Have you ever heard someone tell a young child to use “walking feet” only to see them run down the hall? Or “keep your hands to yourself” only to see them touch everything they pass. What’s happening, are they listening and just disregarding what you say? Maybe they don’t understand what you are saying… of course they are keeping hands to themselves their hands can’t come off! Yes, they see feet that walk, but they can also run! When talking with young children remember to use direct language. ” Will, I noticed that you walked quietly and safely in the hall like we practiced.” Using direct language conveys a belief that children will choose positive behaviors. It conveys caring for the child. Listen to yourself and those around you…notice how many times we say things and children respond in unexpected ways…”We don’t hit at school” (Yes we do, watch this!) Next time use the direct approach and see what happens.
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