Wednesday, June 16, 2010

how do I get kids to make the right choices?

"He did it!"

I used to feel like a dictator rather than a preschool teacher some days. Young kids know what needs to be done and often times insist on playing a blame game before we can all move on to the next activity.

Me: "Okay friends, it's time to clean up the Lego's. We are going outside."

The children: "I didn't do it, Tedd was the messy one."
"Do I have to clean? I feel sick."
"I played there a long time ago and I cleaned up when I was done."

Some many excuses and so little time and patience to hear them all. I used to rattle off orders and upset children would do them. It did get the job done but it wasn't the effect I wanted. Getting children to make the right choices was my goal. I decided to change my tactic and the children responded differently.

Getting Kids to Make The Right Choices:
Old Way: " Clean up, pick up your toys!"
New Way: "Uh-oh! I see toys on the floor still. Who will help me pick them up so we can do something fun outside?"

Old Way: "Stop whining, please."
New Way: "You're whining right now. I don't give kids what they want when they whine. If you use your 'big voice' I will hear you and help you."

Old Way: "Stop throwing the toys."
New Way: "Toys are for playing with and throwing them is breaking an important rule. We can throw some balls outside and some bean bags, you can help me set it up outside for the rest of the kids."

What are some effective communication techniques you have used at home or school?


Theresa Milstein said...

These are great tips. I use a similar one for whining. I say, "I don't understand you when you use that voice."

Barbra Stephens said...

Hi Theresa, I enjoy your blog. You are very conciderate when it comes to talking to kids. Glad there are substitute teachers out there with your style!