23 Nov Empower Children to Build Resilient Relationships
By Samantha Lee,
Head of School, Early Childhood Education, Dika College
EDUCATOR ROLE: Educators help children positively shape their very first encounters.
Through my years of educating young children, this is what I have observed, if children do not make their first friend in kindergarten, they may encounter difficulty making friends as they progress through the different phases in life.
As educators, we have to be aware of this because kindergarten goes beyond the ABCs and 123s.
Learning in Kindergarten
The time in kindergarten is a time for children to attain social and emotional learning. Alongside picking up reading and writing, this is an extremely important part of the preschool curriculum.
Social and emotional development is closely related to early childhood mental health and refers to a child’s unfolding capacity to :-
- Experience, regulate and express a range of emotions.
- Develop close, satisfying relationships with other children and adults.
- Actively explore.
When does social and emotional development start?
At four months, infants can begin distinguishing the different emotional expressions of others. At six months, babies begin to mimic the emotions and expressions they see in others.
By the time children reach two years of age, they begin to play interactively with their peers. This carries on through the early childhood phase and as they begin their schooling.
Loving relationships give young children a sense of comfort, safety and encouragement, ultimately building up their confidence and independence.
Let’s look at the educator’s role in the following scenario.
“I am upset!”
A child who is shoved by a peer, intentionally or otherwise, may approach his or her teacher to share feelings of being upset.
Allow the child the time and space to share these feelings. Ask questions that will allow you as an educator to examine what the concerns are. Does he require a band-aid or are his feelings merely bruised? Teach the child how these incidences can be avoided and why it is important to look out for himself.
“It was an accident!”
A child who pushes another (on more than one occasion) should be spoken to.
Ask questions that will enable him or her to understand why these ‘accidents’ have occurred. Does he or she have a solution as to how to avoid such incidences? Teach the child why it is important to apologise to a peer.
The Effective Educator
Educators must be trained to effectively handle everyday scenarios in such a way that the child is able to encounter a process of learning.
Remember, allow children the space to understand what has happened and help them derive a solution for which they will be accountable.
Educators must equip themselves with the know-how and the willingness to invest the time to deal with these situations for each and every child.
When this is done right, children will learn something in the process and be better equipped to have the confidence and independence to be resilient in their relationships throughout life.
Our first relationships shape who we are, who we become, and our understanding of the world.
As educators, we help children positively shape their very first encounters.
INSPIRE TO ASPIRE:
Dika College offers programmes in Early Childhood Education and Special Education (Early Years) accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). Call us today at +603-80706223, or reach us at our mobile/WhatsApp: +6016-2286223 for more information.