Let's look at toddler and preschool problems from a Montessori standpoint.
I once attended a workshop that revealed a wonderful tool used by Montessori teachers in order to determine what action adults should take when they want to correct a child's behavior respectfully. She drew a chart that looked kind of like this.
The behavior that most of the early childhood teachers were concerned about on that day was excessive gunplay. It was a difficult question. People had different ideas about whether to allow it at all. One thing the crowd agreed on was that excessive gunplay bothered teachers and other children, and was extremely hard to control.
So we inserted gunplay into the first column. then instead of going straight to the action the adult takes, we skipped forward to the values we wanted children to have surrounding gun use by the time they were 21.
We decided safety, respect for others, and following the rules were the most important factors involved. Then we listed possible actions.
Then we moved on to crafting logical consequences in case of misbehavior. Some of those were spending time away from friends, losing the privilege of having any gunplay time at all, and taking a break from play in order to talk with a teacher about limits and rules.
This way of looking at behavior has helped me a lot over the years as an infant, toddler, and preschool teacher. That's why I thought I'd pass it on to you!
The really cool thing about this method is that you can apply it to any behavior that you'd like to correct. Let's use the common problem of toddler and preschool whining.
*if they're 3 and up and they ignore your words and continue to whine, you can use a timer and ask them to wait a few minutes before trying again. That way, whining simply doesn't work and they're forced to try something else.
This method for whining is tried and true and will work within a couple of days if everyone the child deals with is aware and on the same page with their responses. If not, it may take a little bit longer.
It's a respectful way to encourage parents and teachers to work together during a conference or when discussing a concern.
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this! You're helping to create a more peaceful world.
You can find many more concrete ideas about problem-solving, learning, and non-violent communication on my blog, here.
When you do I'll be sure to keep you in the loop with weekly articles with practical ideas for common childhood problems.
If you want to learn more about early childhood, check out our homepage, here.
Early Childhood Rocks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the world through early childhood education
Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! (click on the word) She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.