parent educator reaffirmed that G is moving in the right direction (advanced in some areas) and that I am a good mom (always nice to hear).

While I know G better than anyone else, and I ultimately make all parenting decisions, it is nice to have someone visit with us while sharing knowledge and monitoring G's progress. Check with your local school district to see if they offer Parents as Teachers and enroll your baby or toddler today! You can also check the national website's location finder.
"As your parent's first teacher, you can make a difference!"

1 comment:

  1. We had Parents as Teachers yesterday at 10:30 too, haha! Did they do a six month health screening? I think the best part about it is getting that encouragement that we as parents are doing a great job instead of just wondering whether we're doing the right thing.


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