“That’s not fair!” is a common refrain in preschool classrooms. Children often struggle to share favorite toys, take turns, and are prone to saying hurtful things such as “I don’t want to play with you,” or “I don’t want to be your friend.” As educators, we do our best to mediate hurtful situations during which children feel judged or left out. However, getting the concept of fairness to stick can be tricky. Continue reading
by Teresa Narey
Teaching children about personal space and fostering self-regulation is arguably an early childhood educator’s most important job. Research tells us that children with strong social/emotional skills have more positive relationships, are happier, and are more successful academically than children who exhibit social/emotional difficulties. Children who are mentally healthy are generally more self-aware, that is, they understand their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how those things affect other people. The more self-aware you are, the more you understand your impact on other people. How, then, do we help young children begin to think about boundaries and self-reflect? How can we support them in naming their emotions and overcoming challenges? Below are 6 simple activities to get you started.
by Teresa Narey
A tenet of developmentally appropriate practice is establishing and nurturing a sense of community in your classroom or setting. This sense of community should encompass your relationships with the children, their families and caregivers, and with your colleagues.
As early childhood educators, we know that supporting children’s social-emotional development is crucial to their success in the primary grades, their relationships, their choice-making, and in essence, life. Every child has his own unique challenges in developing a sense of responsibility, self-regulation, and self-care. As we support children’s personal growth, we also need to consider how to encourage them to care for one another and for the world at large.
A child’s ability to manage feelings, understand the feelings of others, and interact positively with others can affect all areas of his or her life. Research shows that children with good mental health are happier, motivated, interested in learning, and develop healthy relationships with their peers and adults. A child’s ability to develop strong social-emotional skills determines how well he or she will handle stressful situations during adulthood. Use the following tips to support children in identifying and managing feelings.
by Kelley Jilek
Fears are normal in childhood; they develop for several reasons. Young children have a difficult time distinguishing between things that are real and things that are not. Add that to their vivid imaginations, what they have seen on TV and other media, and experiences that have caused them real fear (being lost, being hurt, etc.), and you have all the factors necessary for fears to develop.