Q: How should we observe the Week of the Young Child?
A: To observe the Week of the Young Child, focus on the joys, comforts, and growth of young children in your community and beyond.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Week of the Young Child, observed April 2-8, is “a time to recognize that children's opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at childcare, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.” Recognizing that this is a difficult time for many children as they experience the traumas associated with war, separation, disruption, and displacement can guide planned activities.
Comfort and empathy should lead the way, now more than ever. WKAR Family and PBS LearningMedia along with Sesame Street in Communities and the Fred Rogers Company offer many multimedia content resources to support the social emotional development of young children. When times are difficult, helping children express their emotions by naming them and talking about them is an effective strategy for compassion.
Aim to provide a place where children are not alone in their feelings. This can be done by watching videos and reading stories of other children dealing with similar experiences or helping children to help others by writing letters and making art. Children need opportunities to discuss current events. This encourages them to release worry and concerns weighing heavy from all that’s happening in the world. Remember to avoid trying to ‘fix’ their emotions. Instead, value their voice and strive to be a listener.