The word “guidance” describes a teaching and learning process by which children develop socially acceptable and appropriate behaviour as they grow to maturity. Guidance is something that adults do “with” children and “for” children, rather than “to” children. The goal of guidance is to assist the child in establishing inner control, making decisions, and taking responsibility for his/her own behaviour. Guidance is understood to be motivated by care and the desire to support the child’s behavior, not to punish a child for misbehaving. Our wish is to nurture the gift of self regulation.
The teachers of Parachute Express Playschool recognize the importance of individualizing guidance strategies, as each child is unique. Two important aspects are taken into consideration when dealing with the task of guiding children’s behaviour:
- Prevention of misbehaviour.
- Appropriate intervention when misbehaviour does occur.
The prevention of misbehaviour is a crucial goal in Early Childhood Education, as it helps to create a positive climate in which children feel love, respect, security and acceptance in order to promote self-confidence and self esteem. In this manner, opportunities are maximized for desirable behaviour by incorporating the following strategies throughout a child’s day:
- Establish clear, consistent and simple limits in the classroom.
- Offer straightforward verbal explanations for limits.
- State limits in a positive way (focus on what to do, rather than what not to do) e.g. use “Use walking feet!” instead of “Don’t run!”
- Focus on the behaviour, not the child.
- State what is expected, rather than pose questions.
- Allow time for children to respond to expectations.
- Observe children in play, to anticipate potential problems.
- Positively reinforce appropriate behaviour with both words and gestures.
- Encourage children to use the teacher to guide and help them when problems arise.
- Encourage the children to use their words to solve problems.
- Reinforce concepts such as “Hands are for helping” and "Sharing is Caring"
- Utilizing choices to empower children
Intervention strategies ensure that guidance is supportive, rather than punitive when unacceptable behaviour does occur, and includes, the following:
- Pranayama "Breath Work", Meditation
- Remind children of acceptable behaviour, to clarify and reinforce limits
- Remind children of acceptable behaviour, to clarify and reinforce limits.
- Be supportive to the child by acknowledging child’s feeling before setting limits.
- Redirect child to another appropriate activity, which meets his/her needs.
- Offer the child appropriate choices to clarify expectations or reinforce limits.
- Use natural and logical consequences.
- Remove a piece of equipment from a child’s play limits, if necessary (especially for safety’s sake).
- “Time to Refresh” – will be used when a child persistently refuses to abide by the rules of safety/cooperation/friendliness in the classroom. This repeated behavior results in the child not being able to manage in a group situation at the present time, and so the expectation is that the child spends a few minutes on their own to “Refresh”, in the form of thinking about their behavior, how it affected their classmate and the importance of listening to the teacher’s words. When the “time to refresh” is completed, the child and the teacher discuss what the child could do differently next time, and/or how that problem could have been solved in a friendlier way. Remembering always to focus on the child’s behaviour, rather than on the child.
By utilising both prevention strategies and intervention strategies in the guidance process, children learn appropriate behaviours, self-regulation, and responsibility for self, in a warm, gentle and supportive atmosphere, which is conducive to a healthy, happy and secure childhood.
Spark your child’s imagination today! Call us for more information!
Our wish is to nurture the gift of self regulation in our children. We embrace a kind, peaceful, gentle environment – we encourage the kind of problem solving that respectfully expresses our needs and feelings. The Parachute Express Playschool Teaching Team , North Saanich.