Saturday, June 24, 2017

2 Traits of 5 Year Olds

Two traits appear in Kindergarten. The first one is the concept of fairness. Parents and teachers hear a lot of It's not fair at this age. To a kindergarten age child, fair means everything is equal and the dividing of any material is the same for everyone.

The second trait is tattling. During kindergarten children develop an understanding of the purpose, creation, and importance of rules. They become focused on being sure to follow the rules and focused on making sure other people follow the rules. From the viewpoint of a five year old, it becomes equally important to tell a parent or teacher of any error. Parents and teachers can head off this behavior by helping children learn to deal with situations on their own in socially acceptable ways.

For example, if a child isn't sharing, instead of the child telling the parent, the parent can teach the child to deal with the situation by telling the child to tell the child who isn't sharing that it's not nice not to share and it makes them sad when they don't. The child can tell the sibling or friend who isn't sharing it makes them mad when they don't share and to ask the child nicely, "Can I have a crayon please?" or whatever isn't being shared. This way the child learns how to take care of the situation themselves and the parent doesn't have to take care of every little situation that arises all day long.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Positive Approaches With Preschool Age Children

William Damon, a researcher who followed in Piaget's steps, noticed that preschool age children regularly justify their social choices based on what they want. A preschool aged child's understanding of leadership is based on physical attributes- meaning bigger people such as parents or older children- should be the ones in charge simply because of their size. Where preschool aged children are focused on physical attributes they have little understanding of psychological motives, emotions and attitudes as causes of behavior whether it be theirs or someone else's.

Parents and other adults may assume preschool children understand social and behavioral issues in the same way adults do because of how verbal they are, but this isn't true. Redirecting behavior when it's in appropriate rather than focusing on what's occurred that may be wrong, is as effective in this age range as it is at the toddler age. If a parent states expectations clearly and simply a preschool age child will more often than not follow the parent's request. It's important for parents to make sure their expectations are reasonable. For example, if a parent asks a four year old to go put their clean laundry away, the child will do it because the instruction to go put you clean clothes away is clear, simple and the expectation is reasonable. It's reasonable because the child is old enough to understand what go put your clothes away  means, because hopefully a parent around the age of two or three has already taught the child how to put their clean clothes away. If the instruction is make your own lunch, that's an unreasonable request for a parent to give a four year old because a four year old doesn't know what to do or how to do it and doesn't have the dexterity skills yet to make their own lunch. This is why it's important to keep expectations age appropriate.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Positive Approaches to Use With Toddlers

Positive approaches give toddlers support and safety. Positive approaches to use with toddlers include modeling appropriate behavior, stating exactly what the behavior is, helping toddlers resolve differences, patient redirection, avoid saying no unless for an important reason and recognizing when toddlers declare 'No' are all a part of developing a healthy autonomy.

Redirection and providing appropriate alternatives work in most situations. Erikson's philosophy was that although toddlers struggle for independence they also need to know parents will protect them when they go too far. Helping toddlers focus and pay attention includes letting children move throughout the day and learn how their bodies work. When parents allow toddlers to solve their own problems this helps them move toward adequate autonomy.

Toddlers change almost every day and as parents help them gain autonomy and independence by teaching them how to be competent and learn appropriate rules of behavior, toddlers will internalize the rules of what appropriate behavior is socially acceptable.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Erikson Thought Was The Main Challenge For Toddlers

Erik Erikson has the opinion that the main challenge for children between eighteen months and three years is to gain autonomy and independence. This includes using words such as 'No' and 'Mine.' Erikson views this struggle for toddlers as a conflict between their individual need to be competent and social and their need to accept limits and learn behavioral rules. When toddlers are placed in a supportive, safe environment, Erikson believes this would increase the chances of fostering a healthy self-concept. He says this requires a parent's patience and a sense of humor. It requires patience and a sense of humor because toddlers are difficult to deal with. A toddler may be hungry and decide to get food on their own. When this happens it takes patience as the parent allows them to choose what they want and teaches them how to make what they want (for example toast). It requires humor because your two year old may have made a mess of the kitchen while trying to get them something to eat. The parent may walk into the kitchen to find it a mess and their child a mess from trying to get something to eat. The situation requires humor as the parent laughs at the mess in the kitchen and the mess their child is rather than getting mad at them.

When a parent uses a negative approach to a toddlers challenge to gain autonomy and independence it affects a child's behavior. When harsh punishment, ignoring disputes between children, humiliating them, becoming involved in power struggles with them or constantly correcting a toddler without giving them an alternative occurs, this affects a child's behavior in negative ways. This affects behavior in negative ways because when a child is disciplined using harsh punishment this affects their self-esteem and their self-worth. For example, if a parent gets mad at a child because of the mess they made in the kitchen and of themselves while getting them something to eat, this makes a child feel bad. They're trying to be grown up and get  food like mom and dad and when a parent gets mad at them for this it can destroy their self-esteem as they feel they did something wrong and destroy their self-worth as they feel they did something bad or wrong.

When a child is humiliated it shames a child and they may stop trying new things or trying all together. When a parent becomes involved in a power struggle with a child it's about the parent, what the parent wants and why and them controlling not only the child but the situation and its outcome. The parents own lack of security is showing and parenting becomes about the parent not the child. When a parent corrects a child without giving them an alternative the child begins to see themselves as bad and everything they do and are as bad. For example, if a child cleans the bathroom but leaves dirt on the sink and tub and the parent gets mad at them for it. If a parent corrects them by saying, "Look at all the dirt you left, clean it again and do it right this time, " a child may see themselves as a bad child  or that they did something that was bad. The child didn't do anything bad and isn't a bad person. A parent needs to teach them what it means to clean the bathroom and how to clean it. Children need to be taught everything!