Home How to Step In…
How to Step In…
Here are some general ideas for dealing with difficult play situations.
- If children are doing something dangerous, then stop them, saying “I’m afraid someone will be hurt. Let’s try (suggest an alternate activity.)”
- If someone is hitting, pushing, or kicking, then stop the child and ask, “Are you trying to tell __________ something?” Make it clear that it is okay to be angry, but we cannot express anger by hitting, biting, kicking, etc.
- If you need to tell children not to do something or to censure behavior, then start by giving a gentle, clear explanation, and then make your warnings more severe if they don’t change. For example:
- 1st warning: “John, for this activity we want the dinosaurs to stay at this table.”
- 2nd warning: “John, please keep the dinosaurs on this table. We need them for this activity.”
- 3rd warning: “John, if you take the dinosaurs away from the table again, you will have to leave the table – without a dinosaur!”
- If children are having trouble doing a task or routine, show them how to manage and describe what you are doing. For example: “There are a lot of us washing our hands at one time. I can share my sink and soap. Angela, would you like to share my place?”
- If you think a particular unpleasant behavior is designed to get your attention, then you can ignore it. This avoids reinforcing undesirable behavior.