This has been such a great class that I've gotten sooo much out of, but its lots of little things here and there so its a bit hard to put into words. Basically I went into the class thinking that we were doing pretty well behavior wise but I've learnt so many more positive and easier ways to encourage good behavior and just go about our activities more smoothly and easily.
Firstly I love the way Faith talks about a child misbehaving as needing more connection. I've heard of this before but as she explained it, it made more sense and she gave practical ways to connect with the child in a way that would turn their mood and behavior around. We were taught to use more imagination and bring more fun into the tasks. At first I had to get my head around the idea of giving the misbehaving child extra attention because I've always been under the impression that is 'rewarding bad behavior' but I tried her techniques and they work! They work because they make the child want to do what is required more than they want to be stubborn.
Here are some of Faiths great articles on discipline and connecting
|chopping fruit ready for a garden tea party|
The idea of assuming good intentions is another great thing that I've got from Faith. I read this in one of her articles a while back and the course refreshed my memory so I've been using it more. I'ts been serving us so well. There are lots of opportunities where this works well.
As an example Maddalyn is constantly grabbing any drink bottle that anyone leaves within her reach and if she used to want to have a drink of it. (shes 18 months) The children rarely remember to push them out of her reach so this happens all the time. Rather than telling her off for taking it from her causing her to get upset I say 'oh your getting Mitchies's drink for him, you can see if he wants it' If he doesn't I say never mind, lets put in on the table and he might want it later' and she happily does. She is happy with this, the interaction was positive instead of making her feel naughty and she learns to be giving and helpful.
This is just one example but I've been using this technique ALL the time.
|taking turns pouring drinks|
An example- I turned around and Tia was digging in my plant pot. I simply said to her 'you can dig in the sand pit' and led her to the sand pit. There was no battle of wills that can happen when you tell a child no, she simply wanted to dig so I helped her fulfill her wish in a way that would be enjoyable for both of us.
|We planted petunias, nastusiam seeds and some spring bulbs in a hanging pot for in front of the play room window|
I've also been working on encouraging the children to ask each other for help (ie if a child asks me to get something that he can't reach I might say 'maybe you could ask Angus to help you get it, he might be tall enough' and also I've been asking them, could you please give one of these to each child. It hadn't really occurred to me to use 'helping' as another way for the children to be connecting with each other and feeling like a valued part of the group. Encouraging little children to help bigger children lets them feel helpful,it also gives the older child an opportunity to be thankful to them and appreciate them rather than seeing them as too little to be helpful. Faith also discusses the ways that doing all house hold activities together,dishes, sweeping the floor etc can be opportunities for meaningful connection.
|and watered it......|
There was lots of helpful teachings on how to help children to notice others reactions ie. 'Georgia's crying, shes saying that's too rough' which are helping, especially with all the under 2's I have at the moment
|and watered it..... until it was so heavy we couldn't hang it 'til most of the water had drained out. Ooops!!|
I feel like my writings here are all over the place and I really can't explain it all very well. I've soaked up so much information and ideas which are truly amazing me, it's all so gentle yet effective. My day care field worker came over one day recently and commented that she had heard us chatting in the kitchen before she rang the bell and it it just sounded like I was chatting with my good friends. The thing is, relationships get stronger as positive 'behavior guidance' is learnt because your able to see the children as helpful and competent rather than difficult and mischievous. I don't realize how much its all helping until I take a moment to think about how well the weeks gone and realize its because I reacted differently to all the situations I was faced with and was able to see the best in them.
(The course i'm taking part in is Joyful Days With Toddlers and Preschoolers,for those that are interested I highly recommend it)