The First Separation

The first separation is the first –big or small- step that the child makes on its own. It can often be painful, not that much for the child but mainly for its parents.

It is about the concern, the uncertainty and the redefinition of the family’s balance- this one which it was really hard to find- that can be reflected in a mother’s look and expression when she crosses the doorstep of the kindergarten.

When the first two years pass by, the child’s needs become more complex. The child can no longer gain satisfaction just from his close family environment. It is time to open his wings and fly into new neighborhoods, to gather experience, to get stimulus, to join a new team and to make friends. This is when the child can experiment in parallel play and learn how to start the collaborative play.

The area of the kindergarten has to satisfy the child’s needs and to support it by unfolding his healthy and autonomous personality. This is the reason why a kindergarten should be well organized with a child centered philosophy and perspective. It is the place where the child will firstly get to know the concept of being a part of a team, being accepted from this team, becoming responsible, and learning how to claim what it wants and acquire self-confidence. The gravity of socio emotional development especially at the age between 2 and 6 years old should be the primary objective of the pre-school education.

The kindergarten does not provide the knowledge, as most of the parents define the term and actually, the child’s cognitive development should not be their basic goal. Through the kindergarten, the child’s inclination, peculiarities, strong and weak parts of its character can be distinguished and finally, the child can be supported by encouraging its autonomy and by strengthening its self esteem.

The singularity of the two-year old personality’s evolvement remains unique even after joining the kindergarten but at the same time the personal pronoun “I” converts into “us”, the phrase “I demand” into “I claim” and finally the phrase “I want to” into “ I desire”. The exclusivity offered generously in every home and the unconditional satisfaction of the wishes is getting lost. However, the part of the socialization gains ground by locking out the part of maturity that will set the basis for a further balanced development with difficult challenges and demands.

The parents, as the role models of their child, have to support this road of independence. They have to realize, to believe and especially to accept the fact that not only does the child grow up but so do the needs.

So, we have to handle with the target redefinition and a two years old child. The group inclusion, the feeling of belonging, trusting, sharing and enjoying every big or small step are priceless values. These values get acquired when the child starts to evolve, to become more receptive and ready to be separated. Now is the time.

Anna Raftopoulou

Published at www.k-­‐, April 2013