Children are constantly learning and growing and as parents we are our children’s first teachers. By Nicola Masters – Head of Early Years & KS1 at Akeley Wood Junior School and Nursery As a parent, how proud do you feel when someone praises your child for their good behaviour? Likewise, how quickly do you wish you could run and hide when that same child decides to throw a tantrum at the local supermarket? You are now faced with a consequence, how do you deal with the good, the bad or the ugly? Your response as a parent is key… In a nutshell, this is what positive behaviour management is all about… If we want our children to become responsible and resourceful members of the community, we first need to recognise that children are constantly learning and growing and that as parents we are also our children’s first teachers. With the right help and support, many people believe that from an early age, children can be taught to think for themselves and learn how to control their emotional and social behaviour without having to rely on one punishment after another to correct disobedience.
So how can you take a positive behaviour approach?
- Offer a choice when possible. Choices provide small steps in shared power and are important if we want our children to feel that that can make good decisions for themselves.
- Be kind AND firm together to avoid extremes – have clear boundaries and stick to them, even when it’s not always the easy option.
- Teaching empathy as a parent instead of telling a child what to do, is much more valuable. Rather than teaching your child to say sorry, ask yourself, “Is my child saying sorry because they understand what they have done, or simply because they know that’s what is expected every time they misbehave?”
- Validate your child’s feelings – “You look really sad / angry”. Try and get them to talk about their feelings. Also talk about how their behaviour makes you feel.
- Ask your child what they think they could do to make the situation better. Stop crying, give a hug, get a tissue. Praise their ideas and solutions. They have just taken their first step in resolving a problem without you having to tell them what to do. After all… What we hear we forget, what we see we remember and what we do we understand.
- Do not try to solve problems when you or a child is really upset. Allow a ‘cooling off period’. Help your child understand that it’s ok to feel that way, but how we choose to behave because of our feelings isn’t always ok.
Akeley Wood Junior School supports a positive approach to behaviour. If you would like more information about their nursery provision, contact Admissions on 01280 860 824 or email email@example.com