For a child to grow up in a safe, loving and warm environment, it is necessary to work every day to cultivate a solid emotional base. If the emotional well-being of a child is strong enough, they will be better prepared to meet their milestones in in other areas of development.
- To guide our children, we must always take into account the example we are giving them. Let’s be a positive role model, in which respect and empathy for others is highlighted. Most children learn behaviors through observation. Therefore, we must act in a way that we consider is the most appropriate for our children to emulate. If a parent or teacher yells at a child, it is likely that the child will repeat this behavior in the future.
- It is important to be clear in letting our children know what we expect from them from the very beginning. Together we can create certain standards (reasonable, logical, fair and realistic) or expectations that are appropriate for their level of development. Consistent communication is the best tool to use to enable children to understand what behaviors we expect from them. We should take advantage of all opportunities to talk to our children about situations that happened or will happen. Enlist your children in navigating situations and reach agreements together to show them that you respect them. By including them in the decision-making process you provide them opportunities to practice reasoning skills while giving them ownership of the behaviors you are teaching them.
- The famous “Timeout”, from my perspective, is usually best utilized by adults. There are times when it is better to take a moment to breathe and analyze the reason for their behavior.
- You can also talk to a child and remove him from a place or group if you have explained to him why you are doing so. Explain your intention of having him helping and supporting him to calm down (if that is what he needs) or to help understand how best to express his emotions. You can also give him a hug, which can be more helpful than a punishment. However, this should not always be the strategy; as a child can be given the option of either staying where he is, or leaving (if he wishes) to come back whenever he is ready.
- It is our responsibility to accompany children in their growth with a consistent and loving presence, without the need to be authoritarian, and never with the use of violence. Finding a way to make a child feel bad, so that he learns a lesson, does not teach him anything but damages his self image and teaches him this is okay to do to others.
- Both children and adults learn from love and communication, not from shame or anger.
- It is likely that for some parents or teachers, yelling or imposing punishment seems most effective. The truth is that through dialogue and respectful communication we can achieve much more, since solid foundations, safe and effective relationships are formed without the need to hurt or harm the others.
Assistant Director of Professional Development