Guides in Speech
- State Suggestions Or Directions In a Positive Form: A positive suggestion tells a child what s/he can do, rather than condemning what s/he is doing or about to do wrong. “Sand stays on the ground,” rather than, “Don’t throw sand.”
- Give The Child A Choice Only When You Want Them To Make A Choice: Learning to choose, within reasonable limits, is part of a child’s growing to maturity. Putting a statement in question form, “Let’s go home now, okay?” will allow the child to veto inappropriately, and, then, resist (i.e. yell or cry) when his/her choice is not respected.
- Use Words And Tone Of Voice That Will Help The Child Feel Confident And Reassured: A child may become frightened while climbing and need you to calmly “talk” him/her down while you stay close by.
- Avoid Changing Behavior By Attacking The Child’s Self-Respect: Small children, when they are disciplined, do not understand that it is the behavior that is inappropriate; rather, they feel that they are “bad.” Labeling words like “naughty” and “bad” tend to make a judgement about the child rather than tell him how his behavior affects you or needs to be changed.
- Avoid Motivating A Child By Making Comparisons, between one child and another, or by encouraging competition. The goal is for each child to be self-motivated. The result of comparison may damage the child’s feelings of adequacy and friendliness as well as keeping him motivated by the values and concerns of others.
- Redirection Is Most Effective When Consistent With The Child’s Motives Or Interests. The problem may be that the child needs only to find an acceptable technique of expression; i.e., “I can’t let you throw rocks, but you can throw this ball.”
- Effectiveness Of A Suggestion May Depend Largely On It’s Timing.Timing may be as important as the suggestion itself. Advice given too soon deprives the child of a chance to work things out for himself-too late, and the chance may be past. The child may be too frustrated.
Guides in Action
- Avoid Models In Any Art Medium. Encourage creativity and development of skills (pinching and poking play dough, etc.). Avoid a frustrating comparison between products or a “right way” situation.
- Give The Child A Minimum Of Help In Order That He May Grow In Independence.
- Forestalling. Learn to foresee and prevent rather than mopping up after a difficulty. This kind of planning ahead may mean buying more than one kind of each toy or simply turning down the water pressure at a child’s sink.
- Limits need to be carefully defined and consistently maintained.
- Supervise Strategically. Have your back to something besides children.
- Health And Safety Are A Primary Concern.
- Knowing the children and what each is likely to do is the key to utilizing all these guides effectively.
- Trikes may be used only on the paved pathway.
- Children must go down the slide feet first and on their bottoms.
- Water play must be supervised by adults.
- Sand may be used in the sandbox only.
- If children want to jump, help them construct a safe platform in an open area.
(Adapted from “Early Childhood Programs” by Read, Gardner and Mahler)
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- Talking to Children About Violence
- Zero to Three: Cope After Exposure to a Traumatic Event
- Psychological First Aid (PFA) for Students and Teachers
- Identifying and Teaching Emotions
- TV Exposure & Young Children
- Media Violence Children’s Play
- 10 Ways to Manners
- Social Skills at Home and School
- FAQs About the IEP Process
- Sexual Development and Behavior in Children
- Establishing A Safe Environment for Your Kid
- Teaching Touching Safety Rules
- Teaching Tolerance: Death Comes Early, Often To The Poor
- Teaching Tolerance: Helping Students Navigate A Violent World
- Teaching Tolerance: When A Student Dies
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- Building a high-performing, inclusive organization of groups and individuals who are committed to promoting excellence in early childhood education for all young children.
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