What I’ve Learned About Children

7 Oct

My niece, Olivia, on at an Easter Egg hunt last spring.

For the past 4 1/2 years I have been working with children in some capacity.  Before teaching, I didn’t have much experience with children.  I’m so thankful for my job because it has helped me to learn many valuable things about children that will really help me as a parent.  I’ve been spending some time reflecting and thinking about my babies as I prepare to become a parent.  Below are some of the things I’ve learned about children the past few years….

  • Children need tangible consequences for their actions, both good and bad, especially young children who do not have the abstract thinking aspect.
  • The punishment should fit the crime
  • Children need to hear when and why you’re proud of them.
  • Children crave boundaries.  They want to succeed and please you so badly and knowing what’s expected of them is half that battle.
  • Children need to be listened to and heard, even when their stories seem trivial or repetitive (probably more than ever at these times!)
  • Yelling almost always does more harm than good.
  • When it comes to discipline, CONSISTENCY is everything.
  • Self-image is something children start to develop at a very young age.  They need to know that who they are is OK.  They are who they are and that is a unique and special person.  Sound very cliche-ish but kids need this confidence from day one!
  • Children need to feel “safe.”  I see this especially in my classroom, as a teacher.  When kids come through my door, I might have no idea what’s going on at home and what they’re bringing in with them.  I want them to feel safe and know that regardless of what’s going on at home, when they’re at school they can feel loved and secure.

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