Home and Family     Healthy Kids     Teen Health     Early Education     K-12    

Two words, many solutions



Focusing on “pre” and “and” can really help

Focusing on “pre” and “and” can really help


When I worked at a Mt. Tremper preschool from 2003 to 2007, I crossed paths with dozens of two-to-four-year olds. Some of these kids are still around, and I frequently cross paths with quite a few of them. They’re all in their late teens and early twenties now. I am continually surprised how they’ve changed, and more pointedly, how wrong I was about some of the difficult ones. I thought a few with impulse control issues were certainly headed for troubled teen years, but they’re fine. Some who had trouble making friends and seemed doomed to loneliness have in fact blossomed into social butterflies.

In her article on msn.com, writer Suzanne Zuckerman advises parents to be mindful of what I have learned: preschoolers are in their “pre-change” stage, meaning they are little works-in-progress. At the preschool we endeavored to help the aforementioned kids to no avail, but they figured things out on their own timetables. As Zuckerman pus it: “Children don’t change their behavior unless and until they are developmentally ready, or otherwise motivated, to do so. We can’t predict when or how exactly this will happen. We can’t always envision the event, friendship or new environment that will catalyze a change in our kids. But that doesn’t mean change isn’t coming.”

READ MORE: How to teach manners to the very young

The other word is “and.” It seems simple. Citing Dr. Robyn Koslowitz’s podcast Targeted Parenting she notes how two seemingly contradictory things can be true at the same time:

“Using ‘AND’ with our kids helps us convey our unshakable love and belief in them, even when it is necessary to demonstrate our disapproval of their actions.  For example I can say ‘you are a loving, gentle and kind person AND you need to learn we can’t ride on the dog. You are a hard-working, responsible student AND we need to come up with a system that helps you remember to turn in your homework. You are a loving sister AND you need to practice your tolerance skills.’

Koslowitz reminds us how language carries a lot of power, even simple words, and simple concepts. In the blur of Covid-era parenting, these can actually cut through the best.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Weeklong FAIR Film Festival 2022

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) Hosts a Film Screening Plus Q&A

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) will kick off the FAIR Film Festival 2022 with an in-person screening of the documentary film I Am A Victor plus a selection of short films on Sunday, June 12 at 1:00pm EDT at Caveat on the lower east side in Manhattan. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 Fun, Easy Ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • Take steps to support literacy

    8 ways to inspire children to read

    Reading is a foundation for learning, yet a vast gap exists in access to books for low-income neighborhoods. read more »
  • Sweeten up summer with a frozen, fruity snack

    Try these easy to make ice pops

    Heading to the freezer for a fruity ice pop can transport you from your own backyard to a tropical island, and the experience can be even more rewarding when the tasty treat is homemade. read more »
  • Clean. Drain. Dry. Every Time!

    Help keep invasive species out of our waters

    One of the most effective ways we can all help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species is by following proper procedures for cleaning, draining, and drying watercraft and equipment every time you leave the water. read more »
  • It pays to give

    5 ideas for investing in the world around you

    In a world fraught with social, political and environmental strife, a mindset that involves a more community-driven approach can make a meaningful difference. Each person’s contributions to improve the earth can send a ripple effect that ultimately transforms communities and the people who live within them. read more »
  • Special gifts to make dad smile

    6 great ideas for the man in your life

    Father’s Day brings a special opportunity each year to celebrate the dad in your life, whether it’s spent lighting a grill in the backyard, heading to the golf course or simply relaxing at home. read more »
  • Grocery store savings hacks

    7 tips to help you slash your bill

    As people continue to eat more meals at home, shoppers everywhere are feeling the pinch of increasing prices on nearly every item at the grocery store. read more »
  • Build friendship skills for back-to-school success

    Focus on your kids' social skills

    When thinking about back-to-school season, most people naturally think of academics. However, it’s just as important to focus on social and emotional skills. read more »
  • Protecting children in a digital age

    8 tips to help keep your kids safe online

    Keeping a watchful eye on your kids requires an increasing level of tech savvy many parents find intimidating. Not only are your kids vulnerable to bad actors online, but your family’s personal information could be at risk, as well. read more »