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Educator says it is important to accept children as they are

February 3, 2019

Last in a series

FLORENCE, S.C. – For the last month of the Count 5 campaign, The School Foundation and Florence One Schools are focusing on love.

Susan Knight, a parent facilitator at The Child Development Center at Woods Road, said love is truly accepting a child.

“I think a child needs love for every aspect of their life, but especially for growth and development, because love makes them feel comfortable and makes them trust us,” Knight said.

Loving a child unconditionally also means understanding that a child has good and bad days and showing them love despite their bad days.

“I think true love toward a child is accepting that they aren’t always going to have good days, they’re not going to be perfect, they’re learning at their own pace and we must be accepting of them where they are,” Knight said.

Knight said adults also have bad days, and they must not place unreachable expectations on their children by not accepting that they have bad days.

A Briggs Elementary School teacher assistant, Jennifer Danford, said adults need to get down on a child’s level and show them love.

Danford said love can be shown toward a child with quality time, physical touch, gifts, words of affirmation and acts of service, which are ideas she found in a book titled “The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman.

Using these five ideas, Danford said parents and adults can do something with the child that they enjoy doing, writing kind notes to put in their lunch boxes or planning special one-on-one time with the child.

Danford also said parents can get down on eye-to-eye level when talking with a child so they are not towering over him or her, which helps the child not feel intimidated.

“Love is a choice,” Danford said. “We choose to love who we love. We make the choice, and I think any good parent is going to love their child no matter what.”

Kristi Gore , a preschool teacher at the Child Development Center at Woods Road said love is one of the most important of the Count 5! topics because it lays the foundation for the child.

“It shows the children they can be open and they can be free in the classroom,” Gore said. “It shows them respect.”

Gore said children who do not receive love tend to crave more love or act out. She said they require more hugs and need more attention and sometimes will throw a toy or act out with attention-seeking behavior.

When children act out, Gore said, she tries to show them a positive redirection, such as teaching them to ask for a hug or a high five.

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