American Authority on Early Education, Author, Pre-school Administrator
Added man-made failure really hurts young children [under six]. No one has to contrive lessons for these youngsters so that they will learn how to lose—they are losers too much of the time. No one has to put them in their place—they know all too well in their hearts the little place they are in. No one has to cut them down to size—their size is painfully small. At this stage in their development we are wise to stay away from competition, from games and races and contests with winners and losers. It matters too much to each child to come in first—they cannot stand the risk of competition.
Play for young children is not recreation activity,... It is not leisure-time activity nor escape activity.... Play is thinking time for young children. It is language time. Problem-solving time. It is memory time, planning time, investigating time. It is organization-of-ideas time, when the young child uses his mind and body and his social skills and all his powers in response to the stimuli he has met.
Children learn to care by experiencing good care. They come to know the blessings of gentleness, or sympathy, of patience and kindness, of support and backing first through the way in which they themselves are treated.
Every day care center, whether it knows it or not, is a school. The choice is never between custodial care and education. The choice is between unplanned and planned education, between conscious and unconscious education,
Building a conscience is what discipline is all about. The goal is for a youngster to end up believing in decency, and acting—whether anyone is watching or not—in helpful and kind and generous, thoughtful ways.