This chapter aligns with SLO # 5: identify appropriate guidance techniques used in early care and education systems.
This chapter provides insight into child behavior is within a developmentally appropriate context. Later in the chapter we will address intentional and positive guidance to teach children appropriate and expected behaviors. The content of this chapter is presented in a positive or strengths-based approach to support children as they grow, develop, and learn. This approach centers on our lens looking for and identifying a child’s strengths as a starting point for our work.
The foundation begins with building a shared definition of what guidance is, as well as what it is not. Throughout the chapter you will examine the basis of behaviors both seen and unseen. It is also important to delve into some background and information about neurodiversity and trauma, and how this relates to and impacts behavior. The chapter will also address how emotions, psychological state, and social relationships influence child behavior. The final focus area is communication with families along with mutual perspectives in guidance and the role of reflective practice.
Key Points from this chapter
Defining behavior: What behavior is and is not.
Exploring the role of relationships: How relationships and behavior(s) connect.
Identifying the social and emotional connections to behavior.
Social Emotional foundations of Early learning
Guiding Social Behaviors
Trauma, and behavior: the role of neurodiversity in behaviors and the relationship between trauma and behavior.
Discuss communication with families by sharing and reflecting about mutual perspectives: What, when and how to communicate to families about behavior.
Terminology found throughout this chapter
Affect: What we can observe as avisual demonstration of the child’s own feelings and empathy for others.
Approaches: Approaches are different ways to look at teaching and learning.An approach is based in theory, knowledge of brain development, and best practices for a specific area.
Behavior: Behaviors are the way in which a child acts, especially toward others. Behavior can be positive, supporting learning, positive relationships and interactions with others or be challenging and interfere with the same.
Challenging Behavior: Challenging behavioris inappropriate behavior that children use and rely on to get their needs met. These behaviors interfere with learning, development, and success at play. Challenging behaviors may include aggressive and disruptive behavior, or timid and withdrawn behavior.
Communication: Communication is a core skill in a child’s development. It is the ability to understand and to be understood, and is essential to relationships, learning, play, and social interaction. Communication can be verbal or non-verbal and can also be a form of communication.
Compliance: The child’s ability or willingness to conform to the direction of others and follow rules.
Cultural Dissonance: Cultural dissonance is defined as a sense of disagreement, tension, confusion, or conflict experienced within a cultural environment. The underlying causes of cultural dissonance are often not expected and not understood because of different types of cultural aspects.
Emotional Development: Emotional development refers to the child’s development of and identification of emotions and feelings, and includes the child’s experience, expression, and management of their emotions.
Goal: A goal isthe end (or final product) you are working toward. It is the “umbrella” statement, on objective terms of what you want to see. For example, a goal for this chapter is: Introduce students to child guidance and behavior in the early years.
Guidance: Child guidance means to teach and to help children learn social skills that will support them to get along with other people. We use positive techniques to teach so that each child can feel secure and comfortable while learning.
Interaction: The way in which the child initiates social responses to parents, other adults, and peers.
Neurodiversity: Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that brain differences are typical, and that we all think and learn in our own unique ways. Neurodiversity approaches learning from a positive stance, as opposed to a deficit approach, reducing the stigma of difference in thinking and learning.
Outcome: The specific steps to a goal, stated in measurable, objective terms.
Perspective: a specific attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Planned Ignoring: Deliberate and intentional inattention to an identified attention-seeking or other strategic behavior. Planned ignoring is used in selective response to behaviors that function to get attention.
Reflective Practice: the ability to reflect on one's actions to engage in a process of continuous learning. According to one definition it involves "paying critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform everyday actions, by examining practice reflectively and reflexively.
Relationships: Relationships are the construct in which children and teachers talk, share experiences, and participate in activities that support the child to be engaged in learning. Relationships support a child to think, understand, communicate, express their emotions, and develop social skills.
Self-regulation: Self-regulation is a child’s ability to understand and manage their behavior. This process supports a child to handle their reactions to feelings and help to regulate their emotions.
Strengths-Based Approach: Interactions that begin with helpful and encouraging mindsets, that support adults to see children and families in a more optimistic manner and allows us a strong foundation to build our positive relationship. Using a strengths-based approach begins with focus on a child’s (and family’s) strengths.
Trauma: Trauma in ECE refers to traumatic experiences. These experiences can be from intentional violence, a natural disaster, an accident, or war. Childhood trauma disrupts a child’s sense of safety, potentially causing negative behavioral, emotional, nervous system, and developmental impacts for the child.
Unwanted (undesired) behavior: behavior(s) that challenge us as adults, therefore are “unwanted”. These behaviors are typically seen as negative.
Venn Diagram: A Venn Diagram uses 2 or more overlapping circles or shapes to illustrate the logical relationships between sets of items or information. The larger “outside” circles show the unique elements and the overlap of the circles in the center is used to list the shared features.