When it comes to the moment when a child grows up and starts to evolve, the need to escape from the close family environment is a fact which signals to new anxieties, concerns and parental quests.
There are obviously many choices but the decision concerns to open minds. The first separation should be mild, effortless and mark the continuity of an intimate family environment, in which the child will be gradually able to integrate and to make the first steps of his socialization happily, in a non-stressful manner and with the unique aim to learn through the game.
Every age has its own needs and every step, despite its significance, should be done correctly, on time and corresponding to the needs of this age.
Looking for the place that will host our child is purely a subjective choice. The objective criteria, though, cannot be ignored as they are real, pedagogically documented and unquestionable. Are there many parents who are aware of them? Do they really take them into account? Or do they act impulsively, influenced by the social needs and whatever this entails?
The child’s evolution should be gradual and every stage that it is experienced should be unique, corresponding to the age and the needs so that every child will be able to make the next step at his own pace. The environment that will accommodate these steps – even the next ones until the age of integration into the elementary school – should be fully adapted to the age and the needs of the child. It should represent, as far as possible, in a larger scale, the home environment which is warm and familiar. In this way, every child’s personality can be prepared carefully and in a personalized approach for the difficult moments that will come along; the vast buildings including countless students, the impersonal environment and a place where the child will be just a name among others. The child will be able to stand in this new environment, to feel balance and happiness and to respond to the new facts and challenges only by having passed through the previous stage. This stage includes the proper preparation and the building of a confident personality.
It is no coincidence that compulsory education starts at the age of six in most European countries. In some countries whose education system is excelled, (e.g. Sweden) education starts at the age of 7. All the previous years include the stages of preparation and of emotional maturity which is not occurred abruptly and violently but gradually. In Greece compulsory education has been established quite recently and it starts with the age of 5. In this time, the child is still building its personality, it has difficulties in the adaption to a rigid system, it is looking for its own autonomy for the definition and the comprehension of itself, and it finally invests in self-confidence among coevals. These important and evolutionary stages can be experienced properly and effectively in an environment that is designed for this aim. This environment is set up to satisfy specific needs, staffed with the right people; with experience, knowledge, sensibility and mainly staffed with a team that has a strong bonding and it is an extension of family –not only in the eyes of a child.
Personality is essentially built from the age of 2.5 to 6 years – that is why these years are so crucial. If the personalized approach, the gradual development and the adaptation to the facts of each age is non-existent, we lose a large part of substantial work with the child. Maybe, we have gained other things which refer to needs and the appearance of another generation with different representations and concerns.
In this day and age, parents aim or should aim to raise their children according to the modern educational standards and draw their attention to the substance rather than wrapping. According to these standards every age has its own joys and each child has to experience its evolution in the environment that corresponds to its actual age. This is also the concept of separation: Nursery and Kindergarten, Primary School, High School, Lyceum.
Our children will grow up no matter what. The fact is to grow up and mature at their own pace and not at the pace that we will impose on them.
We enjoy the growth of our children step by step and this is how our children acquire an effortless and natural evolution.
These thoughts have arisen from the reflection I experience on a daily basis from parents. Their anxieties concern the progress of their children, their school choices and the stress of making the best choice.
I dedicate to them something common but also true:
“You only live once and the tomorrow arrives faster than you imagine. Live for the moment and do not hurry to see your child grow up and become independent. Look out to offer the right conditions for its independence at the right time. Full of love – Anna Raftopoulou”
Published at www.k-mag.gr, April 2014