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Hard Joys: Managing Behavior with a Creative Mind and a Playful Spirit

by Lilli-ann Buffin
September/October 1996
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/hard-joys-managing-behavior-with-a-creative-mind-and-a-playful-spirit/5011158/

"I just love children" is a response you can count on from applicants for employment at child care centers. Each time I hear these words, I ask myself, "Is that an 'informed' love of children, or the enthusiastic, but naive, response of the inexperienced?" Anyone who has worked daily with children knows that working with them can be a joyful experience - and extremely hard work.

Sooner or later, every child experiences difficulty. For some, it is a fleeting moment brought on by hunger or fatigue, or difficulty sharing a prized toy. For other children, the difficult behaviors spread out into longer "stages" consistent with the issues of their development. A much smaller group of children will struggle intensely with deep and powerful internal pain related to extreme life events or health/mental health disorders.

At difficult times, children need our help. With a creative mind, playful spirit, and a few tools, we can reshape these trying behaviors. Here are six tools I find to be indispensable:

_ Teamwork! Sharing a philosophy and approach to difficult behaviors is essential to success. This includes the ability to work together to generate positive, creative solutions, and a willingness ...

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