Wisdom of Families

By Judy Lyden

Families are wonderful, and working with families in child care has many blessings. Experienced providers who take the time to think about families understand that young families are evolving with age and wisdom, trying things on and assuming a blockbuster place in the world. An observant provider understands these different lifestyles are important to every family. And style is a part of the foundation of the child's development. Understanding this allows providers to offer the best family care possible.

Providers who understand the classic family know that the basics are important. They have all the parts: mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandma, granddad, great-aunts, great-uncles and a few great-greats, not to mention a guest list of cousins resembling a high school reunion.

The classic family dotes on family, and before their child graduates to grammar school you will know every single one because they're all involved every day, all the way.

The trendy family seems to exist with great gusto on whatever is fashionable; whatever is flashy and attention-grabbing at the moment. They burst through the door gushing and excited every morning. Did you hear... , do you know... , have you seen... ? are the questions of the moment. Trendy families make you laugh; they have all the latest expressions. They are star-struck, moonstruck and glazed over with the latest bauble and bead.

If you want to know where anything is going to happen, ask a trendy family. If you want to know where to buy nearly anything, they'll tell you.

The "in" family is conscious of who everyone is and who everyone is not. They have a social roster riveted to their frontal lobe. It's not about money, homes and cars at the day-care stage; it's about who is related to whom. Did you know that little Maggie's Aunt Susie was married to little Hershel's third cousin on his mother's sister's husband's side once removed?

Removed doesn't matter. They make connections and will make them for you if you ask.

The intellectual family cares about every aspect of the learning process. Its members are the transmitters of books and videos. They love skills. It doesn't really matter what skills: reading, math, gardening, animal husbandry, cooking, metaphysics, any and all learning is a conversation starter with the intellectual family. They love to know about stuff, and they like it better when their child knows about stuff and can report in the full language of child about this stuff.

The casual family is just that. Like soybeans, they shift with the moment. These are the families for whom everything is a delight. If you're going to the zoo, that's great. If you're going to stay in and practice putting shoes on, that's great, too.

Then there is the ideal family: a combination of all the above. This family has involved and caring family members who are friendly and familiar. This family is excited about life and what's available for their children. They care about people and find interesting connections and attachments. They care about the world and what's in it. And they understand that sometimes life is filled with great stuff and sometimes it's dull as dishwater, but there's a reason for doing everything in a well-run child care.

Families are wonderful, and the care of families is the delight of the child-care industry.

(Judy Lyden is a licensed day-care provider. Write to her:
c/o The Evansville Courier, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, IN
47702, or e-mail to jlyden@evansville.net.

If you are interested in submitting
a child care relate article to 123child.com
contact me at: chickyleigh2@yahoo.com