Annie’s daycare: Annie’s Children’s Center
Annie’s Daycare – Daycare in Germantown, MD
Licensed with the Office of Childcare Services, Maryland State Department of Education.
Family daycare is open year-round from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays.
Open on evenings and weekends to be scheduled in advance for an additional cost.
The program offers full and part-time care for children starting at six months to 12 years of age.
Practice play-based teaching philosophy with a hands-on approach to acquiring new skills.
Filled with age-appropriate, fun, educational toys, games books, and learning materials.
Provide for outdoor activities at our nearby community park (a minute s walk from daycare).
Activities offered include math, English, art, crafts, dance, music, games, good habits, basic science.
Annie’s Daycare is in Germantown, MD, in the Churchill Village South neighborhood. We are walking distance from the Germantown MARC Station, Germantown Library, and Germantown Bus Station.
Regd. No. 253885, Office of Child Care, Maryland State Dept of Education.
13647 Winterspoon Ln, Germantown, MD 20874
Early child development coursework
Early childhood education (ece)
First aid training
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
1 – 11 months
Contact this center for pricing
1 – 3 years
Contact this center for pricing
4 – 5 years
Contact this center for pricing
6 – 11 years
Contact this center for pricing
State license status:
Care. com verified on 06/03/2023
This business has satisfied MD’s requirements to be licensed. For the most up-to-date status and inspection reports, please view this provider’s profile on MD’s licensing website.
Licensing requirements typically include:
- Complying with safety and health inspections
- Achieving the required levels of educational training
- Maintaining a minimum caregiver-to-child ratio
- Other state-defined requirements
Annie’s Place — Mommies in Need
Do You Need Childcare To Attend A Medical Appointment?
Ways To Qualify For Complimentary Childcare:
Annie’s Place is a childcare center at Parkland Hospital meant primarily for children of patients. This program opened in the Fall of 2020 and has already helped hundreds of families!
We believe that families should never have to choose between taking care of their own health and having safe, loving, expert care for their children. Annie’s Place is a first-of-its-kind facility with specially trained teachers who care for children while their parents or family members are attending medical appointments.
Annie’s Place also provides backup childcare to first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
We are so happy that we have the opportunity to help you take care of your children during your Parkland clinic appointment. We lessen the stress of finding childcare so you can focus on your healthcare.
To sign up for free childcare at Annie’s Place, you will need:
An appointment at a participating Parkland Clinic
Familiarity with the Parent Handbook: English or Spanish
Completion of our Enrollment Application
Optional: Submission of the online Child Information Form so your child’s teacher can get to know your child a little better.
You are NOT fully enrolled until you have a time and date confirmed by phone or email. Once you are confirmed, the items below are required to complete your child’s file. Immunization records and Health Care Statements are required by your first appointment. If you need help with these requirements, please reach out to us at 214-266-8064.
Professional Health Care Statement: English or Spanish
If you are unable to submit the Professional Health Care Statement before your first appointment, you may submit a Verified Doctor Check in the meantime. It should be filled out by the parent or guardian. If you are unable to print a copy at home, please allow an extra 5 minutes at your first visit to fill out paperwork. Verified Doctor’s Check: English or Spanish
Your Doctor’s office can fax records to Annie’s Place at 214-266-8083 or you may bring hard copies with your child to their first appointment.
What To Expect After Enrollment
Once you have completed the enrollment form, we will call to confirm your details and appointment needs, plus complete a health check. We are not able to accept children that are sick. If anyone is ill, we will be happy to reschedule your childcare appointment.
When you arrive, please pull up to the front of the building and temporarily park there. We will take everyone’s temperature, confirm appointment time/pick-up time, emergency contact, and ask for any special instructions for the day.
There is no long-term parking at Annie’s Place, so you will need to drive to the parking facility for your clinic.
If your child requires a specific formula or prefers a certain type of bottle, please provide enough for the allotted time. We have freezers and refrigerators to store any breast milk if needed. Please LABEL EVERYTHING. Otherwise, if you have no specific needs, we have formula and bottles that we will provide for you.
A private room is available for mothers who wish to breastfeed their child at Annie’s Place. A foot stool and water are provided upon request.
Children are asked not to bring toys from home.
We will provide all food, diapers and supplies needed for the day. We suggest not bringing anything from home to reduce the chance of items getting lost.
We will provide up to two snacks and one meal, equal to half of their daily food needs. When and how long your child is in attendance will determine what food is offered. We will not serve any food identified on a child’s food allergy emergency plan.
Children are engaged in various activities during the day, some of which can be messy. Please make sure your child is dressed in comfortable clothing that can get dirty.
Once you are finished with your clinic appointment, we ask you to call or send us a message so we can prepare your children for pick up.
If for any reason you are admitted to the hospital or your appointment is running past your scheduled pick-up time, we will call your emergency contact to pick up your children.
If you have any questions, an Annie’s Place staff member will be happy to answer them:
214-266-8064 or [email protected]
Catch a Ride on the Moody Shuttle
Mommies In Need is pleased to announce that Annie’s Place Childcare Center will now be included in Parkland’s Moody Shuttle route. Patients will be able to ride the shuttle to and from Annie’s Place from the WISH Clinic, New Parkland Hospital, and Anderson Clinic.
Annie’s Place Back-up Weekend Care for Hospital Employees
Backup weekend childcare for all hospital employees of Parkland, Children’s Health, and UT Southwestern.
Annie’s Place FAQs
Appointments require either a referral from your care team at Parkland or you may apply on our website. Once you are referred or fill out an enrollment form, a staff member from Annie’s Place will contact you to schedule your children’s visits.
Annie’s Place provides a safe, nurturing and educational environment for children newborn to 6 years of age (with some exceptions for school-aged children).
Annie’s Place is a FREE service for when you have a doctor’s appointment scheduled. You must have an appointment on campus to make a reservation.
Annie’s Place is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, by appointment only. We also have an early bird and after care program if needed. Please call us at 214-266-8064 if you have an immediate need or would like to make an appointment.
Yes, we are!
Annie’s Place offers two programs at our center. The only differences between the two programs are the amount of time a child can attend and what documentation is required at the time of enrollment. Both programs follow the best policies and procedures set forth by the State of Texas and we follow their Minimum Standards for Childcare Centers. A copy of the Minimum Standards is available in the intake office or may be found at www.dfps.state.tx.us . The most recent licensing report is posted outside in the foyer.
The exempt program is able to offer patients of Parkland drop-in care for a maximum of 4 ½ per hours per day and no more than 15 hours a week. This program is ideal for parents and guardians not planning to leave the Parkland Hospital complex and needing childcare for a short amount of time for an appointment.
The second program is licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services This program is ideal if you need to leave your child for more than 4 ½ hours a day. You are also allowed to leave the campus if needed. We can offer this childcare for a maximum of 15 days a month per month. Your child’s immunization record, health statement, and vision and screening (age 4+) will need to be on file for you to participate in this program.
Both programs can operate at the same time, but your child will be assigned to one specific teacher and not share space with the other program.
Email: [email protected]
Please remember – childcare appointments at Annie’s Place require a referral from your care team. Please ask your doctor or nurse for more information about receiving free childcare services at Annie’s Place.
It is common for some children to exhibit separation anxiety when it is time for their parent to leave. This is normal behavior in a child’s emotional development. The longer the parent of an anxious child delays their departure, the more anxiety the child is likely to feel. We ask that you say your goodbye at the door and the teachers will comfort and assist the child through the anxious time. If a child continues to cry and cannot be consoled after a reasonable amount of time, we will call you. Our teachers have been specially trained to help comfort your child and we have a play therapist on staff who can help settle your child down if needed. Usually, after a few visits, the children learn that you will come back and that this is a fun time where they can play, learn and make friends.
It is the responsibility of anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to report it. Information on reporting is posted in the intake’s office in the document titled Keeping Children Safe. The Child Abuse Hotline number is 1-800-252-5400.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 8700 North Stemmons Freeway
75247 (214) 951-7902
The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center offers free training on their website at https://dcac.learnupon.com/store. Use discount code SAVEJANE for our Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse training and code GET EDUCATED for Keeping Your Child Safe in the Real and Digital World.
Yes, Mommies In Need is pleased to announce that Annie’s Place Childcare Center is included in Parkland’s Moody Shuttle route. Patients will be able to ride the shuttle to and from Annie’s Place from the WISH Clinic, New Parkland Hospital, and Anderson Clinic.
Annie’s Place Statistics
Annie’s Place at Parkland
2131 Butler Street
Dallas, TX 75235
“Annie” in Russian – Rossiyskaya gazeta
06. 02.2004 04:20
Share Donetsk orphanage plays herself in a Broadway musical
Katerina Pogontseva (Rostov region)
Tanya – Annie
Tanya Myagkova plays the main role in the musical. She, along with her brother, ended up in the Donetsk orphanage on March 1997 years old, he was 8 years old, she was 5. Their parents had tuberculosis, led an antisocial lifestyle, drank. Brother and sister rarely saw each other: the girl lived with her father and grandmother. Sasha traveled half the country with his mother, who was a wanderer. The boy did not have several teeth – the parent knocked them out when he asked her to eat.
Tanya was small for her years, with a sunken chest – the consequences of rickets. Both children did not know elementary things, did not know how to play with toys, were gloomy, their vocabulary consisted mainly of unprintable words.
– The Myagkovs were one of the first wards of our orphanage, – says Elena Razinkova, permanent director of the institution. – At that time, the building was divided into two wings, in one there was an orphanage, in the other – a kindergarten, and the playground in the yard was shared. We thought that our orphans, having communicated with the pupils of the kindergarten, would behave better, gain good manners from them, but it turned out the other way around. The orphans taught the kids such words and things that parents began to take their children from our kindergarten. And gradually the orphanage occupied the entire building.
Sasha never completely forgot his old life. He is still rather reserved and unsociable, like a little wolf cub.
But Tanyusha has changed beyond recognition in these six years and has become a well-mannered, educated, charming girl, with whom it is not shameful to appear in a decent society.
– Starting from the first grade, she studied diligently, and after school she took up singing, – says Razinkova.
The music worker of the orphanage immediately noticed Tanya’s sonorous voice. Later it turned out that Myagkova not only sings cleanly, but also has excellent artistic abilities, is very mobile and flexible.
The girl was shown at various amateur art competitions. At one of the regional reviews, a small star was noticed by two wealthy Rostovites. The couple had been married for almost 10 years, but they could not have offspring – they wanted to adopt Tanya. They began to come to visit her in Donetsk, and once they even took her to their place for the weekend in Rostov. It seemed that just a little bit more, and the cherished dream of every orphanage – to find a father and mother – would come true for Tanya. Unexpectedly, the adoptive parents called the director of the orphanage and said that they were not ready to accept a child with such a difficult past into their home.
– This news was a terrible blow for Tanya, – says Natalya Markova, deputy director for educational work. – She worried for a very long time, and then seemed to start up and went headlong into work.
Thankfully, two years ago, thanks to the initiative of the mayor of Donetsk, two departments of the art school were opened on the basis of the orphanage: theater and choral. Leading teachers of vocal and acting skills, choreography, and music began to come to the orphanage and study with everyone who wanted to, there was no shortage of them. The lessons of creativity moved to a qualitatively different level, and the result was not long in coming. Last year, two pupils of the orphanage Tanya Myagkova and Ira Gurduza took first place in the competition of creativity of children from orphanages “Constellation” in Pskov.
Ira and Anya
Ira also plays in the musical. She is the oldest of the young actresses and therefore the most difficult for her. At the age of 14, she is forced to play an eleven-year-old.
Ira has been in the orphanage for three years already. Her father divorced her mother and moved to Ukraine, her mother began to wander. For some time, Ira and her sister were raised by their grandmother, but then she died, and the girls were completely orphaned.
The family of another participant in the musical, Anya Provotorova, had four children. At first, they lived no worse than others, and then difficult economic times began in the country. The keeper of the hearth, the holder of a diploma of higher education, found herself without a job (it is worth explaining that Donetsk, Rostov Region, is a small mining town). On this basis, her psyche was upset, she ceased to be adequate and could no longer provide her children with a normal existence. Then his father died, and the younger Provotorovs, Anya and her sister Nastya, ended up in an orphanage. The older brother got married and took the middle brother with him.
Rostov women were received very well in Moscow. Placed in a boarding school named after Nikulin. The girls live and study there. In addition, every day they have rehearsals and performances at the Variety Theater. On New Year’s Eve, the artists of the musical congratulated them very warmly, gave them a bunch of toys, and the producer even invited them to her house for a few days.
Initially, the project was designed for a year, but the premiere was such a success that the creators decided to extend it to two years.
– Will it not turn out that after two years of a rather “starry” life in the capital, they will no longer be able to live as before in Donetsk? Will the return home be the biggest tragedy for them? – I’m interested in Elena Razinkova.
– Before leaving, we had a big conversation with the girls, – Elena Ivanovna recalls. – Set them up to work. They were told that they should not relax and take for granted what was happening to them. That this is just a chance that they can either miss or use.
This is one of the commandments that is strictly followed in the Donetsk orphanage.
– Many of our wards know from their parents how difficult it is to find a place under the sun and how easy it is to sink to the bottom, – says Natalya Markova. They don’t want that fate for themselves. Therefore, our calls to study and work are not an empty phrase for them.
Children do not miss a single competition – they write compositions, invent ditties, riddles, sing, play musical instruments. And they constantly win something: either a music center, or a computer, or upholstered furniture, or even a trip.
– Children come to us with a wounded soul, who, as a rule, already inside the womb experienced a lack of affection, communication, nutrition, – says Elena Raznikova. – We try to find a niche for success for each of them, developing not only intelligence, but also creative abilities.
Perhaps it was because of this that the Donetsk girls were the only ones from the Rostov region who could withstand the frantic pace of rehearsals and performances. Initially, the producers of the musical selected eleven people on the Don. It so happened that eight went to Moscow to participate in the final casting. And now only Tanya, Ira and Anya remained on the stage of the variety theater.
In Donetsk they showed me the rooms where they lived. In a small corridor there is a wardrobe for outerwear, nearby there is a TV set and a table for dinner.
– We didn’t make a common canteen, why should we create a bureaucracy? – Natalya Markova comments.
The bedroom has five beds covered with bright pink silk bedspreads. Nearby is a large wardrobe. On the walls, as usual, hang pictures of idols. For girls from the orphanage, this is not Brad Pitt or even the soloists of the Smash group, but Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Natalia Oreiro.
– On which bed Tanya slept, I won’t undertake to say, the furniture was recently rearranged, – Natalya Dmitrievna apologizes. – Somehow we lost sight of it, otherwise we could have hung a sign with a photograph over her bed. We are very proud of her. Moreover, for the girls who remained here, she is generally a role model no worse than “Brilliant” or “Cream”.
The girls present during the conversation are smiling.
– Would you like to become professional artists? Perform on the big stage? – I come to them.
– Of course! – without hesitation, they answer in unison.
According to the script of the musical, eleven-year-old orphan Annie lives in an orphanage run by a tough Miss Hannigan and dreams of running away and finding her parents. Alas, Miss Hannigan is as vigilant as she is insufferable. But one day luck smiles at the girl – in the form of an invitation to spend Christmas in the house of the millionaire Warbuck. The brave and kind Annie completely captivates this eccentric, and he is ready to adopt her, but the young heroine does not lose hope of finding her real parents. Then the touched rich man assigns a reward to the one who will find Annie’s dad and mom. The scammers respond to the ad first. But everything that is done, everything is for the better. The teachers of the Donetsk orphanage are convinced that the stories of their girls will have a happy ending.
Rossiyskaya gazeta – Nedelya – Federal issue:
MusicFamily and childrenProtection of children
📖 INTRODUCTION. Once upon a time there was a girl who looked like you… Brett D. Page 3. Read online
I started writing The Annie Stories about ten years ago. What prompted me to write them was that my then three-year-old daughter Amantha was a shy child. Somewhat later, when the journalists-interviewers who visited us got acquainted with the already somewhat matured Amantha, such an explanation aroused bewilderment in them.
I’ve been asked, “How did The Annie Stories come about?” And I answered: “The reason for this was the timidity and shyness of Aman-you.” By that time, Amante was ten years old, and she was already definitely not a timid dozen. Journalists could not hide their surprise when she deftly intercepted the microphone from her parent in order to get more “airtime”.
However, at the age of three Amantha was shy. Especially in unfamiliar surroundings. At the playground where we went out, Amantha, with great apprehension, finally decided to move away from me and play with other children. While the other children frolicked carelessly, Amantha sat at my feet, watching with awe and wonder. Other mothers looked at me with pity and sympathy.
It is easy to guess that the thought of a kindergarten could hardly have excited Amantha. Therefore, my husband and I started talking about kindergarten ahead of time. We wanted to reassure the daughter, to convince her that the garden is very good, that she will be safe, that she will like it there, etc. They convinced Amantha until they were blue in the face. She listened, looked at us, but we understood that, despite the rosy picture that we painted in front of her, Amantha was not going to succumb to persuasion at all. The expression in her eyes clearly said: “Maybe kindergarten is heaven on earth for you, but not for me.”
That’s when I got the idea to tell Amante a story. It was a story about a little girl named Annie. Annie lived in exactly the same house as ours. She had a dog just like ours, and she also had a dad and a mom, like
Martin and me. But most importantly, she, like Amantha, was afraid to go to kindergarten. The story began with Annie’s first day in kindergarten, where it turned out not to be as bad as she first thought, and covered the following days. Every day Annie liked kindergarten more and more. By the end of the first week, she was already dreaming about going to kindergarten tomorrow.
The story captivated my daughter. She asked for the continuation of the story about the girl Annie. And when Amantha reached the age required to enter kindergarten, she overcame her former reluctance with surprising ease, just like Annie in that story.
I was simply amazed at the success of the therapeutic storytelling method. Every time my daughter was frightened about something or faced difficulties or problems, she would come to me and say, “Tell me a story about Annie.” And I told her about how similar difficulties met in Annie’s life. Carried away, Amantha asked to tell the story again and again and overcame difficulties, following the example of the heroine of the stories, to whom she managed to become attached.
I began to explain to other parents how to tell “Annie stories”. Doctors and educators are also interested in this method. By the time the first volume of Tales of Annie was published, I had already accumulated a lot of positive feedback from parents and specialists. The children loved listening to these stories. The stories helped them feel more confident, stronger, overcome fears and better understand and resolve certain conflicts. Parents were happy to tell these stories, because it helped to find mutual understanding with the child. If earlier they were powerless to help the baby in trouble, now they could already do something. Moreover, this “something” was simple, natural and reasonable and saved me from going to a specialist psychologist.
How children acquire knowledge and skills
Stories, fairy tales and the inner world of a child are inseparable from each other. In any society, regardless of the degree of civilization and lifestyle, children’s stories gather a large audience of small listeners. There are good reasons for this.
If we, adults, want to acquire some knowledge, we have many ways and channels for this. We can go to the library or bookstore and read whatever interests us. You can consult a specialist in this field, get the necessary information from newspaper and magazine articles, listen to lectures, take part in seminars. Finally, talk to friends and exchange information and thoughts.
All this requires certain professional skills the ability to read and research the material, the ability to express one’s thoughts.
These skills are not given to a person initially, they are acquired with experience. Children, on the other hand, cannot carry on a conversation at an adult level, and yet the problems that occupy them are no less important. How can you help them acquire knowledge?
Through games and imagination. Throw the rattle game introduces babies to the law of gravity. Other games teach reincarnation and let kids feel like mom, dad or a ferocious wild tiger. Imaginary doubles provide an opportunity to probe feelings and explore different possibilities.
For a child, the world appears new and unknown. It needs to be explored, discovered, studied, mastered. Fortunately, children are born with an irresistible desire for knowledge. See with what perseverance, with what perseverance a baby learns to walk. He tries to get to his feet and falls face down, tries to get up again and falls again, and so on until he learns. It is unlikely that Sir Edmund Hilary showed more perseverance and determination in conquering Everest.
Another example: notice how an infant persistently throws his favorite toy over the edge of his high chair. His curiosity and desire to learn more about the laws of the world around him are so great that he is ready to risk the loss of his precious “property”.
Remember that a child acquires knowledge through play and imagination. Play is a way of acquiring adult skills. Children’s games, in essence, can be equated with work and study.
If you watch children play, you will notice that a lot of this game is based on imitation. They imitate mothers and fathers, older brothers and sisters, TV heroes, etc. This imitative behavior is quite justified. Since most of the skills needed in the life of a modern person are much more complex than the instincts laid down by nature, they are acquired through imitation. Children observe someone and then do the same. In other words, by imitating adults, they thereby acquire the necessary skills. The strong desire of a child to imitate someone helps him to know the subtleties and complexities of adult behavior.
Research has shown that when children are given two role models, one “successful”, with a positive result, the other unsuccessful, they prefer the first one. This circumstance is taken into account in the “Stories about Annie”. By successfully overcoming her challenges, Annie becomes a positive role model who teaches how to succeed.
Communication through stories
As adults, we should remember that if we want to teach a child something or convey some important idea to him, we need to make it recognizable, digestible and understandable. If we want to explain something difficult to a Frenchman, then, of course, we will succeed more if we speak French. When communicating with children, try to speak with them in a language that they understand and to which they respond best in the language of children’s fantasy and imagination.
Stories, especially fairy tales, have always been the most effective means of communicating with children. Fairy tales have been passed down and passed down from generation to generation for centuries and are reflected in the cultures of different peoples. In his book on fairy tales, Bruno Bettelheim emphasizes their vital role in helping children overcome the anxieties and conflicts they have to face.
Fairy tales raise important problems for children’s perception of the world. Cinderella, for example, talks about rivalry between sisters. In the tale of Hansel and Gretel, the main theme is the fear of being abandoned. “A Thumb Boy” tells about the defenselessness of a little hero who finds himself in a world where everything suppresses with its size, scale and power. Fairy tales contrast good and evil, altruism and greed, courage and cowardice, mercy and cruelty, perseverance and cowardice. They tell the child that the world is a very complex thing, that there are many injustices in it, that fear, regret and despair are as much a part of our existence as joy, optimism and confidence. But most importantly, they tell the child that if a person does not give up, even when the situation seems hopeless, if he does not change his moral principles, although temptation beckons him at every step, he will eventually win.
Listening to these stories and fairy tales, children involuntarily find in them echoes of their own lives. They seek to use the example of a good hero in dealing with their fears and problems. In addition, stories and fairy tales instill hope in the child, which is extremely important. A child who is deprived of hope or who has lost it, refuses to fight and will never succeed.
The impact of “Annie stories”
“Annie stories” are like personalized, “humanized” fairy tales. They have a hero or heroine who has the characteristics of your child and who faces the same problems as your child. In Annie stories, the hero or heroine finds ways and means to understand and resolve their difficulties and conflicts. In addition to characters taken from life, stories may include characters from the world of fantasy and magic. The main characters can be bunnies, squirrels or little hippos. The main thing is that the situation of the protagonist resembles the situation of your child. The story “fits” to your child in the same way as the name of its main character. I called my stories “Annie stories” because my daughter’s name is Amantha. I wanted the heroine’s name to resemble her daughter’s name, but not be identical to it.
If, for example, I told these stories to a boy named Jack, I could call them “Stories about John.”
The Annie Stories are not a magic wand that makes all the troubles and pains of the real world disappear, but they allow children to learn about themselves and their problems what comforts them, what gives them strength and what they start from feel support and understanding.
The effectiveness of “Annie stories” is due to many reasons.
Above all, “Annie stories” allow the child to perceive their difficulties and deal with them in an effective way. After all, many children feel guilty about their fears or feel embarrassed about them. They find it difficult to talk about them openly. Often, when you start a direct conversation with children about this topic, they immediately withdraw and withdraw from the conversation. Listening to history is another matter entirely. In this case, the children are not instructed, they are not blamed or forced to talk about their difficulties and problems, they just listen to a story about a girl just like them. Nothing prevents them from listening, learning something new, comparing something, comparing without any unpleasant psychological consequences. This means that they can reflect on what they heard in a psychologically comfortable environment. By changing the context, you create security zone.
Here it is appropriate to recall one joke that illustrates the importance of context. A man came to court demanding compensation for damages as a result of a car accident. The investigator cross-examined him.
“So, Mr. Brown,” he says, “please tell the court what happened on the morning of February 12th.”
Mr. Brown replies: “I was driving a car on a country road and suddenly I saw that some horse ran and galloped right in front of my car. I spun the steering wheel sharply to the side, but it was not possible to go around the horse. The car was thrown into a field by a collision with a horse, where it collided with a cow. I was thrown out of the car and immediately lost consciousness. ”
“Yes,” says the investigator. “But you will probably not deny that when you came to your senses, a local veterinarian arrived at the scene. He bent over you and asked how you were feeling, to which you replied: “I have never felt better in my life than now!”
“That’s the absolute truth,” replies Mr. Brown.
“In that case,” protested the investigator, “how do you have the audacity to go to court and claim damages for physical injuries resulting from an accident?”
“Let me explain,” Mr. Brown replies. “When I came to my senses, I found myself lying in a field and experiencing hellish pain. I saw the vet come. He approached a wounded horse that was lying in the middle of the road, took a gun and shot it. Then he went to a cow lying on the grass, looked at it, took a gun and shot it. After that, he came up to me and asked me how I felt. Of course, I replied that I had never felt better in my life.
Let’s return to our conversation. Stories of Annie gives the child the opportunity to think, reflect and ask questions on conflict-prone “explosive” topics, without fear of interfering with the inner world. We adults often do the same. Most people are familiar with the practice of seeking advice on a confusing issue using the familiar trick: “My friend John has a problem…”
It is very interesting to see how children use this safety zone.
On the one hand, the child identifies with “Annie”, but when the story gets to the “sore point”, he takes the position of the listener, and then “Annie” is just a girl from the story. In this way, he gets the opportunity to observe his double from the side, not allowing embarrassment to take power over the mind.
The form of a story has another advantage: for a child, a story is much more interesting than a moralizing lecture. All over the world, children turn off radios and televisions when they are lecturing, and turn them on when it’s time for a story.
When I was writing a story about relaxation for the first book of The Annie’s Tales, I started by developing an appropriate “script” suitable for children. Having polished the “script”, I decided, as usual, to test it on my daughter. I waited until she was in a bad mood, went up to her and said in the most friendly voice: “Do you want me to help you relax?” Amantha looked at me longingly, and I began to read my script to her. In the end, Amantha snorted and said, “Boring.” She took my intervention as an obsession. The girl was irritated and not disposed to communicate. She didn’t want anyone to tell her what to do. I went back to my desk and tried to connect the relaxation scenario with the Annie story.
I waited again for Amantha to be in a bad mood. This time, instead of “if you want me to help you relax,” I said, “Do you want me to tell you a story?”
Amantha agreed and I started talking. She listened attentively, following with great interest the events that seemed to involve not only Annie, but also my daughter. At the end of the story, her face beamed. “Shine!” It was the highest honor an Australian schoolgirl could receive at the time.
The relaxation scenario was absolutely identical to the one she declared “boring”. The only difference was that this time it was in the form of a story. The daughter did not get the impression that something was being imposed on her, and therefore she listened with interest.
Stories allow the child to feel that he is not alone in his fears and experiences, that other children experience the same. This has a calming effect. The child gets rid of an inferiority complex, he no longer considers himself a freak, a dumbass, a wretch or a coward, etc. Such reassurance strengthens his self-confidence and helps him deal with difficulties.
Stories have another positive side: in order to compose an interesting story for the child, the narrator must penetrate the child’s inner world. It is necessary to see the environment through the eyes of a child, which we do infrequently. We are so used to our adult perspective that we forget that there is another way of looking at things. We forget that to a child, the monsters in the closet are as real as you or me. We forget that children believe in magic just as sincerely and unconditionally as they believe in electricity or a magnet. We forget that what seems to us ordinary, trivial, can be perceived by a child as a catastrophe. We forget that our interpretation of events may be fundamentally different from the interpretation of the child. This also applies to language. For example, instead of saying “grandmother died,” adults usually say “we lost our grandmother.” Children who are not familiar with this euphemism will understand these words literally grandmother got lost somewhere. They may wonder why, in this trouble, no one even lifts a finger to look for her, and hope that one day she will still find her way home.
Because we don’t want to bother looking at the world through the eyes of children, we often limit ourselves to trying to dissuade them and reject their ideas. To a child who is afraid of monsters in the dark, we say, “Don’t be silly; there are no monsters.” From this, the child begins to feel misunderstood, his will is paralyzed. And the fear only intensifies. This attitude of adults drives a wedge between parents and the child, because it seems to the child that the parents do not understand him. This complicates their further communication. Having lost hope of being understood, the child becomes isolated.
When an adult tells one of the “Annie stories” a story that is close to the perception of the child and reflects his real life, the child acquires an experience of the opposite kind. The emerging mutual understanding improves the relationship between parents and the child. Remember the last time you talked with a person who was really attuned to your wave (and you felt it), understood your feelings. Remember how nice it was and how you missed it later.
Annie’s stories encourage and encourage communication in a very special way. Often children avoid talking about their problems because they are ashamed of it, they are afraid of unwanted reactions from adults, or because they do not have enough words and concepts to describe their feelings and emotions. Hearing their often confused and confused feelings put into words in a story can be very rewarding.
This gives you the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with your child. After all, talking with a child about his anxieties and problems sometimes resembles an interrogation in a prisoner of war camp: the name, military rank and registration number are all that you manage to find out. But the same child can become surprisingly open when he talks about what Annie is worried and worried about. So, if you don’t know what exactly is bothering your child, you can ask him what he thinks is bothering Annie. And in this case, again, the same sense of security allows him to be so open. If I’m not sure what exactly is causing my daughter’s concern, I’ll just ask her what kind of “Annie story” (or rather, what) she would like to hear from me. If she says something like, “Tell me how Annie went to the doctor,” I’ll know what the problem is.
The method of communication through storytelling is also valuable because in this case the child feels independent to a certain extent in learning something new. He can spend as much time as he needs to assimilate the content of the story and grasp its idea. He can listen to the story again and again and focus on what is especially important for him at the moment nothing is forced on him. And, most importantly, everything new that he learns is perceived by him as his own achievement, as a result of independent efforts. If he wants to overcome fear, as Annie does, he does so because he decided to do it himself, and not because his mother said so. Thus, the child gets the opportunity to experience a sense of his own importance, his ability to weigh the situation and make his own decisions.
I can give a very interesting example of this feeling of “self-reliance” in my daughter Amantha. She was eleven years old when she really wanted to prove that her mother’s opinion is not always correct. One day she came home from school completely upset. In response to my inquiries, Amantha gave me an angry look and blurted out in annoyance: “No one wants to play with me.” In translation, this meant that she quarreled with her best friend. I began to give her sound advice about what to do when your best friend doesn’t want to play with you, but Amantha cut me off: at that moment, the last thing she needed was my guidance. In the evening she was still irritated when I put her to bed. She could not forget the upsetting incident and was not at all eager to go to school the next day. Just in case, I asked, “Do you want me to tell you a story about Annie?” She looked in my direction with eyes that said: “If you need it so much,” and I began to tell her the story of what Annie did when her best friend did not want to play with her. Amantha listened with a sour expression on her face, and when I finished, she angrily announced: “Stupid story, and I felt even more bad than before.”
I left the room feeling more inadequate than a minute ago.
Maybe I was right, I thought, when I thought that the age limit for these stories was ten years.
The next day, not without trepidation, I went to pick up Amantha at school. To my surprise, instead of yesterday’s gloomy face with the expression “no one wants to play with me,” I saw her usual cheerful face.
“Hi,” I said. How was school today?
“Fine,” Amantha replied.
Encouraged, I inquired about the “social situation”: “Who did you play with today?”
“With everyone,” she answered easily and carelessly. And Amantha told me about how she resolved her conflict.
Essentially, she did what Annie did in the “stupid” story. So she followed the advice, managing to maintain her eleven-year-old sense of “self-reliance” and dignity. It was a feat that made a big impression on me.
Annie’s stories are also good because they recreate the warm, kind and intimate atmosphere of a fairy tale told “for bedtime”, which, in itself, has a calming effect on both the parent and the child. In today’s world of electronics, television, video games and everyday turmoil, the cozy comfort of the world of fairy tales and heroes of children’s stories is a real oasis in the desert.
Drawing, painting and clay modeling activities can be combined with “Annie stories” where children sculpt or draw scenes from the stories or their characters. Art classes are a great opportunity for children to express or reproduce what worries them. Children, for example, often draw a “monster” that frightens and disturbs them, and then tear it to shreds with obvious glee. Thus, they symbolically deal with the monster and demonstrate their victory over him.
Stories and psychotherapy
The healing effect of stories on children is recognized by physicians of various schools and persuasions. Their use is recommended by experts in psychoanalysis and behavior therapy.
Psychoanalysts note the beneficialness of the process of identification, identification of the listener with the lucky hero in the story. They recognize the cathartic effect of the child’s “safe” acknowledgment of repressed feelings and emotions by observing them in a fictional, imaginary “alter ego”.
Behavioral practitioners will certainly appreciate storytelling as an effective way to apply social modeling techniques. Stories can also offer you fun ways to teach behavioral patterns, such as desensitization, as discussed in Chapter 7.
Educators have used stories in school situations. Just as with the individual child, they allowed the class to discuss difficult and sensitive topics in a “safe” way.
Doctors also used stories as a means to establish contact with children. After the “Annie stories” seminar, one of the participants, a doctor by profession, told me about her patient. The girl was taken into the care of a dysfunctional family, where she was treated very badly. She withdrew into herself, was silent and uncommunicative and remained so during several weeks of treatment, until the doctor in charge came up with the idea to tell her a story. The story was about a worm that lived in a rotten apple and was then forced to move to another dwelling. The girl literally came to life during the story. For the first time in her treatment, she was able to elicit an emotional response, and this was the beginning of a breakthrough in her relationship with the doctor.
For children whose problems appear to be particularly serious, medical advice is recommended.