This post will be deviating from my usual talk of middle schoolers, as I spent six weeks working with preschoolers and wanted to share my experience. Although it was a part-time position, my summer job really kept me busy and I’m excited to relax and enjoy the few weeks of summer left before I return my middle schoolers.
Working with the 5 and under population was definitely a nice change of pace from the adolescents that I typically deal with. However, working with the little ones was not without its challenges. There were moments where I felt like a human punching bag, as I was kicked, slapped, and swatted at!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to my students exhibiting aggressive behavior, but it’s normally verbal instead of physical. After speaking to co-workers, it became apparent that there were a few “repeat offenders.” Children who were known to be physical with adults as well as their peers. As many of you know, the less expressive language a child possess, the more their frustrations build up. This consequently leads to “inappropriate” behaviors like hitting. As it turned out, many of the children who were demonstrating the hitting, screaming, etc. were also the ones with limited expressive language abilities. Apologies if I made it seem like all non-communicative students were physically aggressive, as that is not the case and I had my share of quiet angels as well.
|Show love by disciplining with love.|
How can discipline begin at home?
1. Provide positive reinforcement for good behaviors (e.g. a tangible reward, smile, praise etc.)
2. Provide negative reinforcement for bad behaviors (e.g. time-out, indicate to child your displeasure: “no” or “stop”).
3. Be consistent.
I am not a parent, but I understand the frustrations associated with special needs children. They require more patience and tolerance than most but they also require the same discipline and structure that are provided to their typically developing counterparts. Not providing them with rules promotes a more chaotic and difficult life. You are loving your child by disciplining them, as you are preparing them for the world.
What forms of discipline have you found to work with your little ones?