The Parenting Center (one of the first in New York City) is a separate program at Central Synagogue. It was initiated more than 25 years ago and continues to flourish today, meeting the needs of many families with young children.
Share fears, fantasies and feelings that accompany the parenting of a young child who is just beginning to develop a clear sense of self. Life is rewarding and challenging, but sometimes can be frustrating for both parent and child.
It is well known that what happens in a child’s early years makes a significant difference in later life. It is important to share experiences and learn the skills needed to raise happy, confident children who are in control of their lives while parents stay in control as well. In order to accomplish this goal, we must first fully understand the particular age range and development that occurs within this group. It is recognized that each child is an individual with his or her developmental path, temperament and style. No two children are alike. No two families are alike. Each parent-child relationship is unique. Each family develops skills to suit their own style leading to greater satisfaction with life.
The expertise of the staff and the facilitator, encourages enthusiastic participation by both parent and child. Children expanding their world in a safe, inviting and cheerful environment are introduced to blocks, puzzles, art materials, music and movement. Two adjoining rooms allow for easy access and observation for both parent and child, reflecting the emotional developmental task for children in this age range–which is separation and individuation. Children develop feelings of self worth, independence and the ability to feel and express warmth.
Meanwhile, parents gain confidence through weekly support, guidance and information about the child-rearing process and develop new skills that help to make life just a little better. Parent and child also experience the fun of Jewish tradition and culture through the celebration of major Jewish Holidays.
This new program, “Two by Two: Today’s Toddlers”, is offered as part of our Parenting Center classes and is designed to initiate the child into a modified classroom setting. By attending twice a week, children internalize routines more quickly, transfer trust from parent to three experienced early childhood teachers more readily and become more independent. This is achieved by offering structured and unstructured activities: i.e. free play, cooking, art projects, Jewish Holiday rituals, Shabbat, circle time, outdoor time, and enrichment with the Music and Movement teachers. The goal of the class is to lead to separation, as children are ready; a parent or caregiver is expected to remain in the adjacent parent room until separation has solidified. The parent and parent-educator discussion hour will take place on Tuesday through December; in January the discussion is once a month.
This group is for the toddler and reflects the Parenting Center’s philosophy that the development of the parent, as well as the child, is important to the family’s contentment and stability. Our focus is in the best interest of the parent-child relationship and is developmentally age-appropriate for children of this age.
Taking care of children is an exciting and challenging responsibility. Caregivers take care of our most precious possessions, our children. This program is designed for caregivers AND THE CHILDREN IN THEIR CARE. In this multi-age group (infants through toddlers up to ages thirty two months), the children experience a wide range of activities and learn by playing with puzzles, manipulatives, art materials, music, listening to stories, finger plays and other activities that expand their play and their minds.
As caregivers are vital to the fabric and functioning of the modern American family today, we are very pleased to offer this very important and unique program at our school. While children are at play with the Parenting Center Team of teachers, the Caregivers have the opportunity to discuss child development and other childcare issues in a supportive, professional and encouraging group atmosphere, with a facilitator. Discussions include topics such as self esteem, setting limits, health, nutrition, safety, understanding the rituals of Jewish holidays and ideas for having fun with children at home and on play dates.
This program provides an opportunity to open up the lines of communication between caregivers and the families they work with, by providing communication skills training. The Parent Orientation meeting, as well as opportunities for parents to join us in class (for a Chanukah Party, and a Parent-Child-Caregiver Lunch in the Spring) are part of the program.
Thank you for your interest in Toldot (Central Synagogue’s Parenting Center). Applications must be received no later than March 15, 2013. Acceptance into the program is based upon the number of available spaces needed to fill a class based on age and gender balance. Priority is given to sibling families and current Synagogue members. Families currently enrolled in the Parenting Center need to reapply for admission, but do not have to pay another application fee. There are no parent tours or children visits for this program. Notification of acceptance will be mailed by April 8, 2013. Contracts with deposits are due no later than April 25, 2013. Interest is keen for our Jewish Parenting Center classes and we encourage that applications be returned shortly after you receive them.
Please be advised that participation in our Parenting Center classes does not assure you a spot in Central Synagogue’s May Family Nursery School and therefore should not be a motivating factor in applying to the Parenting Center.