MMS News October, 2011


Wed. 10/5- Open House for prospective families.  We could always use more in-house families at these events.  You can get WORK HOURS for this time!

Fri. 10/7 School closes early:  MMS closes at noon due to Yom Kippur.

Mon. 10/10-School Closed: Columbus Day.

Wed. 10/12-School closes early: MMS closes at 4pm due to Sukkot.

Thurs. and Fri.-10/13 & 10/14-School Closed: Sukkot

Mon. 10/17- In-House trip for M/W/F, South and West classes. (PM your trip is on 11/2/11, Toddlers, your trip will be in January)  The Nature Company will joining us with live animals.

Wed. 10/19-MMS closes early at 5:30 due to Shemini Atzeret.

Thurs. & Fri.-MMS closed due to above and Simchat Torah

Sunday 10/23-Fall Fair!  11am-4pm.  Games, raffle, face painting,  Invite your friends, family, neighbors and people you pass on the street!  There is a sign up board near the elevator where you can indicate what you will bring and what booth you will work!

Book Recommendation

I have been perusing the book, “Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Age Five,” by John Medina.  I have excerpted some of the introduction here.  I highly suggest your checking this book out!

Brain Rules


Babies develop an active mental life in the womb

Stressed Mom, stressed baby

Eat right, stay fit, gets lots of pedicures


Smart baby

The brain cares about survival before learning

Intelligence is more than IQ

Face time, not screen time

Safe baby, smart baby

Praise effort, not IQ

Emotions not emoticon


Happy Baby

Babies are born with their own temperament

Empathy makes good friends

The brain craves community

Labeling emotions calms big feelings


I am finding this book extremely eye opening.  I recommend it to everyone.  It’s a fast read too!



Developmental Article of the Month
by Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro
Dr. Silvana  Quattrocchi Montanaro graduated from the University of Rome with a degree in Medicine and Surgery, specializing in Psychiatry. She currently directs the Assistants to Infancy  Training courses in Rome, Italy, Denver, Colorado, and in London, England.
Dr. Montanaro’s philosophical outlook on separation as part of the life cycle of the child under three provides a predictive structure which will  aid  parents  in  understanding different  phases  of  growth  and independence.
Life is a continuum  of natural  ”separations” and “attachments” – attachments being generally regarded as positive while separations are not. Natural separations and attachments are those that happen at the right time and with the right help. It is important to understand that both realities are part of the process of development and that  we need both in order to continue to grow.  Entering a relationship and changing it as many times as necessary to continue our personal evolution is crucial, especially in the first years of life. This is also true later in life. It must be clear that when we leave something it is to gain more, to have more opportunities. Separation opens new and larger experiences which will certainly enrich our lives. “Each separation is a gate through which we can reach a wider level of experiences and relationship.”  The way in which we are helped to confront separations is what really counts. If we can perceive the  value of separation  (and are  ready  to separate) then we can help children deal with this situation and trans­form it to a process that enhances trust and security in life.
There  are many separations which occur prior to the age of three. Some of the major ones are:  Conception,which happens with the separation of the ovum leaving the follicle and of the sperm leaving the male. When the ovum and sperm meet and become a new reality, a zygote, we have the beginning of a new·human being.The zygote must reach the uterus and attach to it to receive shelter  and food. This special cell produces the many cells of the morula and the separation of these cells produces three layers that are the beginning of the embryo. The fetus comes later and its attachment to the womb through the placenta continue but will eventually separate at the moment of birth.  Birth is a clear example of a positive separation. Even if the fetus must leave what has been for many months its safe environment in the mother’s body, the loss of this environment is more than compen­sated for by the much wider range of experiences; all the senses will receive great stimulation due to the direct interaction of the child with the mother. The skin-to-skin relationship with the mother and other persons, the new way of receiving food through the mouth, the spoken language  and the freedom of movement in space are  such positive changes that  in only three  months the  brain’s cells are  enabled to increase  their  connections enormously. The new attachment to the mother is done with her arms and breast and it is certainly a better one if compared with the umbilical cord and placenta. Weaning, which requires a separation from the breast but will bring to the child, all the food of the world in a new way. There is growth in independence and an important change in the relationship of the child with the environment because not only is it possible to eat many foods, but this can be done with others. Social life enriches the child’s experi­ences, which continue to expand.  Crawling,  which develops from slithering, producing an important physical and psychological separation from the mother while the explo­ration  of the  environment  increases. With more exploration  more knowledge is also available. This movement in space is pushed  by curiosity and interest in the external world and when it is not allowed, the child is deprived of the greatest help of this age for continuing on the road of self-realization and independence.  It is the moment in which the attachment shifts from the mother towards·the world.  Walking,  which brings more separation,  but also the  potential to explore and master the environment in an upright position, with greater possibility for use of hands. It is now possible to use and transform the world. Participation in all activities of practical life is possible and the new experiences bring with them more independence from adults and a new social status  for the child who becomes a “collaborator.” When properly helped (meaning the possibility of real work) the child will develop a feeling of belonging toward the environment that is needed for living happily and constructively in the world. He or she will become ready to acquire the cultural skills that require self-control and skillful use of the hands.  In order that the passage through these successive “gates” can be accomplished with ease, the child must be prepared to deal successfully with the next level of options, otherwise only the negative aspects will prevail as the adaptation to the new condition is painful and the previous one can seem preferable.
For the  human  being, development, is not possible in isolation. The developing child needs a human mediator (mother/caregiver) to aid his or her passage to an environment of wider scope. It is the role of the mediator to be attentive to the needs of the moment. With each passage to a wider environment it is very possible for things to go wrong. It is possible that  the  mediator can be overly responsive (not allowing the child to express his or her needs) or not responsive enough (not under­ standing the  uniqueness of each  human  being).  Lack of appropriate responses to the child’s expressed needs can have far reaching ramifica­tions and impede the desire  to progress.
We must consider that sometimes it is the adults who are not ready to enlarge the physical  and  psychological  space  between  the  child and themselves.We limit the natural separation of children and we think we do it because  we are  protecting them.  But the adults, when they are really mediators, must be present and try to understand the need of the moment, giving only the minimum answer. This shows that we are there ready to help but not to substitute.
Children come into life with such great potential and they grow so fast in  the  first  years after  birth, that  adults  find  it  difficult  to  adjust continually to the  new person  in front  of them. Considering only the first twelve months, we are confronted by at least four different human beings: a newborn, a weaning  child, a crawling  child, and  finally  a walking child. The needs of children in these four levels of development are so different that it is only possible to respond properly if we study the  process  of human  growth. In addition,  the small size of children’s bodies makes  us think  erroneously that  they  are  also small  in their understanding and capacities.  Natural separation can also be very helpful when small children must enter an Infant Community. To adjust successfully they need to possess “basic trust” in the environment – to feel secure  that  when they ask their needs will be satisfied. That  basic trust is acquired  through the intelligent and dedicated work of the mother and should be present from the  third  month  of life. When there is trust  in the  external  world, changes are always received as possibly good and the child can accept and take the best that different environments can offer. These children are  not “tied” too strongly to their  own environment and are  always able to look at different places with interest and curiosity and move in them  with self-confidence. As they  continue to grow, the entire world will become  their  environment, and  they  will feel free  to move in it because they bring inside of themselves the positive model of a separation: a gate  through which it is possible to reach more experiences and relationships.
Food for thought……Enjoy!