In accordance with the FLIP Method, a child's primary educators are those upon whom a child relies for food, comfort, and protection, with the intention of establishing a healthy long-term relationship. By FLIP Method standards, parents possess the credibility of being Early Childhood Educators by default, as they are a child's first and most influential instructors. It is within the parent-child dynamic that the true power lies to effect profound developmental strides.
In the realm of daycare and formal schooling, Early Childhood Educators play a complementary role. Do advanced degrees in Children's Psychology or direct care-giving observation qualify one to create effective tools for child rearing? The answer is a resounding no. The provision of child care is not a prerequisite for imparting valuable insights or writing books on effective child rearing strategies, just as it is not a necessity for becoming a Pediatrician.
Many authors of children's books, designed to educate parents on optimal child-rearing practices, may not have been caregivers themselves. It is essential to delineate the term "provided care" from mere observation sessions or volunteer commitments, often required when pursuing degrees in child-related fields.
While pursuing degrees like a Master's in Children's Psychology, individuals may be expected to fulfill observation or volunteer hours in licensed facilities where children are indeed being provided care. However, the key distinction lies in how the child perceives the adult involved. During observation sessions, the observer's interaction with the child can vary, from passive observation to hands-on involvement. In any case, the child does not typically view the observer as their primary source of food, comfort, and protection—those who truly provide care. This differentiation is paramount.
Take a moment to pause and let this concept sink in. From a child's perspective, I introduce one of the fundamental principles of the FLIP Method: seeing the world through a child’s intuition. While this perspective is not novel, the application within the FLIP Method is unique and can offer solutions to many challenges in child rearing. However, these solutions become accessible only when the child has entrusted you with the key to their world by recognizing you as their primary caregiver.
When children of PreK age are left at daycare or school, they temporarily assign the role of "provided care" to someone else, as their primary caregivers (their parents) are absent. Subconsciously, children choose who will hold this role, depending on the individual's historical involvement in meeting their basic needs. When the primary caregiver returns, the hierarchy is reinstated. Occasionally, two adults in a school environment may equally earn the trust as key holders.
It is crucial to understand that the key holder is the only individual with whom the child reveals their true self and tests boundaries. Therefore, this is the moment when specific tools are indispensable. These tools are designed to guide the child while respecting their autonomy, promoting growth, and providing opportunities for learning. The FLIP Method encompasses a specialized set of tools to achieve this delicate balance.
If you are interested in obtaining a tailored plan for your child or children in your program, I encourage you to consider signing up for a one-on-one session, or next seminar.