The importance of talking with children about feelings

The situation: Four-year-old Michael was misbehaving. The teacher, Mr. Carpenter, was speaking quietly to him, helping with feelings the young boy could not express verbally. “Michael, if you are missing mommy and feeling sad, we can talk about her, think about her and make her a picture,” Mr. C said. “You can miss mommy and still feel like a big schoolboy who can manage and be safe.” Nearby, Alex had been watching this interaction out of the corner of his eye while building with blocks....

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An alternative to punishment for misbehavior

The Situation Five-year-old Thomas sat in his chair at morning meeting. During the “Days of the Week” song, Thomas rocked in his chair to the music. He knew it was against the rules because it wasn’t safe; chairs tip over easily. But when no one seemed to notice or comment on it, he did it again. Still, nobody paid attention. When morning meeting ended, the children were free to choose an activity. Thomas chose puzzles, his favorite. But when he couldn’t get the pieces to go in correctly...

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