The power of silence for preschoolers
As social beings, we do rely on one another for interaction to survive. The amount of interaction required may differ from person to person and personality to personality but no one can do completely without it. Interaction can come in many forms but most of the time, our interaction takes the form of verbal communications. Even for infants and toddlers who may not be able to articulate words properly, they still communicate verbally through sounds. You will also definitely realise a preschooler is around you as they make their presence known very well through verbal means. Verbal communication is two-way. As one person speaks, the other person needs to listen. While there is focus in ensuring that parents and teachers prepare young toddlers and preschoolers to speak well, an equal amount of focus should also be placed on ensuring that they listen well.
Listening well is not only about being able to listen to the verbal commands, understand and do as they have been told. Using our sense of hearing is part of a sensorial experience for infants and toddlers and therefore, the variety of sounds that they are exposed to should be considered. In a bustling city state like ours, it’s often that the sounds they will hear most of the time are of people talking, the television switched on and of vehicles moving around. However, if we slow our pace and listen in further, we will be able to hear other things. The sound of the clock ticking, the birds outside chirping, even the insects buzzing around. As we move from the concrete jungle into the nature parks that we have, the types of sounds they will hear will then be different. It could be the leaves swishing, the water trickling or the sound of the wind. Give preschoolers a chance to just stand or sit, do nothing (close their eyes) and listen to the sounds that they may hear in various environment settings. What do these sounds tell them and how do they feel when they hear them?
Studies have also shown that listening purposefully to sounds from nature positively impacts our well being. It also helps us better appreciate what our planet Earth and the natural ecosystems in it are able to provide us. As we cut down these natural ecosystems to build our homes, hearing these sounds of nature becomes more and more difficult. In view of conservation of our planet, a group of people have come together to build a non-profit webpage (earth.fm) that has put together various natural soundscapes from around the world to remind us of the beauty of Mother Earth and the necessity for us to take care of it. So apart from going to the nature parks within Singapore or in other countries when we visit, we can also consider letting infants and preschoolers listen to the sounds found in this web page.
Listening also has another aspect in that being able to listen well to other people’s thoughts and feelings is a way of connecting to the person too. It can come in the form of a group setting where children are in a discussion. The willingness to listen to them is a form of respect for the person where you are accepting of this output of thoughts and ideas from him or her. It could also come in the form of just talking to one person. Listening well to this one person shows our genuine concern for the person and the other party will be able to feel it as you express that you would want to hear more about what they have to say - what is happening with them and their lives. As parents, teachers and adults around toddlers and preschoolers do that and show that they are willing to listen to them, they too learn the importance of listening as a form of connection between people.
With listening comes silence, as one must first be silent to be listening to another person speak. Improving on toddlers and preschoolers’ listening skills gives them the chance to question how comfortable one can be with silence and how these quiet pauses in the soundscape can be part of our daily life. Current research has discovered that having a dose of silence a day is vital in the development of having originality and coming up with creative ideas. But most of the time, we can be very uncomfortable with silence and we try to break that by having small chit chats or switching the music on. So being able to be comfortable with silence is actually an aspect to be explored with preschoolers too.
Having time to be silent allows for children to think within and think deep. It’s a time for reflection and a time to slow down. This period of silence should be one that is relaxing and not forced or uncomfortable. This is so that in turn, they can use silence as a tool. Learning how to use silence as a means to feel relaxed is a good tool to have as toddlers and preschoolers develop in this current time and age where there’s a lot of stress for children growing up. There are various ways to do so.
For older preschoolers, it can be done with simple yoga moves as a group but no conversation or interaction is happening as they concentrate on themselves and stay in a particular position for a period of time. The crux to doing yoga in a group is that it’s not a competition on who can do better but to look within and do what our bodies can achieve. For younger toddlers and preschoolers, perhaps it is better for it to be done alone so that they can concentrate on themselves better. It can come in the form of a period of time where the toddler or preschooler is left alone while the adult is supervising from afar. Therefore, the toddler and preschooler can be just themselves without the direction from adults.
Our infant care at Tampines have over 10 years of experience in caring for your beloved infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. Check out our Tampines infant care’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ infants have received at Nurture Infant House.
Check out our infant care Tampines’s gallery for photos taken during activities.
If you are looking for good infant care in Tampines or preschool in Tampines or childcare in Tampines central, do consider Nurture Infant House.
Located beside our Tampines infant care is our Genesis Childcare 1989.
Boasting over 30 years of specialized experience, we have nurtured thousands of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers so if you are looking for childcare in Tampines to start your little ones in life, why not start your search by registering with us for a complimentary guided tour?
Lastly, would you like to visit our Nurture Infant House to find out more about our environment and setup as well as understand our operations by talking to our teachers and supervisor?
Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)
Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293