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Individuality and Others

October 3, 2010

Did you know Kindermusik classes help your child with emotional intelligence? What’s that? Well emotional intelligence is being able to recognize one’s own individuality, manage one’s feelings, develop empathy, and learning to make and keep friends. All of these qualities are important in helping your child succeed. Your child will need to know his or her own strengths and weaknesses, why he or she is happy or sad, how to help others, and handling relationships with friends, bosses, and co-workers is essential to a steady career.

How do we help your child learn these important skills in Kindermusik?  First, we always have a “Hello Song” where we sing each child’s name, and sometimes each parent’s name.  Singing your child’s name tells him or her that he or she is an individual.  It also helps your child understand who the other individuals are in the class. This is especially important in Our Time because at two your child is figuring out how he or she is not physically a part of you and is his or her own person. This is why you hear “mine”, “I do it myself”, “I don’t want to”, “my turn”, and other two year old sayings and tempers.

In the Village class the Hello song helps children know they are special, that they have their own name, and that mom, dad, and teacher love them. In Imagine That and Young Child the song helps children learn to participate in what the group is doing as a whole as well as recognizing the individual.

Emotional Intelligence, however, is more than recognizing your name, it’s also recognizing others. The hello song helps us learn each other’s names and also each child’s desires.  Then, as class continues we have opportunities to play, share, work together in the circle dance, and listen to one another. These activities promote empathy and managing your own feelings. It might not be fair that the egg shakers have to go away, but we learn each week to deal with those feelings and realize that something new and fun is coming next. You might even notice your child putting away egg shakers for others, or giving another classmate or parent a hug at the end of class. These signs show that your child is learning to recognize and empathize with others in the class, as well as to make new friends.

Family Time is a great place to see emotional intelligence happening! Because there are a variety of ages, the children learn to work with those who are younger or older than them. I think this is important because in the workplace you must work with those who are older and younger than you. This can be very difficult if you haven’t had experience in a multi-age setting before.

Each week on this blog, I write about one of the Foundations of Learning statements or Fol’s that I share in classes. This might not be the one I mentioned in your class, but I’ll apply it to all classes so that you can see how important each level of Kindermusik is and how your child will grow from age zero to seven in all of our developmentally appropriate classes.  Emotional Intelligence may not be something that we think about too often, but it is important to know who you are and to learn to work with others well. Kindermusik gives your child the building blocks for success in this area.

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