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INFANCY: 1-4 YEARS

Children at this stage are totally dependent on parental care – especially motherly care. The discovery of the senses urges them to explore. It increases the drive for sense appeasement. They are extremely egocentric and have a short attention span. They enjoy the attention of adults and like to imitate their gestures. Already at this stage the learning of values begins by looking and imitating others. An environment of love and concern helps initiate the self-confidence that will be an asset for the child’s future life.
Infants like:
  • attention
  • happy faces
  • being touched
  • touching things
  • being talked to or being sung to
  • plenty of action
  • pictures, bright colours
  • animals, short stories
  • pleasant surprises
  • hearing curious noises
  • babbling

Infants don't like:
  • abstract conceptual talk
  • lengthy bouts of just anything
  • being made to sit still
  • being fussed over to the point of unpleasantness

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WHEN USING...

RAPPORT:
  • Care - especially motherly care is absolutely essential.
  • Play with the child.
  • Create enthusiasm for discovery.
RELIGION:
  • Inculcate a sense of respect for others.
  • The basic values in life are learnt by the child, not by practice but by imitation. The quality of the educator's / parents' life and example are most important.
  • They need to recognize the good from the not-so-good. At this stage incentives do help in the form of rewards for good behaviour (But the incentives given need not always be in the form of material gifts. Even an outing to seashore or a 'star of honour' could be an adequate reward.)
  • Prayer must be short, simple and concrete. It must be addressed to God represented in some visual form.
REASON:
  • Encourage the sense of discovery by providing various opportunities.
  • Correction is required. Firmness conveyed by the tone of voice will help (rather than harshness or physical force.)
  • Reasoning should be minimum. At this stage the child obeys decisive unambiguous signs of approval or disapproval from elders.

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