Behavior in all human beings is driven by a want or desire we have, which is then modified by our experiences, environment, and awareness of the needs of others.
It does not occur in a vacuum; instead it specifically relates to the way in which we conduct ourselves in relation to others. Young children have not yet learned how to balance their desires with an understanding of the needs of others and an appreciation of what is morally ‘right’.
According to Freud’s model of the psyche, young children are slaves to their id and need help to develop their ego and superego to help balance this.
When children start nursery or pre-school activities in a more social setting, they will build on what they have learned about behavior at home to develop in social and emotional contexts. Parents and teachers often have the largest role to play in this, but whatever role a person plays in a child’s life, they will have a part in shaping the child’s behavior. Let’s talk about how…
- Introducing positive behavior expectations
When adults visit new countries, they do not instinctively know how to behave in a new culture which they are unfamiliar with. They learn by observation, research, asking for help, and most importantly, experience or trial and error.
The same process occurs for children as they become increasingly aware of the world around them and engage with it more. Some behavior children will usually be able to observe and replicate relatively easily and independently. However more complex behavior (particularly linked to social norms), and behavior in new contexts, will often require explicit teaching.
The Pingu’s English suite of curricula place a strong focus on exploring, learning about, discussing, and personalizing behavior and choices, all in the context of mutual respect.
2. Creating an environment promoting positive behavior
The people and environment surrounding a child are also so important in promoting positive behavior. The environment should promote positive choices but also be a safe place in which children can make mistakes and learn without censure or criticism.
Instead of simply staying “No” or “Stop that!”, it is much more beneficial for children to be offered choices, so they can learn why they should not do something and how they could act differently.
All Pingu’s English teachers undergo specific training in our unique child-centered, play-based learning approach. They will all be inspiring role models who have meaningful relationships and rapport with all students; ultimately being a person that a child wants to behave well for. The interaction between the curriculum, experiences, environments, teachers, and role models in a child’s life will provide their framework for their behavior. At Pingu’s English, we offer unique and exceptional standards in all three areas – ensuring that our students become responsible and respectful global citizens.
3. Managing unacceptable behavior
As young children continue to learn about behavior, they will make mistakes and slip up on occasion. This should not be a cause for undue concern and should be treated as merely a mis-step on their journey to becoming a responsible classmate, friend, and citizen.
However, it is not acceptable for children to persistently display unacceptable or extreme behavior, which affects their own learning or the learning of their classmates. Some children may require specialist skills, environments, and approaches to support their behavioral needs. If you are every concerned about the behavior of your own child, you should discuss this with your child’s teacher and seek their support.
Teachers will be able to provide reassurance about what is age-appropriate and expected, or seek support from school managers or other agencies if they feel it is required.
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