I have rated the fourteen steps to guiding children’s behavior based on personal belief and experience. 1. Model Appropriate Behavior: Show, demonstrate, model and supervise. Children are watching you therefore you need to be the best role model you can be. As a positive role model you need to make good choices and encourage children to do their best too. It has been proven that children with positive role models have higher self-esteem, do better in school and social settings, and are more likely to make good choices in difficult/stressful situations. Positive role models can last a lifetime. 2.
Meet Children’s Needs: Children need to eat nutritional foods, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep and exercise. Children need a safe environment at home and at school. Children need love, affection and respect. Children need to be given opportunities to be successful so they can build self-esteem. Children need to be given responsibility and independence so they can experience self-actualization. As caregivers, it is our responsibility to provide all of these needs, children need us to do this for them. 3. Use and Teach Conflict Management: Teach children how to successfully resolve conflicts.
Children need to learn how to handle difficult situations, they don’t know how to resolve a problem if we don’t show them how. As a role model, it is important to display conflict resolution, children will learn by watching you. It is important to show children how to share, talk it over, take turns, choose to do something else, and say “sorry”. I think it is so important that adults apologize to children when it’s appropriate, respect goes both ways, if you expect a child to say “I’m sorry” to you then as a role model you should apologize to children when necessary too. . Know and Use Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Learn as much as you can about children, have high but appropriate expectations. As an instructor, it is crucial to always continue learning about Early Childhood Education, stay up-to-date with current methods and trends. 5. Teach Cooperative Learning and Living: This is such an important step because it’s a lifetime step. It is crucial to discuss cooperation with children because life is full of social interactions, they need to know how to cooperate in a group settings and how to recognize different behaviors.
Talk with children about different behaviors and reactions so they understand how they are feeling and how to react appropriately. 6. Develop a Partnership with Parents, Families, & Others: As an instructor, it is your job to communicate with people who are important in your students life because they are influencing the child outside of the classroom. Make it clear to parents and caregivers that you are always available for communication, that you care about the child and want whats best for them.
I think it is extremely important to involve parents and caregivers in classroom activities, they should know what you are teaching and how children are learning. Overall, if there is understanding and communication between parents and teachers then the child will probably have a more rewarding learning experience in the classroom and at home. 7. Empower Children: Children need to learn that they are ultimately responsible for their own behavior, allow children to have choices and support them. It is important that children know you trust their decisions and feel successful when they make positive choices. . Establish Appropriate Expectations: The expectations you have for children should be attainable and used as guideposts in learning. Children should have a clear understanding of rules and limits, this way they know what is expected of them. As an instructor, you should always be clear about exactly what you expect and what the consequences will be if rules and limits are broken. 9. Clarify your Beliefs about Guiding Behavior: It is important to be certain about what you want for children in the classroom and at home.
Use a philosophy of education to guide your teaching and review it often, be sure you are always doing your best to do best for the children in your classroom. 10. Use Social Constructivist Approach: Teachers should always be guiding students to behave in a socially appropriate and productive way. Once again, you are a role model, be the best role model you can be, children are watching your decision making and behaviors. Make responsible choices so children can ape this behavior. 11. Help Children Build New Behaviors: Give children praise when necessary.
I am a strong believer in the power of positive reinforcement, children react positively when you reward them for making good choices. It is important that children know you recognize they are choosing to make a good choice because it lets them know you are watching them and acknowleding their efforts to control their behavior. 12. Recognize & Value Basic Rights: We all have basic rights, children too! Respect their basic rights and it will be easier to guide and direct children’s behavior. 13. Avoid Problems: Positive reinforcement is a great way to focus on good choices and show children that you appreciate their good behavior.
Too many times I see parents and instructors who focus on negative behavior and forget to acknowledge positive decision making. If you ignore negative behavior children will learn that they will not get attention or reward for negative behavior. Be sure to always reward and focus on good decision making. Children will learn that by making good choices they will receive praise and rewards. 14. Arrange and Modify the Environment: The classroom should be a safe place of learning and fun. As an instructor, it is your responsibility to provide an annpropriate environment that supports learning for everyone.