At Kara4Kids preschool, we believe pupils are inherently valuable and deserve our love and respect. Since preschoolers are still in the process of emotional and social maturation, they may struggle in a school environment and lack the necessary life experience and communication skills. As a result, they require our support to navigate this new environment.
Kara’s approach to child guidance is based on positive guidance.
What is Positive Guidance?
Positive guidance is an approach that prioritizes the development of a child’s self-control rather than simply focusing on their behavior. To achieve this, we may need to adjust our mindset. As educators, we are not responsible for shielding children from conflict, disappointment, or frustration but rather for teaching them how to handle these situations and emotions responsibly. We must also recognize that a child’s behavior is a reflection of their choices and not a reflection of our abilities as teachers.
As educators, it is our duty to support children in developing self-control and pro-social habits that will benefit them in the future. Positive guidance emphasizes empowering the child to have authority over themselves rather than the adult having control over them.
Traditional reward systems like sticker charts have limited long-term impact on behavior despite producing immediate outcomes. Children often lose interest when rewards such as stickers, candy, or toys run out, and they may not continue positive behaviors at home or in other settings.
Teachers at Kara give their undivided attention and listen carefully to children’s needs while setting realistic expectations for them. Maintaining a regular routine in the classroom can also help. Since each child is unique, expectations should be tailored to each individual child. For instance, if a child takes more time to complete a task, it’s important to acknowledge their effort and provide positive guidance to help them complete the task rather than setting expectations based on the teacher’s own abilities.
13 Positive Guidance Strategies adopted by Kara4Kids:
1. Encourage Positive Social Interaction:
Positive social interaction is an important aspect of preschool development. Teachers and caregivers at Kara encourage children to engage in positive social interactions by modeling appropriate social behavior, providing opportunities for group activities, and helping children understand the importance of sharing and taking turns.
2. Provide Opportunities to Play:
Play is an important aspect of preschool development, allowing children to explore, learn, and develop social skills. Teachers and caregivers at Kara provide opportunities for children to engage in free play and structured play activities that promote learning and social interaction.
3. Foster a Growth Mindset:
A growth mindset believes that abilities and skills can be developed through hard work and dedication. Teachers and caregivers at Kara foster a growth mindset in preschoolers by providing opportunities for learning and growth, encouraging effort and perseverance, and reframing failures and mistakes as opportunities for learning.
4. Be Clear and Consistent:
Children need clear and consistent boundaries to understand what is expected of them. Caregivers at Kara set clear expectations for behavior and communicate these expectations in a way that children can understand. Teachers at Kara also consistently enforce these expectations to help children feel secure and promote self-regulation.
5. Model Positive Behavior:
Children learn by watching the adults around them. Teachers at Kara understand this deeply and model positive behavior patterns. This happens through the use of positive language when interacting with your child. For example, saying “please” and “thank you” when making requests or using words like “kind” and “respectful” to describe behavior that you would like to see in your child.
6. Offer Choices:
Giving children choices can help them feel more in control of their environment and promote autonomy and self-regulation. Offering choices can be as simple as allowing children to choose between two snacks or two activities. At Kara, we promote kids to be independent. We do this by giving them options to choose from themselves.
7. Use Positive Language:
Positive language is an important tool for promoting positive behavior. At Kara, we use positive language to reinforce positive behavior and promote self-esteem and confidence in children.
8. Be Empathetic:
Empathy is an important skill for parents and caregivers to develop. Empathy involves understanding and acknowledging a child’s emotions, even when we don’t agree with their behavior. Acknowledging and validating a child’s feelings can help them feel understood, reducing the likelihood of difficult behavior.
9. Use Natural Consequences:
Natural consequences involve allowing children to experience the consequences of their behavior without the use of punishment or rewards. For example, if a child refuses to wear a coat on a cold day, they may feel uncomfortable, which can help them to understand the importance of wearing appropriate clothing. Natural consequences can help children learn responsibility and their actions’ consequences without feeling shamed or punished.
10. Redirect Behavior:
Sometimes, preschoolers can engage in challenging behavior simply because they are curious or exploring their environment. We redirect their behavior to a more appropriate activity or behavior in these situations. For example, if a child is hitting a toy, you could redirect them to a similar toy that is safe to hit.
11. Encourage Problem-Solving:
Problem-solving is an important skill for children to develop and can be promoted through positive guidance. Encouraging children to think through a problem and come up with a solution can help them feel empowered and capable and promote self-regulation. We offer suggestions and support as a parent or caregiver but ultimately allow the child to devise their own solution.
12. Addressing individual needs:
Each child is unique, and addressing their needs and challenges is important. Teachers at Kara work together to create a plan to address any developmental, emotional, or behavioral issues that a child may be experiencing. We help children to feel supported and valued.
13. Collaborate with Families:
Positive guidance should not be limited to the school environment. Teachers and caregivers at Kara work with families to promote consistent positive guidance strategies at home and school. This collaboration helps us promote consistency and provide a supportive environment for preschoolers.
In conclusion, positive guidance is a crucial approach to help preschoolers navigate the challenges of the school environment while promoting their emotional and social development. At Kara4Kids, our approach prioritizes the development of a child’s self-control, building a strong relationship with the child, being clear and consistent with expectations, modeling positive behavior, offering choices, using positive language, being empathetic, using natural consequences, redirecting behavior, and encouraging problem-solving. By adopting these strategies, we empower children to take responsibility for their actions and develop pro-social habits that will benefit them in the long run. As educators and caregivers, it is our duty to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for preschoolers to thrive and reach their full potential.