So this evening, at pickup time, before rounding off for the day, I was informed that a parent needed my attention downstairs, so I went downstairs to meet him.
Before I got down, his children were already with him, he just needed to have a quick chat with me before taking the kids home, so we started talking.
Few minutes into our discussion, his son went outdoors to play with other children. Now, this is when the whole experience started.
So, the little boy opened the door, and banged it loudly on his way out.
His father was distracted by the loud sound, and I could see on his face that he was not comfortable about his son banging the door and at the same time, he was worried that in the process, he might bang his hand but he ignored it the first time.
His son came back in after some time, and almost immediately went back out, banging the door again on his way out. This time, his dad did not ignore the behaviour.
He went out, scolded the boy, brought him in and I heard him saying, “now, say sorry to Ms. Eno!”
The little boys was confused, you could see the expression of uncertainty on his face as he looked to me, back at his dad, and then to me again. I could tell that he wasn’t sure of what he did wrong and why he should say sorry to me.
As a mother and more so an educator, I could read those facial, non-verbal expressions. So I decided to do something.
I called the little boy to my side, and said to him, “When you went out, you banged the door really loud, your daddy didn’t like that and do you know you could have hurt your fingers?”
This is what daddy would like you to do. At this time, his father’s gaze was fixed on him, but the boy wasn’t looking his way, he was listening to me.
So I went on to model the proper way of shutting the door to the boy by saying, “When you want to go out, open the door and close it gennnntly, okay?” He nodded.
So he went off to try it. He opened the door, and moved it as gently as he could, while he was doing that I was saying, “yes, gently, gently” and by the third “gently,” his father said, “watch you fingers,” the boy removed his fingers and finally succeeded in closing the door gently.
We all looked at each other and smiled, meanwhile there were two other parents there at the waiting area.
After a few minutes, the little boy came in, and to our amazement, He closed the door so gently, that you could hardly hear a sound!
His father said quickly, with excitement, “see he didn’t bang the door!
That was when I started explaining the strategy to them.
Children misbehave because they lack a certain skill or knowledge, our role in correcting the behaviour is to teach them the skill they lack, show them how to do what we expect them to do. That way they would learn.
It might take a while, sometimes, for some kids to get it, but if we keep at it, eventually they will.
I said, “when children misbehave and we shout at them, the really don’t understand fully why you are shouting.”
They sometimes feel confused, saying to themselves, “I think daddy is unhappy about something, but I’m not quite sure with it is.
When he understood the expectation. He went straight to work, making his father, other parents around and myself instantly proud of him.
And you bet, I didn’t miss the chance to give him a big high five!
If ever this strategy were a theory to me, today it proved to be practically true! And I have severally happy parents as witnesses.
Let’s try out this strategy and share out feedback whenever we do!
In a few weeks time, we would be organising a FREE WhatsApp training on our WhatsApp group!
If you know of anyone whom you would like to benefit from this FREE training, do not hesitate to share this link with them to enable them join this WhatsApp group to be part of the training. https://chat.whatsapp.com/H3gCccAGbdv6R6CGA2m3Di
Thank you and talk to you later!😀
The Sage School
Supporting young families around the world!