Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ego in Children

Yesterday I witnessed, what we normally call ego.
One of the kids (my favorite : I know we shouldnt have favorites but what to do? I like her so much just like that!) was sitting on my lap while we were playing rhymes using the CD player. She slowly took the remote from my hand and started holding it. (She probably felt like being the one in control) I let her be as it is while all of us were enjoying the rhymes. Then one of the other kids saw the remote in her hand and came forwards and started pulling it from her hand. So I stopped her and took the remote from both of them and said since you are fighting for it, I wont give it to either of you. Then the kid on my lap pushed the other kid with her hand in anger.
I immediately told her no and asked her to say sorry. She just stared hard at that girl. Then I told the other girl to say sorry as she was the one to start the fight. She said sorry immediately. I turned back to this kid and told her she has told you sorry and now its your turn because you pushed too. She just kept staring angrily but refused to say sorry.
I kept persuading her saying it was okay to say sorry etc etc but she simply refused.
Then I told her, I wont take you down if you arent going to say sorry. I started collecting the children's bags and asked the other children to come with me in the other room to go down. I tried once again asking her to say sorry but she was just fuming. Then we just went out the room when she started howling! I went back to her and consoled her and took her down. I just didnt know how to make her let go of the anger. She clung on and cried for 5 minutes. When the sobbing stopped, I tried once again (yes I just cant let go of such things.. somehow they are very important to me). She finally relented and said sorry. I took her to the other girl and asked her to say sorry to her. She said it again using the name. After that she was fine. A bit grumpy but otherwise okay.
I'm not sure if I did the right thing by insisting so many times and making her cry. What is your opinion?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


We as teachers have a habit of judging children. "Oh this kid is too naughty!" ,
"He just wants to trouble others!" etc. We pass judgements too soon too and then these take form of prejudices and effect children later.
Children are what they are only because of their surroundings. Social behaviour cant be innated and so its up to us to develop it correctly. Passing judgements hinders this development.

Its very important for us to have an open mind, to analyze a childs behaviour and to understand why the child misbehaves. Once we have the cause, the solution to correct it comes automatically. Ofcourse, its not always straight-forward. An example could be that a child sees such behaviour at home and its not in our control to avoid that. But we can surely bring it to the concerned parents notice so they can help us too.

Rewards and punishments shouldnt be given to children. They misunderstand it. Their behaviour in front of you might be different but without you, it would be the same because the reward or punishment is only given by you. Positive behaviour can be encouraged without rewards. Acknowledging good behaviour is one such form of reinforcement of such behaviour and ignoring bad behaviour will help to keep it in check. When I say ignore, it means to the child it should seem that you didnt notice it. But ofcourse the behaviour shouldnt trouble another child and if it does, we should physically stop it.

PS: The poem is written by my hubby for me to let children know about leaves! How do you like it?