Last week, I discussed some of the behavioral issues are dealing with right now. I described the group mural activity where I intentionally set up problems, such as overcrowding and not enough supplies. That, however, gave us plenty of opportunities to practice being patient and modeling language to get what they needed.
What this all really boils down to is teaching respect. And that is my focus right now. We started with teaching respect amongst our peers, and now we are going to move on to be respectful to adults...all adults.
On Friday, we continued to work on being respectful to our friends. We had no special activities that day so I could just focus on their play. Each and every time I caught someone not speaking nicely to another, or taking something away, or pushing someone out of their way, etc....I would stop them and model the language that I expected them to use. This was actually quite successful, and, and after 2 days of doing this, I was starting to see some improvement by the end of the week.
Of course, after the weekend, I fully expected to be starting over today. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were being a lot nicer to each other and actually playing a lot better together. We still occasionally have moments where they aren't quite sure how to say something yet, but that's ok, this is how we learn. The best part is that the tone they are using with each other has greatly improved.
This week we will continue on this path, but we are also going to be working on being more respectful towards adults. This includes not just me, but every other adult who enters my house, and towards their parents.
I haven't been very impressed lately with how some of the kids have been acting when their parents show up. A lot of it is that there are two authority figures present, so they push it. We are going to work on this. It is stated in my policies that I expect the kids to follow the rules even when their parents are present, and will step in when necessary to enforce this. I'm going to be doing more of this. I know sometimes as the provider and as the parents we are worried about stepping on each other's toes, or aren't quite sure how to handle the behavior. Let's not worry about that. Let's just focus on getting the behavior that we would like to see. If I step in, I will be looking at it as I am modeling for you how I handle this type of behavior. Please look at it the same way.
Most of these kids are heading off to school in just a few months...let's make sure they are prepared in all ways!