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Supporting Children's Right to Be Respected
April 13, 2021
I don't think anyone can grow unless he's loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be...Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people...Children are to be respected and I respect them deeply.
-Fred Rogers
The Fred Rogers quote above speaks to the need for children to be understood, accepted and respected. Two resources, below, also speak to those needs.

Deb Curtis and Jess Guiney begin their article, "Seeing and Supporting Children’s Right to Choose," (which forms the basis for an Out of the Box Training Kit), with this story:

"Willa’s Morning
When I come to school, I can do all the things I like to do. It’s true! At my school, there is a yard, and different rooms, and most of the time I can go wherever I want. In the morning, there are meetings with the teachers and the other kids. I have to go to those, but I get to share with everyone what I plan to do with my day. Then I go quick as I can to do my plan! Some days I want to go to the Studio where I can do any kind of art. There is a teacher there who helps me find what I need, and there is lots of space to work. There are other kids there, too! Sometimes we work together; other times I work by myself. I can stay as long as I like. The teacher helps me learn new things like how to use clay and how to paint with special paints and brushes. And, if I decide that I want to go somewhere else but I’m not finished with my work, I can come back and finish it later." The authors ask all early childhood practitioners to ponder children’s right to have a great deal of choice about how they will spend their time when in their child care programs.

And in the Exchange Essentials article collection, "Conflict and Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom," Dan Gartrell and Michael Gallo write about children’s right to be understood and treated in appropriate ways. They explain that what is labeled as "challenging behaviors" is often the result of inappropriate expectations:

"Psychologists who study brain development are validating what caring educators have known for years: that there is no such thing as ‘bad kids,’ only kids with bad problems that they cannot solve on their own...First, early childhood professionals do well to think of young children not as years-old, but as months-old. A two-year-old has only 24 to 36 months of total life experience. A four-year-old has 48 to 60 months. Yet, adults sometimes expect emotional maturity from young children during conflicts (expressed disagreements) that we adults, with years of life experience, do not always show."

Out of the Box Training Kits

Use coupon code SUPPORT
for buy one, get one FREE Out of the Box Kits

The Out of the Box Training Kit, Hard Joys: Managing Behavior with a Creative Mind and a Playful Spirit, introduces six teaching tools for reshaping trying behaviors in young children. It will help teachers individualize their teaching responses to each child.

Out of the Box Training Kits are ready-to-use professional development programs on a variety of contemporary topics to support and improve the skills and pedagogy of those who work with young children.

Use coupon code SUPPORT when prompted.

May not be combined with any other offer. Not applicable on past purchases. Sale expires May 6, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.


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ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

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