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Predictability and child development

Stephanie and Rebecca will introduce the concept of predictability and its importance for children's development.
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In this step, Stephanie and Rebecca are going to walk us through the ways to create a solid foundation for child development. Thank you, Carly. So we’re going to start by talking about predictability, consistency, routines and relationships and how they set a foundation for young children’s development, enabling them to build a sense of trust and security, and to go out and explore the world. And the key to all of that really is routines. And so routines can be lots of things. There are things that happen every day. They could be things like waking up at the same time every day, having consistent play date or play group experience.
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Or, one that we do in our house all the time, which is, we have breakfast together every day. For some families that might be having dinner together or having a snack together. But we all got up at the same time. Sometimes we have to drag the kids out of bed. But we have breakfast together every day and the children know that that’s going to happen every day in the same way. And that kind of thing happens in school, right? That’s right. So schools and classrooms have their own routines and sense of predictability, and that might change from place to place. But the idea is that when kids come to school, they know what to expect.
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So there’s some kind of predictable norms or expectations. It might be the time that they come to school everyday. Maybe things like knowing where to sit, knowing where to put your things and the idea is really that, when kids know what to expect, it helps them to feel at ease and also to focus their energy on things like learning new content or getting along with their peers or learning how to play a game or grappling with some big idea or new concept. And so a sense of predictability in routines really helps children to engage with the world and to learn.
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So, when you’re not wondering what’s coming next when you can expect it, and it’s predictable, like a routine, your brain is freed up to do all those other things. To play, to learn. But what happens when routines are disrupted? Yeah, that’s a great question. So we all experience change throughout our lives. Big change, little change, change can come in many different forms. We might even think of it like a cloud. So clouds come and go throughout our life. Some are big, some are small, some are maybe dark and bring difficult things, and others are passed quickly and are easier to adjust to. But the idea is, that change is normal part of life and that it can cause some disruption.
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But it can also cause opportunities to grow. So change, which I hear you describing and I totally agree, it can vary overtime. Can be big. It can be little. It can even feel like it’s different colors Like a cloud sometimes is a white fluffy cloud and sometimes it’s a dark cloud. It can move quickly or slowly. The reason that change can influence children’s development is because it causes stress. And, what we’ve learned overtime, is that children respond to that stress or change with support. And often can manage it. And what’s interesting is that those can be learning opportunities.
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So when children navigate, change and stress, sometimes with the support of an adult, they actually learn skills, that they can apply to a future change. That’s exactly right, so change can impact different children in different ways, and sometimes that can be distressing or stressful, and those are really opportunities for the adults to notice what’s going on, notice how a child is responding and to provide support or even identify other resources that are needed. And that kind of support can really help children to adapt in a positive way, and that’s what helps really make those opportunities, opportunities for growing and for learning new things. So it takes us right back to the beginning because it’s like, relationships are consistent, predictable support.
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That’s right. So even when there’s change happening in the environment or in the world around us, the relationships can be stable and supportive. And that’s really what is critical to children’s development. Thank you both so much. So to recap, by learning how to cope with change, children grow emotionally and physically. Even though change can seem scary and disruptive, if supported well, it’s an opportunity to build an practice new skills. So we’re going to hear from you later in this unit, but this is actually the last time we’re going to see you until later in the course. So goodbye for now. Bye, thank you. We had so much fun. Thanks everyone, thanks Carly.
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Coping with Changes: Social-Emotional Learning Through Play

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