Thursday, July 8, 2010

helping kids learn by example

Kids learn so much from adults and peers. Kids don't always hear what we say but they defiantly watch what we do. Being a good role model has always been a part of my own personal job description. Because we all make mistakes, even the ways we try to right our wrongs can be seen as good examples of behavior. Here are some things I really try to keep in mind when being a good example in this social world we live in.

*Take every day opportunities to say how thankful I am for something or to someone. Share it with the children. If I forgot to thanks someone I will tell the children, "Oops I forgot to thank Ms. Margo for getting us the construction paper! I will definitely talk to her when I see her!"

*Kids like rewards and surprises for special things they have done individual or as a class. I am not one to reward kids with materials for pro social behaviors because kindness, caring and thoughtfulness is truly it's own reward. I world like to the children to fully experience that feeling without expecting a toy or a sticker instead.

*I engage in pretend play with the young kids. Taking time to play, listen and talk with out putting down anothers ideas always makes kids comfortable.

*Helping kids assert themselves let's them learn the language they will need for assertive behaviors, not aggressive ones. "I don't like that!  Please, be nice to me." or "It hurts my feelings when you yell at me. Tell me nicely." are just a few examples.

*Most children don't share very well. But all kids can take turns and learn to respect each others time and space. After a while kids learn to ask, "How many minutes can I have that?" I am always watchful to help them follow up.

What are some ways you help kids learn by example?

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