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- Adult conversation where the children can hear it. It will take them out of their creative mind. The whole idea is to keep them engaged in the imaginative and creative way of being.
- Too many new things in one day. Only do at the most two lessons in the morning.
- Conflict with others. If there is conflict have them talk it out with an adult there to listen. Most of the time they just need to say how they feel and be heard. Acknowledge that they were heard. If someone is hurt, there needs to be a time out, then an apology and a promise to not do it again. Then a hug from the parent.
- Avoid any analysis or what is right and wrong in what they are learning. It can make them feel judged or that there is a standard to live up to. Best responses. “Wow fun”, “Nicely done”, “Wow beautiful”, “Good work”, “I like it”. If something is wrong such as a math question then go through the steps again so that the child can realize the correct answer or just move on.
- Make believe and all of the stories and that go along with it are a way for a child to work out all of their issues or just enjoy using their imagination. I have never, after seeing over 8,000 patients over 30 years had one say that imaginative play was too much and damaged me. It is not possible and so it can be acknowledged and encouraged.
- What adults remember being hurt by are: Teachers who corrected them too severely, parents who make the following types of statements: “You are lazy, you are a bad girl, you are looking too skinny or too fat etc” Unfortunately these statements seem to go a lot further into a child than we can image and can stay there for years, affecting their self image. It is much better to say: “You are acting lazy today, let’s find you something to do for someone to play with, or what you did just now was unkind, or are you hungry, I can get you some apples.” These statements can’t harm a child, they just don’t seem to go very deep, but hopefully they can learn from the situation and what you said.