Monday, June 26, 2006

Behaviour management, everyone's favourite job.

My sister and I are very good friends, we stood up for each other at our weddings and were there at each other's births, she is my children's testamentary guardian and I would trust her with the world. My mother partially attributes this to the fact that when we were fighting over something she would take it away and give us a common problem to unite in solving. Seems likely enough that it would help, so I've always thought that I would do the same if ever I had children.

It's hard to do though. There they are, coming at me with carefully thought out rationalisations and reasons for their claim, or crying and pleading and I say
"Well, if it's causing problems I guess I'll have to take it away for a bit while you talk to each other about how to use it,"
knowing that it will be unpleasant and loud and neither of them thinks it's a fair or wise judgement. I remove it anyway and try to help them negotiate or get over their anger and grief and remember that my sister and I hardly ever gang up on our mother nowadays.
Behaviour Management
Problem Solving: use when two children want the same toy etc. or when you didn’t see what happened.
1. Make it safe
2. Get down to the children’s level
3. State problem
(e.g. “I see you both want to play with the digger.”)
4. Ask children for a solution
(e.g. taking turns or get another toy.)
5. Pause to give children a chance to think it through.
6. If nothing forthcoming offer a choice or solution.
7. Check that both children are happy with the solution.
8. Carry out solution

Physical Behaviour: e.g. hitting, biting, excluding
1. Make it safe.
2. Get down to the children’s level.
3. Give firm unemotional message
(e.g. “No. Don’t hit. It hurts.”)
4. Lead offending child to the side and turn away (inclusive time out).
5. Make a fuss of victim.
6. Talk to offending child. Recognise their feelings and talk through how they could handle the situation better next time.
7. As soon as possible find an opportunity to comment on good behaviour of offending child.
Do not give long lectures, do not let offending child get a successful outcome (e.g. keeping the toy). Do not remove offending child away, only to side of play.
I found these words on a poster at Kelburn Playcentre. They don't include taking the contentious item in so many words but I generally find it's part of making the situation between the sisters safe, otherwise they're likely to keep snatching and tussling until someone gets hurt.


Blogger Echo said...

Every method has its rules. Here are some of mine.

NEVER stop them from jumping in a puddle, thats what extra shoes in the car are for.

NEVER let them climb on anything unless they can get there themselves.

LET them fight it out (verbally not phyiscally). It teaches them how to deal with other people, that other people do matter, that they can reach an agreement between themselves and a hoard of other things.

Poster notwithstanding, if they hurt each other, its a great idea to take it away.

BE HONEST when you feel angry, they understand anger.

There is no getting "down" to their level, only getting up into their hearts.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous RUTH (the sister in question) said...

.. or snatching and tussling until the bone of contention gets hurt.

Some days I take things away from Heather and Kay and suddenly they are able to play together cheerfully with other things. Some days it is not the bone but the contention and taking the entire universe away wouldn't help.

Actually it would help, the absence of the rest of the universe would be a sufficiently diverting distraction.

3:37 PM  

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