“The child never shows hot behavior”

Children who hit, yell, bite, get very angry, or otherwise display agitated behavior: What do you do with this? Punishment doesn’t help, says child psychologist Tisha Navy. She also knows what helps. Look behind the behavior. What is the need, desire, character, how does the child feel? You have to respond to that.

Tisha Navy

Struggling, Not Listening, Strong Emotions: There is always something behind this behavior. “Behavior isn’t just a thing,” says child psychologist Tisha Navy. It is up to us to find out what is behind it. What need, emotion, or desire is the child expressing? Try to see the situation from the child’s perspective and stage of development. Then you better understand why the child does what he does. For example, a child cannot yet understand that biting or hitting hurts another. As adults, we children need to learn how to deal with emotions and with others. Always remember: you want to teach a child something. Even if you don’t listen, don’t want to cooperate, or show unwanted behavior.

stable base

The first step, Tisha says, is to provide a stable base. Create a recognizable and safe (play) environment. Provide structure and routine to the group. For example, by letting children sleep and eat in a timely and adequate manner. When children get used to the routine, they understand what is expected of them. They will then cooperate more easily, because they know exactly how things are going, for example when cleaning, going out or sitting at the table. Because of this clarity, you often have a little to limit. Set firm agreements and rules, set boundaries and be consistent. This way you are visible to the children and offer them direction and security. You can always step back and address the kids about it: “What’s the deal again?” You always take them the way we want them to. Of course you have to live it yourself. This way you prevent disturbances and you have to put out fewer fires.

Connect and connect

It is also important that you provide enough touch and contact moments during the day. Tisha: “Maintain good lines of communication with all the kids, listen to them and really pay attention to them. This way you prevent them from using negative behavior to get your attention.

Tischa Neve, along with Professor Margriet Sitskoorn and researcher Jef van den Hout, is one of the speakers at the inaugural Toddler Week of the Congress on Friday 31 March. More information or register >>

Collaborate and discuss

Your state of mind also plays a role. If you have a lot on your mind, if things are going on in the team or with a direct colleague, this will have an effect on the children. Tisha: Kids feel it. So make it negotiable. Especially in these trying times, so much is being asked of you and your colleagues. It is therefore very important now to see together whether everyone can offer the necessary quality and whether there can be enough for the children. If you do not do this, you will notice that children react to this with their behavior. That is, you have to zoom out again and again: how about our routines, are you still in shape? Do we all do it the same way every day? How is the peace in the group? How are you, are we taking care of ourselves? How do we ensure that we continue to consult well despite the crowds? It’s hard, but try to hover over it like a helicopter. Then you instantly signal if something goes wrong and you can respond right away.

Look behind the behavior

Of course, children are sometimes transgressors, not listening or not sticking to conventions. Tisha: Then lovingly bound the child. It is especially important to look beyond the behavior and what the child needs. For example, some children need more control, thinking together, or choosing for themselves. If the prime minister tells you what and how to do, then such a child encounters resistance. If you know this and can satisfy that need, you avoid a lot of corrections. You may have to first get the child’s attention before he can listen. Some kids can be easily modified from a distance, while you’ll have to first make real contact with other kids before your message gets through. Often there is no unwillingness at all not to cooperate or to listen, but in his excitement sometimes such a child forgets that something is not allowed or should be done. For example, be quiet in the hallway when you go out. It can help remind you of the appointment ahead of time. It may also be that the child has a different need. A child who is too busy and restless will not sit still in his chair. Then do not help the child by limiting him, but it is better to say: “Go run.” In short, look beyond the behavior. What is the need, desire, character, how does the child feel? You have to respond to that. Find out what works for any child. Best way to make sure it works. Ask yourself: does the child understand what he is doing? Can she do what you expect of her? Are you getting the management right or is a different approach needed?

Positive approach

“But most importantly,” says Tisha, “pay attention to the things and moments that are going well. Choose a positive approach by letting the kids know what you want from them, rather than saying what isn’t allowed. Try to be as responsive as possible to the kids’ needs and carry You have a mirror to yourself. Look at behavior differently. Otherwise, you will keep correcting and end up in a negative spiral. Which is exactly what you don’t want.

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