Category Archives: Behaviour Guidance

Behaviour Guidance Tip – Preparing Children for Transitions

Did you know that preparing children for upcoming transitions saves time, energy and reduces challenging behaviours from occurring?

Examples of transitions include:

  • Getting ready to leave home to go to child care or child care to go home.
  • Leaving play for lunch.
  • From outdoor play to indoors.
  • Getting ready for sleep time including nap and night.

By planning and organizing your transitions, it creates a plan that can be implemented by anyone. Continue reading

Behaviour Guidance Tip – “Sorry Doesn’t Fix it”

Did you know that when you ask a child to say sorry following a situation, you are teaching them an automatic response. Often that response reinforces the behaviour and does not teach them how to rectify the situation.

Although it is important to model and teach manners, a child needs to experience a true sense of empathy in order to be compassionate to others. Continue reading

Inclusion Ideas Corner – Setting Up Great Physical Spaces for School Age Children

Below are 2 pictures from a school age program that runs out of a gym. They have 5 minutes to set up, and aim to have a quiet area, table top activities and a help yourself bin with a variety of activities that is easy for the children to access. Staff regularly rotate items to keep the children’s interests.
Note: some tables, mats, as well as the small bench as used as a divider. Creative thinking!

Floor Toys Continue reading

Behaviour Guidance Tip – Pairing Positive Reinforcement with a Child’s Name

Did you know the impact of pairing positive reinforcement with a child’s name can;

  • Provide positive attention
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Build self-confidence
  • Establish a sense of belonging

Toddler Scenario:
The whole family is sitting at the table for dinner.  Charlie is looking at his plate and notices a new food. He pushes his plate away and says; “I don’t want that”. The parent says, “They’re peas, they taste good”. The parent refrains from using Charlie’s name. After Charlie eats the preferred food on his plate, he decides to take a small bite of peas. The parent waits until Charlie tries again and then says with a big smile; “Charlie, you tasted your peas”. Charlie smiles. Continue reading

Fostering Connectedness in your Centre

The Children’s Village at Bridlewood is one of four licensed school age programs operated by the long standing and respected Children’s Village of Ottawa-Carleton. I am the program supervisor and I get to experience the best of both worlds by splitting my time in both the office and on the floor as a team teacher. Our agency takes pride in its programs, the fostering of connectedness between staff, parents, colleagues and most importantly the children. We also value the overall impact of connectedness on learning and behaviour.

A colleague of mine recently brought to my attention a discussion she had with one of our children, a seven year old boy. He had counted the hours he was at school in a day and compared it to how many hours he spent at home with his family. “Miss, did you know I’m at school for ten hours? That is more time than I am with my family and more time than I am asleep”. Educators and operators of before and after-school programs know this realization all too well. For me, working under the motto “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” means we aren’t just educators, we are a family away from home to these children.

The Children’s Village at Bridlewood 2014-2015

The Children’s Village at Bridlewood 2014-2015

Continue reading

It All Starts with Strong Relationships

Scenario 1 – Steven arrives with his grandfather and they are warmly greeted by an Educator. Steven joins the children playing Octopus. He often needs help remembering to follow the rules and routines and has a really hard time being “out”. When he gets “out”, he becomes really upset. When this happens, the Educator calls him over and gives him a strong hug to activate his listening ability. Without the hug, he cannot hear what is being said to him. His feelings are acknowledged by saying, ” You didn’t want to be out. It’s hard to be out. A new game will start soon. Do you want to wait here or with the other children who are out?” Steven moves to join the other children. A simple hug and an acknowledgement of his feelings really helps him turn things around. Continue reading

Dinner at my Mom’s – Learning about the “You” Statement

I teach a small group of diverse students with various needs. None of the children have formal diagnoses but some of the students are being supported with an Individual Education Plan to work towards specific behavioural goals.

I have recently tried a new key strategy that my Mom shared with me, over dinner, in the classroom; the “you” statements. This strategy has revolutionized the way I think about behaviour management and the needs, wants and feelings of young children in an integrated early learning classroom. I ask myself the following questions regarding the child. Why are they doing what they are doing? What is their motivation? What are they trying to tell me? The “you” statement acknowledges what they are doing or saying as positively as possible. Continue reading

Behaviour Guidance Tip – The “You” Statement

Did you know that by using a “You” statement it:
Validates the child’s needs, wants, and feelings by focusing instantly on them.

A child is crying during drop off time, the educator approaches the child and validates her feelings by saying; “You are sad. You miss your mom”. Most often the child will seek comfort and regain control over their emotions because the child feels understood.

Did you know that by using a “You” statement it:
Can help a child deal with not having immediate access to a preferred item. Continue reading

Positive Transition to Preschool

September is always an exciting time for children and parents starting preschool. Along with all the fun associated with new surroundings, new friends, new adults in the child’s life, comes the anxiety about parent and child separating from one another. It’s a very emotional time for parents to leave their child but can be equally scary for some children. This is especially true for children whose first language is not English or for a child with special needs who has not been separated from their parents before. Here are some strategies that we have used to ease the transitions for children, parents and educators.

1. Prior to starting in the program, hold an open house for children enrolled in the group and their parents so that they may meet the other children, parents and educators. Plan your open house so it happens when your centre is in operation. This will provide an opportunity for everyone to experience a preschool day. Continue reading

Preparing for Separation Anxiety

September is a very busy time of year especially for educators and providers as they prepare to receive many children. Some will be returning but many will be new. This means many children along with their parents/guardians will experience Separation Anxiety. Here are some considerations to help with this short lived anxiety.

Create a small booklet with pictures of your centre or home child care setting that you can give to parents/guardians so they can read it with their children.
Post and use a visual schedule not only in each classroom or playroom in a provider’s home but also next to the schedule posted for parents/guardians. Continue reading