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A new Exchange Essentials article collection, "Challenging Behaviors, Part 3," provides a wealth of new perspectives on decreasing behavior issues in early childhood programs.
For example, in his article, "Not Attention but Affirmation," Dan Gartrell writes:
"New early childhood professionals sometimes hear from others that some children ‘just want attention. They will misbehave to get any attention they can, even negative attention.’ Providers who hold this view tend to believe that children know how to act better, but ‘out of selfishness’ they demand more of the adult’s time than they ‘deserve.’ A related idea is that providers who give ‘too much attention’ to individual children are showing favoritism and are ‘spoiling them.’
Hopefully most providers move past these outdated notions. These professionals know that at a deeper level than attention, young children want and need personal affirmation as worthwhile individuals and worthy members of the group. Since Maslow’s writing in the 1960s, many have come to recognize that affirmation as worthwhile individuals and worthy members of the group are basic needs that children must meet in order to grow and be healthy. This second set of providers is right."
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