It is vital to let children make their own mistakes and learn from them, this is how children start to become critical thinkers and begin to adapt their ideas to solve and extend play. Testing out their theories is an important life-long skill that will help them at pre-school, school and beyond. So next time you are tempted to put on their wellies, just give them a few more minutes to do it themselves and even if they do it wrong its great they gave it ago. Children are far more capable than we think.
So how come when your child goes to pre-school they are as good as gold;
well here are a few ‘insider’ tips that we have spent years mastering and you could try with fairly spectacular results – a bit like a Victoria Sponge recipe and all of a sudden you add the magic ingredient and have a Mary Berry spectacular show cake. …
Children need to see their actions can have an effect on other people; they don’t need to be told off and reprimanded, this probably gives them more attention and may start a cycle of demanding attention seeking(positive or negative) behaviour. They just need to gain an understanding that when you snatch a toy and the other child cries it becomes ‘all about the other child’.
Attention is attention ‘negative or positive’ positive is just more fun and feels better!
Turning the negative around or as we in the trade like to call it;
Recipe 1: rewind, rebalance and keeping it real.
This works for play-dates, toddlers groups, tea time traumas, sibling quarrels etc.
Go and check the injured/hurt/upset child first and make sure they are ok (give a cuddle if they want one).
Acknowledge to the injured/hurt/upset child that they are feeling upset.
Point out in a calm voice to your child that their friend is ‘upset’ ‘sad’ or ‘angry’.
Ask your child to come and see their friend or to help you get a tissue for their friend (children involved in finding solutions is important)
State calmly to your child that ‘snatching the toy’ or ‘hitting’ has made their friend sad.
Move on very quickly and engage in play.
If your child is too tired to understand and just needs a cuddle at this time then that’s the best thing to do.
Remember no child starts out or sets out to be nasty, naughty, unkind so don’t listen to label – it’s all part of the learning process.
Recommended reads for Parents
Dr Suzanne Zeedyk – Sabre Tooth Tigers & Teddy Bear – an easy to understand, carry in your handbag and dip in and out of book which looks at connections babies need to thrive.
Early Years Foundation Stage – developmental guide – this is used by the majority of Early Years Providers to assess how babies and children develop. There are many useful ideas especially the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which lead to the characteristics adults need to support and thrive in their communities and influence society. NB Please don’t feel this is a tick guide it is a support for understanding children from Birth up to the end of the Reception Year.