Interacting with Children

Problem prevention
Stopping problems before they start is the preferred method of behavior management and our staff works to provide the following because we feel they do just that—prevent problems!

  • Provide enough space and a variety of materials.
  • Establish a consistent balanced routine.
  • Support children’s choices and interests.
  • Plan for transitions.
  • Keep waiting periods short and active.
  • Accept behavioral differences.
  • Respect children’s ideas, concerns and feelings.
  • Set reasonable limits and expectations.
  • Stop destructive/aggressive behavior.
  • Use observations in daily planning.

No Child shall be subjected to: spanking, shaking, slapping, being locked in a room or closet, use any restraints, or be abused verbally as a form of discipline at the ECC. Humiliation, frightening or causing pain or discomfort to a child will not be used as a form of discipline. Active time will not be used as punishment. Staff at the ECC will not use any threat of punishment associated with a child’s illness, lack of progress in toilet training, or in connection with food or rest.

Problem solving
We feel that it is best that children be involved in finding solutions for the problems that they create and through the process learn that there are more feelings than just their own. Through repeated involvement in problem solving we find that children show more kindness because they want to, not just because an adult says they have to. We see that with lots of practice in problem-solving children begin to work out their own smaller problems before they escalate into extreme anger and aggressive-ness. That children have boundaries is very important to us and when those boundaries are crossed we want children to understand that they need to be part of the solution rather than just being removed from it.

Steps for resolving children’s conflicts

  1. Approach calmly.
  2. Acknowledge children’s feelings.
  3. Gather information.
  4. Restate the problem.
  5. Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together.
  6. Be prepared to give follow-up support

We don’t want to avoid or ignore the problem.
We don’t want to jump right in and solve the problem for them.
We do want to acknowledge the problem and engage in problem solving.

The Early Childhood Center staff seeks to approach social conflicts matter-of-factly, firmly, and patiently. We want children to make cause-and-effect connections and give them a skill that they can use the rest of their lives!

We have routine trainings for our staff and complete an annual Program Quality Assessment on each of our classrooms to insure that the adult-child relationships are establishing 5 qualities in children. We believe they are the building blocks to a successful future!

  • Initiative
  • Empathy
  • Autonomy
  • Self-confidence
  • Trust

Encouragement
At the Early Childhood Center we believe that encouragement has more long-term benefits for children than does rewards and praise than does punishment.

  • Punishment – Rewards and Praise – Encouragement

We encourage children by

  • Participating in their play.
  • Encouraging them to describe their efforts, ideas and products.
  • Acknowledge their work and ideas by making specific comments.

The most important thing that parents and childcare providers can give to children is the memory of positive relationships. It is a foundation on which they build all future relationships. We feel that building trust, autonomy, initiative, empathy, and self-confidence in children should be the priority for early childhood programs. The Early Childhood Center staff strive to establish an environment where adults

  • Share control with children.
  • Focus on the strengths, not weaknesses, of children.
  • Form authentic relationships with children.
  • Make a commitment to supporting children’s play.

We want our approaches with children to prepare them for school and better yet–life!

27 Strategies Used by Staff at the Early Childhood Center

  1. Anchor each infant and toddler’s day around a primary caregiver.
  2. Create small groups of children who share a caregiver team.
  3. Keep children and caregiver together from year to year.
  4. Arrange caregivers’ schedules around children’s needs.
  5. Tell children and parents about caregiver absences and returns.
  6. Have primary caregiver record observations of their children.
  7. Touch, hold, speak to, and play with children in a warm, unhurried manner.
  8. Meet and greet each child upon arrival to insure smooth transition from parent to caregiver.
  9. Respond supportively to children’s needs and attention getting signals.
  10. Give children time to interact and respond in their own way.
  11. Support children’s relationships with peers and other adults.
  12. Interact at each child’s developmental level.
  13. Respect children’s preferences and individual temperaments.
  14. Follow children’s lead.
  15. Watch and listen to children.
  16. Communicate and converse in a give-and-take manner.
  17. Make comments and acknowledgments.
  18. Look at children’s actions from their viewpoints.
  19. Give children choices when they have to do something.
  20. Focus on children’s strengths and interests.
  21. Anticipate children’s explorations.
  22. Encourage and acknowledge children’s choices in exploration and play.
  23. Help children achieve what they set out to do.
  24. Give children time to solve problems they encounter with materials in exploration and play.
  25. Support children in resolving social conflicts.
  26. A time set aside each day for outdoor play as well as quiet time for all children at the center.
  27. Take pleasure in your interactions with children.