Wednesday, 30 January 2013
I finished the last part of a behaviour management course last night and we talked about how we promote positive behaviour and what attributes were essential in a childminder. One of the key parts is being a good role model as the adult in your setting, we can't really expect behaviour from the children we aren't displaying ourselves. Also taking each child as an individual and planning activities that will stimulate and move each child forwards is really important. It can be a challenge with a variety of ages but younger children may just need more supervision to do activities the older children are doing or can be catered for my simply making items accessible that interest them (for example a treasure basket full of items made from different materials on the floor may hold a nine month old's attention whilst two three year olds play with a small world scene). Also how we view behaviour does need to be reflected on sometimes...is it really "naughty" behaviour or a developmental phase (such as biting which we redirect with sensory activities or a crunchy snack), schema (such as throwing which can be directed into something positive) or simply a child being a child and living in the moment? Do we always need to rush in and intervene in a hard way or can we take a step back sometimes and allow the behaviour or provide an activity that allows this to be used in a more acceptable way? Are we expecting too much for the developmental stage (not chronological age) of a particular child or are we expecting our societies norms to be ingrained in a child for whom English is not a first language? In some cultures children are not expected to make eye contact with adults and please and thank yous may not be so important. We can battle every little thing but must decide what is truly important: how safe, nourished and loved the children in our care feel or how we look to other adults when we are out and about. I am a firm believer that outdoor activities and socialization are also really important for children. Even as an adult I can get cabin fever from being cooped up all day and often children's moods can change quite dramatically when given the space to run around and feel free. If I was looking for a childminder for my son I would want someone who loves their job and feels passionate about it. I would also want someone who is calm and even tempered, is able to form a close bond with my child and has a similar outlook on parenting to myself. I would want someone who took delight in sharing new experiences with them and ensured they became part of the community by socializing with a wide variety of people from all walks of life. Most of all I would want them to treasure and enjoy their time with my child.