Is it possible that as early childhood educators we are not doing a good job at giving children directions?
a reflection in 3 parts…
I’ve got one more question for you.
It could be about any area of your life but of course my goal is to support you in your work and specifically with the children that exhibit challenging behavior so feel free to include anything but especially your thoughts about what it would look like to feel supported at work….and with those kids, you know the ones.
Last night I went out to dinner with a friend and she asked me, "do you do resolutions?"
I do intentions. And, as I explained to Julia that feels really different.
I guess for me New Year's Resolutions always felt like they were inherently a critique on what I was currently doing, who I was, or how I showed up in the world.
Whereas for me setting intentions is about what I want to bring into my life.
It's pretty aligned with how I see my work with children…
Today we are continuing the discussion on what to do about kids "playing guns."
If you missed the last email about this you can read about how children wanting to make guns out of Legos and pretend to shoot is 100% developmentally appropriate HERE. (There's also some links to NAEYC resources).
On to the question of: what do we do about gun play?
I got this question recently from an Instructional Coach and I KNOW she is not alone in wanting help with a situation like this so I wanted to share it in case you have a similar situation or know anyone who does...
I want to urge you all to recognize that gun play is NOT a behavior problem.
I keep learning again and again that for some reason its wildly pervasive in our field that we give kids choices when in reality there's no choice!
"It's time to clean up now, ok?"
ACK!!!! No no no no NO! Don't say that. You are inferring a choice where there is none!
I don't know why we do it exactly but its SO pervasive. We put that upswing, infer a question, or even use the "...ok?" at the end of sentences that should really be statements.
Do you use "redirection" as a way to respond to children who are using toys in unsafe ways, not following directions, are about to bite a peer, or who are engaging in other unwanted behavior?
I recently discovered that there are a good number of early childhood professionals that say that they or the teachers they supervise use "redirection"...but when asked to describe what they say or do to "redirect" it turns out that redirection is NOT actually the strategy they are using!!!!