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Recommended Articles


"Annoying but Age-Appropriate:
Coping With Preschool Behavior"
by Robyn Des Roches
Washington Parent Magazine
February 2011

For several months last year, my neighbor waged daily battle with her 3 ½-year-old daughter. First, the preschooler rejected the outfits her mom picked out, then she wouldn’t wear her coat, and finally she resisted getting dressed at all. Infuriated and concerned, my neighbor sought the advice of a pediatrician. “I have good news and bad news,” he said. “You have a perfectly normal child.” He added that he’d be more worried to hear that a 3 ½-year-old was not insisting on dressing herself—or that she did not interrupt, occasionally act bossy, refuse to share toys or engage in a range of other irritating but totally predictable preschool-age behaviors.  Read more

"Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum"
by Hilary Stout

 The New York Times
January 5, 2011

SARAH WILSON was speaking proudly the other day when she declared: “My house is a little messy.”

Ms. Wilson lives in Stroudsburg, Pa., a small town in the Poconos. Many days, her home is strewn with dress-up clothes, art supplies and other artifacts from playtime with her two small children, Benjamin, 6, and Laura, 3. “I let them get it messy because that’s what it’s here for,” she said.

Ms. Wilson has embraced a growing movement to restore the sometimes-untidy business of play to the lives of children. Her interest was piqued when she toured her local elementary school last year, a few months before Benjamin was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks.  Read more

"Want to get your kids into college? Let them play"
by Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis
December 29, 2010
Every day where we work, we see our young students struggling with the transition from home to school. They're all wonderful kids, but some can't share easily or listen in a group.

Some have impulse control problems and have trouble keeping their hands to themselves; others don't always see that actions have consequences; a few suffer terribly from separation anxiety.

We're not talking about preschool children. These are Harvard undergraduate students whom we teach and advise. They all know how to work, but some of them haven't learned how to play.  Read more

"Fighting Bullying With Babies"
by David Bornstein
November 8, 2010

Imagine there was a cure for meanness. Well, maybe there is.

Lately, the issue of bullying has been in the news, sparked by the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a gay college student who was a victim of cyber-bullying, and by a widely circulated New York Times article that focused on “mean girl” bullying in kindergarten. The federal government has identified bullying as a national problem. In August, it organized the first-ever “Bullying Prevention Summit,” and it is now rolling out an anti-bullying campaign aimed at 5- to 8-year old children. This past month the Department of Education released a guidance letter to schools, colleges and universities to take bullying seriously, or face potential legal consequences.

The typical institutional response to bullying is to get tough. In the Tyler Clementi case, prosecutors are considering bringing hate-crime charges. But programs like the one I want to discuss today show the potential of augmenting our innate impulses to care for one another instead of just falling back on punishment as a deterrent. And what’s the secret formula? A baby.  Read more

"The playtime's the thing"
by Emma Brown
The Washington Post
November 21, 2009
On a recent Thursday, 5-year-old Estefani Lovo Rivera took charge of a make-believe hair salon in her preschool classroom at Oakridge Elementary in Arlington County. Wielding a plastic fork as a hairbrush, dispatching customer after customer with a certain cool efficiency, she looked around the room for more classmates to entice.

"You have to come today," the budding stylist said. "Tomorrow we're closed!"

To the untrained eye, such play appears to be nothing more than a distraction from the real letters-and-numbers work of school. But research shows that it might be an essential part in determining these children's social and emotional makeup as adults.  Read more



RPCNS has been an amazing first school experience for both my child and me. I love getting to watch her learn and grow and know that I am part of that process, too.
    ~ Parent


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