Behaviours to consider…
Analysing any behaviour is always intriguing and often confusing. Behaviour takes on a strong meaning when we have a two year old visiting a shopping centre with mum who, all of a sudden, may display unhappy feelings by throwing themselves on the floor, thrashing arms and legs and ululating some incoherent sentence. That is generally when mum looks around and would like to say: “I do not know this creature, would you like her?”, or “What did I do to deserve this?”, “The entire centre must be looking at me”.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? Surely not!
In a Montessori class, we have similar situations. Children in our 3-6 Community, may at times resentfully disagree with adult or peer decision making and will display behaviours that we would rather not witness. How do we deal with these impromptu events? We adopt a modification behaviour model:
- Handle each situation in its own right
- Ensure safety is addressed
- Lead the child to a quiet space in the room
- Plan with them a different way of expressing feelings
A great help with understanding children and their behaviours are the Montessori defined Stages of Development. Identifying what children need and how they view the world at any point in time helps us manage and guide the direction towards which the child would be most likely to succeed. Each stage has unique qualities and clear needs that must be provided within the environment.
This method works most times and the results are beneficial in producing positive, non-punitive learning. However there are times when reasoning is over and we would like to voice loudly the four letters in the acronym above. HELP! We look at the child’s background, including cultural attitudes and involve the family to help us make the necessary changes so we have happy, engaged children.
Any method adopted will be futile without the support of the family. The contribution parents make to their child’s positive behaviour cannot be expressed and valued enough. Children want to please and mostly want their family to accept them as loved individuals; hence the relationship between children and parents is the most critical of all. At school we can only reinforce what we feel is acceptable to our society and that will provide the individual with every chance of future success.