The post yesterday spoke about why raising hands or threatening a child does not work. But then, how does one deal with difficult behaviour, especially tantrums? Let us talk about handling difficult situations in a gentle manner. Here are a few strategies that work wonders for me.
Step 1: Understand the limit
I ask myself why I say no. Sometimes, the limit comes from a place of safety, but sometimes, it could be my anxiety or a bad day making me grouchy. I use the simple 3Rs rule. The behavior must be respectful towards self, towards others and towards the environment. If not, it is a strict no. If yes, I ask myself again why I am saying a no. For example, saying no to playing with the knife vs saying no to the child wanting to help roll chapatis simply because I’m tired. (Again, this does not mean I have to say yes if I am tired.… Click to read the rest
Ever since my first module with educational psychology, I find reading up on experiments on conditioning and reinforcement, fascinating. And naturally, my spirit is a positive cheerleader. I love dishing out praise easily. So believe me, this post and the contents that I’ve been trying to follow is not too easy.
At about 2 years of age, V started excellent focus in her work. And I realized, I wasn’t needed to say , ‘Wow!’ Because, her eyes would light up when she finished the task, before the Wow! That is when I learnt that the sensitive periods and work provide enough intrinsic motivation without need for my empty words.
Why I try to avoid “Good jobs!”
Words of praise become great extrinsic motivators. This is great for people who need an external push. But with children who are already internally motivated, this is not necessary at all.
The joy and accomplishment a child feels on completion of a task is taken away when praise is given precedence.
Maria Montessori stresses the importance of a rich environment that provides the necessary sensorial experiences to a child. What is a rich experience? Something that provides sensory stimuli, introduces something new or helps practice and helps form neuronal connections with older knowledge.
Why rich experiences?
Everything children see, hear, feel, touch, or even smell impacts their brain and thus influences the way they view and interact with their world—including their family, neighbors, strangers, friends, classmates, and even themselves.
Daniel J. Siegel
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is one of my many favourites. While he observed that infants actually seek environmental stimulation that promotes their intellectual development, he thought that their initial representations of objects, space, time, causality, and self are constructed only gradually during the first 2 years. He concluded that the world of young infants is an egocentric fusion of the internal and external worlds and that the development of an accurate representation of physical reality depends on the gradual coordination of schemes of looking, listening, and touching.… Click to read the rest