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Yoga: A supportive practice for helping children to improve physical, mental, and emotional health during the pandemic of COVID-19

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By: Diana A. Rivera

"Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute "presents" for "presence." - Anthony Witham


Children enjoy yoga! Teaching yoga to children can have positive outcomes in wellness, emotions, stress, concentration, memory, flexibility, and discipline, among others. During this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic, yoga can benefit the children’s well-being and mental stability. Practicing yoga with your children contributes to the development of essential skills to help them cope with challenges and situations that harm their physical, mental, and emotional health. This post includes some videos of yoga poses and practices that you can do with your children. Separate time to spend with your children reserving quality time with them. Find the appropriate time for relaxation and turn these practices into your daily routines and enjoy the benefits that yoga provides. The necessity of yoga in the lives of chil…

Children's concerns and reactions during distance, virtual, and online learning

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By: Diana A. Rivera
"Building resilience in children is not about making them tough. Resilience is the ability to recover from difficulties and manage how you feel."

During the global health crisis of COVID-19, the new norm of learning make some children feeling scared, stressed, and confused when facing new challenges and changes. Let’s review some characteristics to differentiate long distance, virtual, and online learning. For long-distance learning, the internet connection is not required in real-time. Students and parents decide when and where to study. The communication occurs through phone calls and text messages. Learning materials are handed and mailed and also includes television and radio. Virtual learning uses a platform and requires the connection of the internet. Teachers share a variety of resources using the virtual platform. Students download material and upload activities. The communication occurs through the platform and by email. Teachers and students may n…

Practicing Awareness of Microaggressions

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By: Diana A Rivera
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Microaggressions are verbal expressions that are unintentional (or intentional) that carry a hidden message of oppression, discrimination, or any other -ism against marginalized people or groups because of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. Microaggressions offer a clear demonstration of unconscious bias. The consequences are cumulative and could cause psychological damage to the person who receives it, who also suffers in silence. Microaggressions could be expressed by people of the dominant culture but are frequently heard people from a marginalized group to utter these types of comments to other marginalized and oppressed people. Psychological trauma and microaggressionsResearch has demonstrated that microaggressions predict depressive symptoms, anxiety, alcohol abuse, sleep disturbance, physical health problems, s…

Parents connecting with their young children and teens: Increasing educational success in distance learning

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By: Diana A. Rivera

In the uncertainty amid the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families struggle to reach effective strategies to support their young children and adolescents to be successful in education after the challenges that distance learning brings.

The global health crisis of COVID-19 forced families and individuals to do too many changes that we never imagined we would experience in education with our children but also in our jobs and lifestyles. The experts' opinion about the pandemic has shown us that all this has caused an increment of desperation, anxiety, and stress not just for the parents, but for young children and adolescents as well.
Parents supporting young childrenMental health practitioners suggest to parents to be as honest as possible with their young children about the pandemic and the effects on education and social behavior. The process of learning needs to continue, but also considering the importance of providing a sufficient amount of time for…

Tutoring and Executive Function Coaching with Lindsay Zoeller of The Chicago Family Tutor

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By: Diana A. Rivera


Lindsay Zoeller and her organization The Chicago Family Tutor helps families to develop strong higher-order thinking skills such as goal setting, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as well as time-management, organization, and self-regulation to improving the children’s performance at school.

During this time, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced families to alter their lifestyles and learn new work-at-home practices and support their children's education. This process has not been easy for many parents and families who lack the support, time, and knowledge systems necessary to fulfill these new responsibilities. However, as beneficial, what if the family and children have a tutoring service, effective strategies, training for children and parents that could be provided online? In the next questions, Lindsay explains how their strategies, approach, advice, and practices have helped hundreds of children to achieve consistently at school.
Q: Could you explain more …

Advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice

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By: Diana A Rivera

"I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people." 
~ Rosa Parks, American activist 
We learn about the sufferings that most diverse people live. Being oppressed and discriminated against because of the skin color, or for being a woman, or gay, old, poor, or atheist results in damages to the individual. Many people believe and promote prejudices and biases to their family members. including their children. These practices contribute to the spread of hate crimes, offenses, oppression, microaggressions, and discrimination. These people are also refusing the opportunity of learning from other people's diversity. The nature of children is to live in happiness and peace with others. When people break that nature, the child becomes to behave and express harmful feelings against others.

I hope that in my work with children and families from diverse backgrounds, I can support and respond to…

Addressing diversity in early childhood settings

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By: Diana A. Rivera

"Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day. "– Anonymous
Teaching respect for our differences and acceptance of our identities promotes diversity in our children's lives. Including families is an essential part to be successful in supporting children to accept, understand, and value our diverse world.
We dream of living in a world free of biases and discrimination. We dream of living in a world where everybody could feel loved, included without feeling being rejected or excluded. But this is not the reality we live in.

Every day we see people suffering from discrimination, racism, and other biases that hurt them affecting their worth, goals, dreams, and overall self. For me, the important factor to change that is to prepare children to celebrate, accept, tolerate, and respect diversity helping them to feel proud of their culture, traditions, beliefs, and family and at the same time, respecting, valuing, accepting, and t…

The journey is about to begin

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By: Diana A Rivera 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius

For all new early childhood professionals, I have this message for you!
After living all kinds of experiences of knowledge, today you reached one more step in your professional education. When you began several years ago, you thought about your goals and desires and how you were going to contribute to the early childhood field, children, families, and colleagues. Probably, at that moment, you did not know many things and you did not think how high would increase your passion for serving children and families.
You completed this path of the journey, but it did not end here! It's about to begin. Now you are leaders, advocates, well-trained and well-educated early childhood professionals entrusted with directing all your efforts so that children and their families reach their fullest potential and well-being providing the accessibility to high-quality early childhood education…

The play: supporting child and brain development

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By: Diana A Rivera

"Play is our brain's favorite way of learning." -Diane Ackerman

In the last decades, we saw radical changes in kindergarten classrooms. Classroom activities are focusing more on literacy and math than learning through play, exploration, body movements, and using their imagination. This results in children linked in an early childhood curriculum far from supporting their healthy development, add an increment of academic pressure and stress. The benefits of play in the lives of children have been proven to last and perdure in adulthood improving self-control, decision making, and mental health, among others.
Academics vs playIf you have the opportunity to observe young children you notice they learn differently even more differently from older children and adults. Their sense of the world depends on play, exploration, and imagination. Focusing early childhood education only on specific academic skills creates cognitive, socioemotional, and physical harm whi…

Establishing positive relationships with children

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By: Diana A Rivera
"A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark."

All people can point to adults who influenced and brought joy (or sorrow) to their lives as children. We remember that person who connected with us by giving some advice, a toy, playing games, or satisfying our needs, emotionally and physically, accepting and respecting who we were just to make us happy. This interaction was the preamble to a healthy relationship between that adult and that child. To later in life bring us the opportunity to seek that support in situations that we all face in our lives because they became trustworthy persons for us. Unfortunately, not for all children, these relationships occur in this way.
Why are healthy relationships with adults important?Findings in research reassure parents and caregivers that what children really need is a secure and positive relationship with adults who take care of them. That experience increases the ability of childre…