I have a child in my group who often engages in challenging behaviours and this child takes much of my attention. How do I divide my time between all the needs of the children?
To help support all the children in your group, increase the amount of reinforcement you give. One feasible way to do this is to use the 2 x 10 Strategy. This involves connecting with each child for 2 minutes every day for 10 days and then start over again. Focus on the child exhibiting the behaviours first. When connecting with each child, ask probing questions to get to know the child’s interests; ask silly questions to inject humour; focus on similar interests. If you find it difficult to start conversations, refer to our conversation starters tip sheet and you will have plenty of opening phrases.
The purpose of the 2 x 10 strategy is to build strong relationships and connections with the children. Therefore, avoid bringing up stressful topics such as school, rules, past challenging behaviour and avoid being sarcastic. Instead show that you are genuinely interested in them by actively listening, engaging, interpreting and elaborating with facial expressions, gestures, comments and preferred activities.
When educators focus on positive relationship building they nurture trust and respect which fosters deeper, stronger connections that reduce challenging behaviours.
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