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Old 03-02-2011, 12:44 PM
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momofsix momofsix is offline
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Location: michigan
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Default How much control do you allow the kids?

So after reading through some of the topics lately about different ways of doing curriculum, and different problems providers are having with some kids, and all the responses, this is the March newsletter I found that was sent out by licensing today-I thought it would be interesting to hear if you agree that allowing children more freedom in choices helps their behaviors, or see it as a recipe for diseaster. If you could give real life examples that would be helpful!

Sorry it's hard to read, I couldn't figure out how to copy it the way it came


March Newsletter
Teachers report the most common behaviors children display during power
struggles are:
• biting
• hitting, kicking,
pushing
• whining
• tattling
• yelling
• not wanting to
participate
• refusing (defiance)

For more information on workshops contact me at:
DKJ5075@aol.com. or visit my website:www.danieljhodgins.com

How many times have you heard a child say to you, “You can’t make me, you’re
not my MOM!” Sometimes you might even secretly be thinking, I am so glad that I am not. A power struggle is an individual need for control or power. Sometimes a child will do anything to attain control/power. Even if that means creating
“hurt” or “chaos”.

When do Power Struggles occur most likely?
• mealtime
• clean up time
• nap time
• group time
• when sharing is requested
• arrival and departure

Notice the basic similarity in all of these is that the times are directed and/or
decided by the adult. My observations of young children show that the more
the child is in control of their schedule the fewer power struggles. We need to
look at our daily routines and see how much of the day is “Teacher Decided”
versus “Child Decided”. When children are allowed to make “real” choices
about what happens and when it occurs during the day they develop a strong
sense of self-control. Think about how you feel when you are included in the
decision making process. Being included in the process creates a feeling of
belonging.

Who is in Control Here? Power Struggles

Preventing Power Struggles:
• Provide choices for children - make sure the
environment is set up with activities they are interested in
• Allow children to make changes to
experiences you provide - place props in child’s
reach and watch what he/she will do with them
• Flexible time boundaries - children need some
control of how much time it will take to finish an experience
• State what you want children to do - avoid
telling children what they can’t do and focus on what they
can do
• Avoid getting your “buttons” pushed - never
take what children say or do personally, it is not about you it
is about them
Remember that children are always looking for power
and/or control. It is our responsibility to provide lots of
opportunity for them to attain it.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011, 12:55 PM
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DCMomOf3 DCMomOf3 is offline
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IMO, the children are not ready to control, they are far too young to have that much power.

Giving choices is one thing, and one I do, but i am not going to let a child decide when we do something and how long we will do it for. They have to learn how to respond to authority, when it's ok to decide and when it's not, and learn to respect the people that are teaching them. I believe that newsletter has it wrong.

I can see it now, a person raised to decide when and where disagrees with his boss at work then cries foul when the boss says too bad, it's your job. The person then takes it up with HR and the boss is expected to back down... I don't think so.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2011, 12:59 PM
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QualiTcare QualiTcare is offline
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i think giving kids choices definitely helps their behavior. i believe when people hear "give kids choices" they misinterpret that as "let the kids tell YOU what they're going to do" and that's not the case at all. i do NOT let kids tell me what to do never, ever - not for a second.

what i do and have done is give kids ACCEPTABLE choices that i select for them to choose from. you don't ask a kid, "what do you want to eat?" because they're going to say, "ice cream and cookies" and when you say NO then it's like, "you asked what i wanted!" instead, you ask, "would you like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, or would you like a turkey sandwich and carrots" or whatever! same with activities - instead of asking "what would you like to play?" when they know you have buckets of paint and you just got finished sweeping the mess from the rice table - you ask, "would you like to play blocks, play-dough, or puzzles?"

either way - the kids are getting the opportunity to make the choices and no matter what choice they make - it's still YOUR choice. kids need to learn to compromise and it's hard to learn how to compromise if you're never able to make choices. i compromise with my kids all the time down to what they wear each day. of course i can't let them wear a skirt or shorts in the winter, but i'll put out some jeans and 3 different APPROPRIATE shirts they can choose from. that's one less battle i have to fight each morning and i still win. so, yeah, choices are good and help behaviors for sure IMO.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2011, 01:21 PM
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ammama ammama is offline
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Interesting - I really tend to follow Waldorf methods, which believe that young children shouldn't be given options, as it causes stress in their lives. I tend to employ that line of thinking, and really limit the choices that my kids (and dck's) have.

I do not offer any choices on meals/snacks - you can eat what I give you. With my own DD2, I pick out her clothing (not DD7, I don't consider her a "young" child anymore).

I decide - when we go outside, where we are going outside (to the park or wherever), when we come back inside (unless a child is cold, then we'll go back in early, of course).

Children are free to pick their own activities during free play, of course, and I never force a child to participate in activities that I lead. They each also get to pick a story for our pre-nap storytime.

If I have put a certain toy/activity away in storage (I rotate what is out), and someone asks for it, I will not take it back out. They can play with what is out. I have been really trying to limit what I have 'out' at any one time too, to limit choice of toys (although, there is still ALOT out).

I don't think i'm overly strict or controlling at all - but I don't have any behavior problems with my current group (not to say I haven't had them in the past though!).
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:30 PM
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DCMomOf3 DCMomOf3 is offline
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I didn't explain my processes well, but i do the same things as ammama
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammama View Post
Interesting - I really tend to follow Waldorf methods, which believe that young children shouldn't be given options, as it causes stress in their lives. I tend to employ that line of thinking, and really limit the choices that my kids (and dck's) have.

I do not offer any choices on meals/snacks - you can eat what I give you. With my own DD2, I pick out her clothing (not DD7, I don't consider her a "young" child anymore).

I decide - when we go outside, where we are going outside (to the park or wherever), when we come back inside (unless a child is cold, then we'll go back in early, of course).

Children are free to pick their own activities during free play, of course, and I never force a child to participate in activities that I lead. They each also get to pick a story for our pre-nap storytime.

If I have put a certain toy/activity away in storage (I rotate what is out), and someone asks for it, I will not take it back out. They can play with what is out. I have been really trying to limit what I have 'out' at any one time too, to limit choice of toys (although, there is still ALOT out).

I don't think i'm overly strict or controlling at all - but I don't have any behavior problems with my current group (not to say I haven't had them in the past though!).
must be a canadian thing but I have to agree with you. I limit so there is less fighting and stress among the children. I don't have meltdowns with the kids either, and the kids are really goo (except this one 5.5yr old girl, but will post about her later)
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:10 PM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofsix View Post
So after reading through some of the topics lately about different ways of doing curriculum, and different problems providers are having with some kids, and all the responses, this is the March newsletter I found that was sent out by licensing today-I thought it would be interesting to hear if you agree that allowing children more freedom in choices helps their behaviors, or see it as a recipe for diseaster. If you could give real life examples that would be helpful!

Sorry it's hard to read, I couldn't figure out how to copy it the way it came


March Newsletter
Teachers report the most common behaviors children display during power
struggles are:
• biting
• hitting, kicking,
pushing
• whining
• tattling
• yelling
• not wanting to
participate
• refusing (defiance)

For more information on workshops contact me at:
DKJ5075@aol.com. or visit my website:www.danieljhodgins.com

How many times have you heard a child say to you, “You can’t make me, you’re
not my MOM!” Sometimes you might even secretly be thinking, I am so glad that I am not. A power struggle is an individual need for control or power. Sometimes a child will do anything to attain control/power. Even if that means creating
“hurt” or “chaos”.

When do Power Struggles occur most likely?
• mealtime
• clean up time
• nap time
• group time
• when sharing is requested
• arrival and departure

Notice the basic similarity in all of these is that the times are directed and/or
decided by the adult. My observations of young children show that the more
the child is in control of their schedule the fewer power struggles. We need to
look at our daily routines and see how much of the day is “Teacher Decided”
versus “Child Decided”. When children are allowed to make “real” choices
about what happens and when it occurs during the day they develop a strong
sense of self-control. Think about how you feel when you are included in the
decision making process. Being included in the process creates a feeling of
belonging.

Who is in Control Here? Power Struggles

Preventing Power Struggles:
• Provide choices for children - make sure the
environment is set up with activities they are interested in
• Allow children to make changes to
experiences you provide - place props in child’s
reach and watch what he/she will do with them
• Flexible time boundaries - children need some
control of how much time it will take to finish an experience
• State what you want children to do - avoid
telling children what they can’t do and focus on what they
can do
• Avoid getting your “buttons” pushed - never
take what children say or do personally, it is not about you it
is about them
Remember that children are always looking for power
and/or control. It is our responsibility to provide lots of
opportunity for them to attain it.
I'm going to channel my granny for you:

wait for it........................


Nan's Nan says: "that or you could have them go play toys."
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2011, 03:39 PM
QualiTcare's Avatar
QualiTcare QualiTcare is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,484
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ammama View Post
Interesting - I really tend to follow Waldorf methods, which believe that young children shouldn't be given options, as it causes stress in their lives. I tend to employ that line of thinking, and really limit the choices that my kids (and dck's) have.

I do not offer any choices on meals/snacks - you can eat what I give you. With my own DD2, I pick out her clothing (not DD7, I don't consider her a "young" child anymore).

I decide - when we go outside, where we are going outside (to the park or wherever), when we come back inside (unless a child is cold, then we'll go back in early, of course).

Children are free to pick their own activities during free play, of course, and I never force a child to participate in activities that I lead. They each also get to pick a story for our pre-nap storytime.

If I have put a certain toy/activity away in storage (I rotate what is out), and someone asks for it, I will not take it back out. They can play with what is out. I have been really trying to limit what I have 'out' at any one time too, to limit choice of toys (although, there is still ALOT out).

I don't think i'm overly strict or controlling at all - but I don't have any behavior problems with my current group (not to say I haven't had them in the past though!).
i don't think the article is suggesting to let children make big decisions about the daily routine - like whether or not to go outside or what time to go out.

of course you wouldn't let a child decide you're not going to have group time or read a story - but why not let them have choices about which story you're going to read? if they choose the story (from books you've approved) they'll be more interested aka more likely to listen, wouldn't you agree?

as i said before, you wouldn't let a child choose not to wear a warm shirt when it's cold out, but how does it affect anything if they choose from a red shirt or a blue shirt?

i guess we have different views on waldorf bc i don't believe the method is "young children shouldn't be given options," but that their choices should be limited. i don't think choosing what color shirt to wear or what story to listen to is a stressor nor what the method suggests at all.
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2011, 04:39 PM
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ammama ammama is offline
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I do let them choose their story, each child picks one book for storytime.

I went to a study group put on by a local Waldorf kindergarten teacher, and we had quite a long talk about appropriate choices for young kids under 5 years of age or so. She really stressed that children should basically be given as few options as possible regarding food choices, what to wear, what toys are available to play with etc. After reading "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne (which I HIGHLY recommend for any parent, btw), I am happy that I really do limit their choices whenever possible. I feel it does reduce stress in their lives. I'm sure everyone reads about Waldorf, and Rudolf Steiner's views in general and interprets it their own way, this is how I do it.
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