What's Informing Our Thinking

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Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, published by Harper Studio in 2010, continues to inform our thinking in our early childhood and school-age programs.  The book synthesizes an array of solid research on child development and learning into a user-friendly framework for parents and childcare providers (including educators, pediatricians, etc.) to help children develop into happy, thriving adults. The book identifies the essential life skills, also called executive function skills, that every child needs to succeed in school and in life.  

The author offers practical suggestions for helping children attain these skills through games, conversation and everyday life opportunities, and affirms  that these skills are important not only for children, “We as adults need them just as much as children do. And, in fact, we have to practice them ourselves to promote them in our children. That’s why I call them life skills. We don’t need expensive programs, materials, or equipment to promote these skills. We can promote them in everyday ways through the everyday fun things we do with children. It is never too late to help children learn these life skills, no matter what their ages.”