Some parents have asked why their child does a behavior when they already know the expectations. Many things trigger behavior choices for children. Regardless of why, it is important to take the proactive approach. Re-teach what you expect of your child and continue to practice the correct way with them. If they forget how or do not complete an expected task, ask them if they need to practice again.
With the holidays behind us, many of you are ready to regain some normalcy. One of the things that young children rely on is a consistent schedule. Since young children cannot tell time, their daily schedule functions as a time telling device. Maintaining a schedule provides security and a sense of control for children. In classrooms keeping a schedule is an important step for preventing behavior issues. This can easily be transitioned to home life as well. When children know what is coming, they are not as likely to ‘fight’ each step along the way.
An important part of encouraging children to behave properly is to acknowledge when they do. The key is to tie your praise to the specific behavior that deserves recognition. Instead of saying “you did a great job” try “you did a great job picking up your blocks!” Make sure the feedback you give is accurate, specific and descriptive, and fits your style. By recognizing behaviors you want to see, you give your child more incentive to do them and hopefully reduce the less desirable behaviors that get your attention.
This month the children are learning safety during arrival and departure. Our rules for the children to be SAFE are to use “walking” feet, use handrails on steps, stay with their parents from car to class, and that only parents open doors. To be RESPONSIBLE we ask them to carry their own things, walk to the classroom, and wash their hands upon arrival to their room. (Especially important with the H1N1 virus) Our rules for being KIND are simple; we ask them to use a talking voice in the hallway and to say goodbye to their parent when they arrive in the class. When we teach and reinforce any of the behavior expectations, we only focus on one at a time. If you simply remind your child before they enter the building what you expect to see, they will typically do as you ask. These are things we will discuss in class; however reinforcement from you is the best practice.