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The Six Life Skills Children Need
Transcript of The Six Life Skills Children Need
Attachment: "I have grown-ups in my life who cherish and guide me."
Belonging: "I am a part of the group, not apart from the group."
Self Regulation: "I can manage my emotions and empathize with others."
Collaboration: "I am learning how to work and play with others."
Contribution: "I have a responsibility to myself and others."
Adaptability: "I am learning that there are different rules for different places."
Help children Understand emotions
When speaking to children, use a wide variety of vocabulary to label emotions so they can better understand the differences
Listen carefully to determine if they are just asking for information or if they need emotional support (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 102)
Explain that feelings are responses by giving "cause and effect" scenarios of why certain emotions might occur
Help children notice that feelings change
Help Children regulate emotions
Help children learn impulse control
Explain that as time passes, emotions and feelings change
Provide examples such as "Your friend is moving to another town which makes you sad, but you have a new neighbor next door to play with which makes you happy."
Suggest more positive outlooks, rather than destructive talk (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 107)
(e.g. Instead of "I can't do this. This is dumb." Suggest, "I'm frustrated")
Setting up a proper schedule is important in regulating children's emotions. They need quiet time and fun play time during the day, but in between it is also important for them to have transition times so that they are emotionally prepared for the next activity.
(e.g. children can't go from playing hard outside to nap time immediately following.)
Expose children to a wide range of soothing strategies so that they are comfortable during each change during the day
If a child is not able to handle a situation rationally, give them an activity to do that will stimulate their minds so that their bodies can calm down
Teach children how to take turns and share with friends
Use reflective language that focuses children's attention on cause and effect, especially on their actions and what the result was. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 121)
Try to reenact what happened by helping them find what triggered the feeling, what their response was, and what happened as a result to their actions. This will help teach them cause and effect to how they handle their emotions
Organization and a set schedule in the classroom gives children something to depend on. If their days aren't consistent, they are more likely to have impulsive behavior and emotions
Help children read the body language of others
Recognize children whom are being helpful. Not only will this boost their confidence, it will also show them that being helpful makes people happy.
Cause and effect toys can give children an understanding of how actions and behavior affect the outside world. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 136)
Practice pointing out how behavior affects others
Build Genuine Relationships
Interact with Affection
Keep Children Safe
Include personal information about yourself in conversations with students
Show that as a teacher, your students can trust you. Trust is one of the biggest factors in building a strong relationship.
Back and forth conversation with individual children is one of the best strategies for supporting language development (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 34)
Researchers tell us that children learn to behave well when they have good relationships with adults. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 35)
Expressions of warmth and affection occur as teachers and other caregivers protect, guide, communicate, teach, and play with children. (Child Care Bureau, 2005)
It is important to remember that children who are the most challenging are often those who need warmth and affection the most.
Avoid criticism, nagging, yelling, and reprimands as much as possible, and try to be tolerant of children’s spontaneity.
Children see out and need reliable adults who keep them emotionally and physically safe and set predictable and clear limits.
Safety is crucial in attachment and can also help to build trust in relationships. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 36)
When children learn that they can trust the adults around them, it helps them grow up happy, healthy and to enjoy the world around them. (MSD, 2013)
When discouraged, children just need you to comfort them and give them a simple explanation. This will help them feel good about themselves, and feel OK about talking to you if they have a serious problem
Promote Belonging to a group
Support the development of friendships
Support Family Belonging
Help children reinforce their identity as members of their families while learning how to navigate the outside world by becoming familiar with the worlds from which they come. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 62)
Have pictures of the children's families in the classroom so that they always have that visual of where they came from.
Make it a point to get to know each child's family individually and what is unique about each one of them. This will make the child feel like they are being invested in. An idea would be to have the children create an "All About Us" book to help the class get to know their family better
Teamwork can be promoted by having them work in pairs or groups with multiple partners.
"Success in school and in life requires that children also learn to develop community skills." (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 68)
If they belong to a group, or a classroom community, they start to understand the emotions of others and they also are able to learn how to show empathy.
Classroom meetings at the beginning and end of each day are a great way to establish feeling like a group.
(Bilmes, 2012, pg. 78-79)
Solo Play-- In the infant/toddler stage, this is important so that they can develop the skills they need to sustain meaningful peer play in the future.
Adult-Child Play-- As infants mature and develop relationships with their significant adults, they begin to also develop play skills with those adults.
Parellel Play-- Very young children still lack the language and skills needed for meaningful interactive play with peers, so while they will be happy to play side by side, they may have very little interaction.
Small-group Play-- To be successful at this type of play, children must learn how to be included in play, how to take turns and share, and how to play common themes.
Large-group Play-- This is important because kids can take the first step of identifying themselves as an important member of the classroom community
Help children learn to wait, take turns, and share
Teach children how to resolve conflicts
Help children express their needs and set limits
Support developing play skills
Make sharing fun-- have the kids work toward a common goal together, such as putting together a puzzle.
Encourage kids to take turns with toys-- reassure them that sharing isn't the same as giving away, and point out that if they share their toys with friends, friends will be more inclined to share theirs too.
Use timers to measure the amount of time a child has the possession of a toy or object.
Use a talking and listening stick to take turns talking or sharing.
Lead by example-- the best way for kids to learn is to witness it being done by someone else.
Focus on the conflict at hand
Listen and ask the kids how they think the conflict should be resolved.
Give kids the chance to work through differences.
Brainstorm specific solutions. When kids are new to resolving conflicts, they often don’t know how to solve them. Sometimes having an adult name a variety of solutions can help kids begin to think of what works for them—and what doesn’t. Over time (and with practice), they’ll come up with their own creative solutions.
Praise your students when you see them resolving conflicts well. Resolving conflicts peacefully is a complex skill. Notice what your student is doing right (such as calming down before trying to talk it out) rather than what they are doing wrong.
Have as few rules as possible, but make the ones you do have stick.
If the child doesn't listen to you, try this:
Tell the child specifically what you expect them to do, and help move them in that direction.
If necessary, remove the child from the immediate situation, but keep them with you.
Discuss feelings and rules after he or she is calmer.
Involve the child in deciding when it is time to return to the previous activity.
Help them return and be more successful.
If he or she repeats the behavior, remove them from the situation again.
Be persistent because it often takes repeated experience for learning to take place.
Teach them how to enter a group activity. You can model how to join the play theme.
Invent themes in which they can play together and work as a team. An example would be helping each other build a big tower.
Help children reject play requests graciously. Say "Not now, maybe later" or "No thanks."
Make sure to let your students know that it is all right for children to want to work by themselves sometimes. It isn't meant to be a permanent rejection of friendship. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 175)
Help children develop skills and optimism
Help children become problem solvers
Help children identify their importance
to the community
Help children recognize fairness, bias, and injustice
Help Them Experience Success--Children develop self-esteem and optimism by experiencing success. So, starting young, let children do things for themselves (with you in a supporting role rather than doing for them), and acknowledge their success. (Scott, 2014)
Help children develop self-talk that encourages persistence when they face frustration. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 189)
Use encouraging language and recognize their accomplishments.
Respect responses that children give and let them know their ideas are accepted and valued. This creates a safe place to take risks and make mistakes.
Find ways to practice problem solving using puzzles, games, or riddles. Invite them to help you solve problems in the program such as the best place to put a new item or coordinating who goes first in a game.
Rather than rushing in with suggestions and solutions, give children a chance to work out their own issues with you as a mediator.
Ask them questions to further their thinking such as “Why do you think it didn’t work?” or “What else could we try?” or “How could we make it fair?”
Think out loud when problem solving about simple things in your program so that children can see this as a normal part of everyday life.
Encourage children to come up with many possibilities so that they see that problems have can have multiple solutions. (4-C, 2014)
Help all of the children in your class appreciate the unique gifts they have to offer the community by emphasizing the importance of offering their skills and talents to others in the classroom who need their support. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 204)
Displaying images in the classroom of children working and playing with other students is a great way to help the kids feel important. They will also be able to show their family how they contribute to the classroom by these picture visuals.
Having a period where the kids all work at the same time to complete one common goal is a great way to establish teamwork in a classroom community.
Teach and model that there will be fair and unfair times in life.
Help children recognize that everyone is different and drawing attention to others differences might be hurtful.
Guide your classroom toward being fair and sensitive to the needs of others.
Help children distinguish between trying to get somebody in trouble and trying to aide somebody in need through your response to reporting. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 215)
Encourage children to report incidents that trouble them, whether they are participants, victims, or witnesses.
Help children learn the social scripts of school
Provide a safe and predictable environment
Help children adapt to changes
Successful adults and children constantly adjust their language to fit the social norms.
Children who know the "second language of school" use socially appropriate language as they navigate their school day. These language customs are the social scripting we have established as the standard for classroom culture. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 226)
When you think about a child's behavior, remember that the child is coming to school from their home environment, which has different social scripts than those that are used at school.
Guide and redirect what they say if it is unacceptable language for school.
Develop consistent routines and schedules. Giving children time to anticipate activities decreases negative behavior and enables children to feel prepared for what comes next.
Changes in activities can be challenging for all children. Visually posting schedules can help your children anticipate what the day has in store.
Be consistent and make sure that your students know what to expect from transitions and when they will occur. (FPBC, 2014)
Make sure that all the adults in the classroom are guiding the children with the same set of rules and following through with them so that the children don't get mixed signals.
Create classroom rituals and routines to help children prepare for and adjust to the inevitable changes such as these that happen in life. (Bilmes, 2012, pg. 234)
Talk to the children about what is going to happen. Be as honest and direct as possible.
Emphasize things that will remain the same during the period of change. (Counseling, 2014)
While the change is occurring, it is important to try to create as much predictability and consistency as possible. The more things that are predictable, the more comfortable and safe the child will feel.