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Is It Developmental or Behavioral: Children’s Misbehavior

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One of my greatest honors is teaching babies and boys!!! They both tickle me so much. Today I was teaching my students about their bodies and force. They were learning how to roll a ball to the other side of the room. They had to figure out how much force to use to get the ball to the wall. So of course these little cuties pies started throwing the ball at the wall , kicking the ball, balls were flying all over the place I was cracking up.

THANK GOODNESS FOR PATIENCE!

I had to stop the class and the music 3 times to explain the instructions and how it was to be done, and that if I saw a ball flying through the air, it was flying right back into my bag. Everyone complied except two little boys, so the balls went flying back into my bag. Well of course you know those boys had the fit of life, crying and carrying on. I explained in a calm voice what I had said earlier and said now they had to watch. They were not happy about that at all.

They both sat out one song, after which I asked did they want to try it again. The purpose of them sitting and watching was not to punish them. In watching the other children they could learn how to do the activity.  I once again explained the instructions. One little boy was able to do it. The other one sent the ball flying into the air again at which point I realized that he just didn’t know how to do it. So his teacher and I showed him how and broke it down so he could see what was happening.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Because I work solely in private schools and early learning centers, it is important for me to understand when a child is really misbehaving and can understand what I am asking them to do or when it is a situation where the child doesn’t have the capability to carry out a task because it is beyond them developmentally. We don’t expect babies to run  or hop or skip. You may say that’s a physical thing, but this happens physically, emotionally, socially and in other ways.

As educators and parents we have an opportunity to look further and ask is this a behavioral problem or are my expectations too high for what the child can actually do.  Asking this question opens up many opportunities to make things better and easier for both the child and us. Once we know the answer we can respond appropriately and in the best interest for everyone.

 

This is why I love my job so much. Sometimes things children do are not out of misbehaving but because they are not quite there developmentally. As Educators it is our job to know the difference and then support them in working on and mastering what it is we are teaching them. HOT DIGGITY!!!! I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

Question: Do You Feel You Should Actively Encourage Your Child To Fail

Success Picture- Black woman getting high fived

I was watching an interview with the CEO and founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely. I was intrigued by her story where she said every day her father would ask her and her brother what they failed at  that day. I thought that was so interesting and enlightening. I understood why he was doing this immediately. He wanted to prepare his children for success by first having them get over their fear of failure. To them failure would not be anything bad or terrible, but something that happens in the process of learning and life.

Sara’s father wanted them to become resilient and confident and know that they can easily overcome failure. It was not something to take personally or that they were bad or a failure themselves. By doing this when the children were young they developed a positive perspective around failure. Failure didn’t mean the same thing to them that it means to the average person. To Blakely and her brother, failure just meant try again, try something different, maybe possibly even use your mind differently or look at things in a different way.

I feel  this was an excellent and crucial life skill that he taught his children. The skill he taught them will help them be successful in any venture they decide to undertake. They will know from experience that they can overcome failure. They understand that inside failure is a valuable opportunity and information. They now know what will work and what will not work. A base from which to create the desires of their heart is provided for them because of this valuable information.

Of course with your children you would give them age appropriate and developmentally appropriate challenges to conquer and succeed in and build from there. I recommend something physically challenging, as children build esteem by what they can do. Even if your child is not a physical child you can introduce them to games like catch, walking on a balance beam or ledge or trying to shoot something in a basket. Keep telling them to try again and that they can do it and soon they will.

What are your thoughts on this. I would love to hear about your experiences and what has and hasn’t worked for you. Please share them in a comment below. Also share this with your family and friends online and off.

Have a great day! :-)

 

Teach Your Child That Mistakes Are Their Helpers

Childhood Girls floor painting

Teaching children that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process helps to build confidence, resilience and creativity in children. If children are allowed and actually encouraged to make mistakes they will learn to not take things personally and are willing to explore and try new things. They will receive valuable and necessary information about themselves and the world that they live in. Most importantly they will learn what works and doesn’t work and develop a mind that is open,  flexible and learn to tolerate when things don’t go their way more.

ENCOURAGE POSSIBILITY THINKING

As educators, caregivers and parents we want our children to confidently and boldly learn about the world around them and how they fit in it. We want them to be willing to take risks, make a mess, explore and discover. When we box children into only right or wrong answers or only a certain way to perform a task we are limiting their learning potential and minimizing their learning experiences. Instead we want our children to learn to think about what else is possible? What other ways can a task be successfully completed?

I totally understand that they are right and wrong ways to do things and children definitely should be taught this. What I am talking about are areas where they are no right or wrong answers, but sometimes teachers and parents make it that way.

CHILDREN NEED EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING TOO

A perfect example of this is when teachers don’t allow children to do their own art work. They are usually well meaning in that they want the class to have beautiful art hung around the room and in the school. What they fail to realize is that things like art, music, painting and building with blocks or legos  or anything else, is not about perfection or right or wrong but are merely for the expression and exploration of those mediums.

Some teachers and parents understand this but do not want to deal with the mess or noise that these activities create. Once in one of my classes we were having such a blast that the noise level had reached a high pitched scream. We were in an area where we were the only ones using that area and the teacher jumps up with this frown on her face and screams “BE QUIET!!!!!!!”

We quickly took a rest period with a magic number( a game that I play with the children to get them to be still, listen and focus) to quiet the kids. It wasn’t the worst thing because we had been running around so it was time to take a rest anyway. After class I spoke with the teacher to explain that noise is to be expected when kids are having fun and the class is designed to allow for this and also help them to calm down also.

I hope you get my point, in that we should make allowances for and encourage the best way that children will learn and express themselves. We should also take care of ourselves so that we can allow for those methods and facilitate the learning process of children. How have you managed to do this for your children? What has worked for you either in your home or classroom. Please share your thoughts with us in the form of a comment. Also share this with your family and friends either online or off. Have a great day! :-)

Positive Parenting and Teaching: Helping Children To Feel Good About Themselves

I love seeing the smile of success on my children’s faces when they accomplish something big in their eyes or get the correct answer. It is a priceless perk which I wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world. Seriously,  when my students succeed I feel it too. I love seeing them beam with pride. I had the pleasure of this experience this afternoon.

As a positive incentive to insure good behavior in my classes I reward children with stamps done with non toxic ink. The stamps have pictures on them as well as words. The pictures are of things that children really like, a cat, dinosaur, frog, teddy bear, a school bus filled with a boy and girl and a rabbit and teddy bear are just a few of the pictures on the stamps.

The words are “Terrific”, “Great Job”, “Very Good”, “Parent Signature”, to name a few. Why would a kid want a stamp that says “Parent Signature” you ask. Since 90 percent of my students are under the age of 5 most of them haven’t started reading yet. They really don’t care about the words as much as they care about the pictures on the stamp. The “Parent Signature” one in particular happens to have a star on it. So the kids really love it because of the star.

I have found this technique to be a successful one. It rewards good behavior and at the same time discourages undesirable behavior. I say undesirable as opposed to “bad” behavior because often times children are just being children and just need guidance and correction. They need to have opportunities to get it right, when we give them these opportunities, this is how they learn.

Today, Noah was standing in line waiting for his stamp. Another benefit of this technique is that it teaches the students patience. As he was standing in line, he noticed a partial picture of one of the stamps on the ink pad, which is in a white case. He asked me if this was one of the stamps that I had. I turned it around and asked him to tell me if this was the case. I turned the stamp pad case right side up and placed it next to the stamps.

He looked from the pad to the stamps, when he finally matched the two I saw the most beautiful smile spreading across his face. He’d done it. He succeeded at finding out if the ink picture on Ms. D’TaRelle’s stamp pad was the same as one of the stamps in the collection. You are so smart! I said to him. His smile grew bigger, his eyes twinkled, he had a happy face from the inside out. He felt great about himself and it showed.

When he left and went back to class I wondered to myself what I would have done had he not got it correct. Normally I would have said try again. This time something different came up. The words”You’re learning!” came to mind. I loved it! Children get to feel good about themselves whether they get an answer right or not. They get to understand that learning  can be a positive experience. That part of learning is not getting it right all of the time and that’s okay.

When we as parents and teachers present mistakes and not getting the right answer as just feedback, not anything that’s good or bad, we help to preserve and build  our children’s esteem and confidence as well as emotional resilience. We help them to look at it as an opportunity to do it better and get it right. It is not a reflection of them personally, like a hair out of place or the needle on the gas tank, there is something we can do and continue on.

So try this the next time with your kids. Help your children to feel good about the learning experience and themselves. If this has been helpful to you please leave a comment and share this with you family and friends. Until next time, have an amazing day! :-) D’TaRelle

Working Your Child’s Body and Mind

What’s a really great and fun way to work your child’s mind and body. Word Hop Scotch of course, you don’t have to use all  of the letters and you can tailor it to your child’s age. Before I continue I saw this concept on a cable show called “Fun to Grow On”, it can be found on the Veria Living Channel. I have  altered it a little because I work with children from infancy to 12 years of age and want to include as many age groups as possible.

In some schools they start learning vocabulary as early as kindergarten, mainly three letter words which there are a lot of. To build in success, let your child look at some words and practice them first. Maybe they can write them down ahead of time.

You can use the traditional hop scotch diagram or you can make it with 6 or 8 or 9 blocks. You can have multiple letters in a block. For younger children I would put two  letters in each block. I would leave out the least used letters like “x” , “y”,”z”, “q” or whatever you wish.

You can have each word they come up with start with the letter they land on or just have that letter in the word. You make the rules.  Since this is a game where you want the kids  to use both their body and their mind you want to make sure you keep the game moving. They will get a pretty good work out trying to balance on one leg while they try to figure out a word. This would also be a great way to get them to remember their spelling words in school. Just grab a bunch of their classmates and have a blast.

If you are a teacher this would be a great opportunity to get some kinesthetic learning in. The more senses that are involved the more your students will retain the information. They will also love the opportunity to do something different .

You play the game like traditional hop scotch where you throw an object on a block area and hop onto to each letter. You will need to assign some one to keep track of the words so they aren’t used again. This doesn’t have to be the same person as they can take turns.

Try this game with your children. It’s a game that can be played both out doors or inside. Hop Scotch is a game that never goes out of style and is so easy and simple to play. Try it and let me know how it turns out. I’d love to hear from you.