Monday, March 7, 2011

Try not to put the cart before the horse

Dialoguing with my children, and really sitting at their level helps me to gain rapport with my children. So I keep up friendly conversations with my kids throughout the day. It makes my job so much easier because the kids view me as a person of interest, who is interested in them.

For example, I might share the daily antics of my two cats Herbert and Arthur; I might talk about  my weekend grocery shopping and what I like to buy at the grocery store; I might reminisce about the time as a small child I was stuck in the mud wearing my new cowboy rainboots, and Mom had to pull me out but one boot got lost for abit - and then I find I am rewarded with wonderful stories from my children throughout the day about their weekend, or their pets, or any special thing they might feel like telling me.I have found my children to have very good memeories, and to ask me questions related to an incident I might have brought up the month past.

I think this is a good way to engage children as it is an informal way to enhance cognitive and language development, and creates a relationship of trust.

Then I feel I am more likely to have the children listen and follow requests I make of them, (not always),  and I believe that if we are enjoying mutual conversations at say lunch time there is less possibility of undesirable behaviors. My children  feel respected by me when I dialogue with them, and so sit and eat in a respectful manner. Not always, sometimes people wriggle, or sit on their knees, but I think being reminded helps the child sit more safely.

I feel if I haven't worked at this with my children; if I haven't done the groundwork of establishing comfort and rapport, and then I expect them to behave in respectful ways themselves - well then I am putting the cart before the horse.

That's all for now!


Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said...

Hi !! This is Melissa from the Chocolate Muffin Tree! Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for the compliments! If you are on Blogger (which I see you are) You can follow me through Friend connect, which you have too (with the little profile pictures!) Go to my blog and click on the white rectangle that says "follow" above the pictures and then you are following me. When you go to your Dashboard there should be a reader of blogs you follow that you can scroll through. Don't hesitate to e-mail me if you don't get this---it took me a while to figure a lot out because I just started blogging at the end of January! If you look to the side of your blog and see a bright pink square I am following you!!! LEt me know if you need help!

Geraldine said...

I think it's important to always interact with children as individuals, not what we might perceive as expected bahaviour or reactions of the majority. When I was working with children on a daily basis, visiting schools etc, I was amazed by how even really young children had definite opinions and personalities and liked adults who engaged them as individuals. I really had a lot of fun on these visits and came away with a lot of respect for teachers too. This was a good post to read Brenda. The interest and passion you have for your work and for the children you interact with is evident. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense said...

Melissa and Geraldine,

Thanks for your comments!

Melissa I am now following your lovely blog, Thank you!

Geraldine, Thanks for your encouraging comment, it really is helpful to have someone else's perspective!