Working in day care truly highlights your strengths and weaknesses in ways that always leave me laughing, pondering, or super frustrated. Yesterday was the latter I was working with 1 and 2 year olds all day and it turned out to be an interesting endeavor. One of my kids is as stubborn as a mule sometimes, he just turned 2 and has learned the appropriate use of no to maddening perfection. The little cute toot simply thinks its hilarious to yell no about any request I made. I was getting more and more frustrated. With six little cherubs in my care for one to not listen and rebel against my authority makes it difficult to manage the class, especially while doing tasks like changing diapers or trying to round them up to go inside from the play ground.
Every time I he no’ed me I found myself saying “no you do not tell your teachers no” after the 10th time (yes my learning curve is on the slow side) I thought to myself…how is he supposed to learn to not say no when that is all he hears all day. No don’t climb on the table, no don’t hit your friends, no don’t rip that book…Aaahhh NOOOO. At my wit’s end with this simple revelation I was at a loss as to how to move forward. I want all the kids in my care to have a healthy respect for authority and to be respectful to the adults in their lives. I believe it is never too early to be teaching these lessons…I also believe that children understand far more than we give them credit for.
With that being said the rest of the day I wondered how to teach the lesson that needed to be learned and model the appropriate behavior myself. How can I creatively say NO without saying NO? Many times as a parent I have faced this kind of challenge as well. How do you curb undesirable behavior without negatively reinforcing it or other behaviors along the path through your methods. I am thinking an pondering on my methods and would love some input on the subject. 🙂