Supporting Positive Practices
Supporting Positive Interactions with Children
CCCCG will create a positive healthy environment within which all children will be respected. Friendly, constructive and non-confrontational relationships are promoted and developed between children and children and staff. Developing responsive relationships with children and their families is the cornerstone to supporting positive interactions.
Positive social interactions are promoted in the learning environment by:
- Teachers acting as observers and play partners during play are better able to anticipate and prevent challenges. Developing responsive relationships with children and families by being attentive listeners and responding in a supportive manner to ideas, concerns and needs of children and families
- Having meaningful greetings at arrival and departure times
- Viewing the children as competent and capable. With this positive view of children, educators can plan interactions that are meaningful, and provide social opportunities through a play based environment, children's interests and varying individual skills.
- Collaborating and working with families to enhance the connection with the children in their care and supporting a sense of belonging in our programs.
- Supporting self-regulation by helping children to cope and recover from any stressors. Teachers are available to help children develop the skills needed to self-regulate and make decisions. This approach helps the children to build resiliency in times of stress.
- Commenting on the positive interactions and behaviors observed.
- Building on the belief that the child should always feel safe and act in a safe manner, including ensuring children keep themselves safe, they keep their friends safe and they keep their environment safe.
Strategies to Support Positive Interactions:
- Creating a welcoming and inviting environment
- Awareness of the individuality of each child and group dynamics when creating a learning environment
- Designing schedules and routines that are embedded with predictability to allow children sufficient time for meaningful engagement in play, while minimizing transitions
- Considering how the program setup and physical space of both the indoors and outdoors impacts their well-being and behavior
- Considering stimuli in the environment that may affect a child’s ability to self-regulate ie noise, space, number of people
- Considering play materials offered and how they impact the children’s well-being and behavior
- Assisting children in entering and exiting play appropriately
- Modelling positive behaviors, coaching the children on how to verbally interact and playing with others in a friendly manner
- Encouraging the children to solve problems together in a fair and safe manner
- Providing reflective feedback and encouraging the children to reflect on their behaviors by asking appropriate questions
- Helping the children understand emotions and building on emotional vocabulary
- Respecting and validating children’s emotions and feelings in a healthy way
When challenges and conflicts emerge:
- Ask yourself if there are some behaviors that do not require an immediate response? Consider alternatives to redirect.
- Teachers will take the time to reflect on the question, ‘Why is this behavior happening?
- Answering this may lead to a favorable solution for all. For instance, a child’s behavior may be due to:
- Boredom – reflect on the learning environment available; Is there something that meets their individual need
- Frustration – Is the programming, routines, expectations too challenging?
- Are they hungry or tired?
- Do they have the ability to enter and exit play with peers appropriately? Consider their play style?
If the child’s behavior is continuing or escalating it is necessary to let them know what the outcome will be. Indicate what you will do to help them if they cannot manage their own behavior. For example:
- You will redirect them from the present area
- You will find an alternate activity for them if they can’t
This is reinforced:
- in a positive, consistent and caring manner
- as soon as possible after the behavior has occurred
- as a way to assist the child to learn safe behaviors
- to ensure the safety of the children and teachers
- to protect the rights of others
- to protect the building and equipment
Always maintain a positive view of each child and consider:
How is a child showing you what they need to return to a feeling of calmness and how the teacher can support the child:
- Ask the child if they need time to calm down and consider the behavior(s)
- Guide the child to a quiet spot in the room (a child is never to be left alone)
- Make use of techniques that have been developed by each program and are developmentally appropriate
- Giving alternative options or outlets to express emotion
- If the child needs additional support, another staff person may be called to assist in supporting the program as needed. A child may be asked to go to another room with adult supervision for a “calm time”
- Once the child is calm, explain why the behavior was not safe
- Give the child the choice to return to the group with encouragement to make safe choices
- Look for an alternative activity that will meet the child’s immediate needs; perhaps a quiet activity with a teacher or different peer.
- Alternatively aid the process of telling their friend why they are upset. (Remember, children know the phrase “use your words”, but often need assistance in finding the words to say)
- Help them empathize and learn to identify with how peers are feeling
- Be flexible in your approach to meet the needs of individual children and the group, yet consistent with the use clear developmentally appropriate language with limits
The Supporting Positive Practices with Children is also posted on the Parent Information Bulletin Board so as to be visible to all parents and visitors.