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Lap Sitters

  • 1.  Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-09-2018 01:28 PM
    We have had a parent bring up concerns about her 4 year old daughter sitting In our laps.  She is worried that her daughter is becoming too attached to us and will have a hard time transitioning into kindergarten. Granted it is only October right now.  She has suggested setting limits with lap sitting. We feel she is not sitting in our laps any more than anyone else and it does not affect our ability to run the classroom.  This child is in her second year of our program. When she came a year ago she was very shy and hesitated to participate in any activities. We have seen her grow and blossom so much, and she has become comfortable with us.  We have no concerns about her progress and development at this time. How can we reassure mom that sitting on our laps and forming bonds with us is ok?

    Anne Yoder
    Waterford WI

  • 2.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-09-2018 02:21 PM
    In all honesty, I would tell her exactly what you typed - you understand her concern and know it's coming from a place of love, but in all honesty, she isn't overly attached and does not cling to you more than the average student. It can be hard to reassure a parent that their kid is doing okay, especially when they're so sure they're not. But it sounds like you and your co-teacher really have a handle on the situation. Remind mom how shy she was when she started, and tell her how she's blossomed in the year or two you've known her. Reassure mom that if she starts to become too clingy, you can reassess, but it's only natural and developmentally appropriate for children at that stage to form some bond to their caregivers. Best of luck!

    Olivia Schaffer
    Bright Horizons
    Atglen PA

  • 3.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-10-2018 07:23 AM
    Perhaps Mom's concern is actually about her child becoming attached to you instead of her, a bit of jealousy. As with all situations that arise from parent concern, we need to respect the parent wishes, even if we don't agree completely, as long as it does not harm the child. So perhaps having the child sit beside you would not only meet the child's need for security and closeness  but may also reassure the mom that she is the one her daughter most wants to be with. I think telling the mother about her progress is a great idea but I also think respecting the mothers wishes is extremely important.

    Diane Hendrick
    WCCC Campus Children's Center
    Latrobe PA

  • 4.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-10-2018 08:41 AM
    Hi everyone. My name  is Thelma T. Manston_Nimmo.
    Iam an early childhood minister and educator.

  • 5.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-10-2018 09:41 AM
    This is a tough place to be, between wanting what we see is best for the child and the parents wishes. Thanks for asking for input.
    Since the child started so shy, the relationship she has with  you is great to hear and will surely prove to be a stepping stone to trusting her Kindergarten teachers next year.  I believe finding a way to have the child comfortable in your lap and off is a transition step, being mindful that it doesn't lead to child feeling she is being pushed away.
    It's October now so plenty of time to help her move slowly and confidently toward less lap time by end off year, when she's ready.

    I see it as similar to helping young toddlers gain confidence to leave caregiver arms and explore.

    Eva V
    Trainer/ consultant
    Houston TX

  • 6.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-10-2018 11:16 AM
    I think it's important for both caregivers and parents to understand this from a healthy attachment perspective. The child is better positioned to gain developmental skills when she is exploring from a secure base.

    It's also important that the caregivers reassure the parent that her relationship with the child is forever-- whereas, the caregiver is with the child only a short time, relatively-speaking. The parent is #1 in the child's eyes!​


    Julie Ehle
    ECE Coordinator
    Mid Michigan Community College
    Harrison MI

  • 7.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-12-2018 09:12 AM

    Norma Estela Familia Viola
    Tecnica Docente Nacional
    Ministerio de Educacion
    santo domingo

  • 8.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-12-2018 09:52 AM
    It's very important for young children to form emotional bonds with their primary caregivers and this may include appropriate touching (e.g., hugs) or lap sitting. The physical closeness is part of the bonding process that children experience with an important adult in their life. At the same time, it's important to acknowledge and respond to the parents' wishes. In this case, the teachers could provide examples to the family showing their child working independently and engaging with other children in learning activities, especially if the parents' fear is that the child spends too much time with her teachers. The parents' perception of their child being overly attached to her teachers may not reflect the wide range of experiences the child has during the course of a typical day. The teachers can also counsel the family to let them know that transitions are always difficult for children and that they, along with the child's family, will work together when the time comes to support that child in her transition to kindergarten.

    Anthony Durborow
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Germantown MD

  • 9.  RE: Lap Sitters

    Posted 10-15-2018 01:15 PM
    ​She should not sit in your lap and if she does it should be for a very short time. At 4 she should sit with her friends creating bonds and communicating her needs while sharing language with others. I would tell mom that you understand her concern. I would respectively tell her that you will redirect child after you briefly console her.

                                                                                                                                                                 hope this helps,

    Lisa Magana
    Assistant Teacher
    Afro-American Parents Educational Centers
    Jamaica NY