Here are a few things that we do in the classroom that may work at home for you as well.
We have routine
First and foremost all children thrive on and need routine. It helps them order their world and feel secure and safe knowing what is going to happen next.
We have clear and consistent limits
We set and discuss rules and consequences. Rules should be clear, simple and few. We have one simple rule: You may not hurt yourself, others, or things. If a child has hit another child or is about to, the teacher kneels and calmly states: “I cannot let you hit Ben. We don’t hit people. I know you are angry. Can you tell me why?….OK, how can you let Ben know that you want to use the fire truck?”
We offer acceptable choices and re-direction
Choice is a regular part of our classroom practice. It can also be used to diffuse a potential power struggle such as clean up time – “Would you like to put the blocks or the puzzles away first ?”, “I could help you put away the blocks. Would you like that?” getting dressed – “Would you like to put your hat on first or after you put on your coat?”
There are times when a child loses control no matter what we do and then, with the adult, a walk out in the hall, a visit with Mrs. Platt’s fish, or a moment or two of quiet is just what may be needed to provide a few minutes to calm down and re-group. We do not use time-outs or exclusion in the spirit of punishment. The point here is to give the child an opportunity to regain control in a supportive environment. and a positive attitude on our part is the best teacher of all.