bad, lazy, troublemaker, delinquent! Many children grow up in
systems that label them in negative ways. Labeling a child is
a way of subtly blaming the victim. Labeling is definitive; once
we say it, then it holds meaning. The danger of labels is that
children tend to believe what is said about them and live up to
that negative expectation. Negative labels keep children caught
in negative behavior. Labeling what we do not know how to deal
with is victimization. Labeling can be a subtle means of trying
to control the child. Yet, at one time, resorting to labels was
what was accepted for discipline. Now we are seeing different
ways of working with children--teaching children positive ways
to act. As the poster says, "Label jelly jars, not kids!"
an integral part of growing up and is based on specific skills.
Play offers the child an opportunity to learn to deal with the
adult world. Play helps stimulate the neurons at the synapse
level to strengthen brain function. In play, children learn
to express their emotions and put curbs on their impulsiveness.
They learn to regulate their behavior and emotions as called
for by the rules of the social setting. Play helps children
develop good social skills. The research consistently points
to developing solid friendships early in life as a way to increasing
self esteem and good mental health.
skills are easy to teach. Children learn the positive values
of treating each other with respect and taking responsibility
for their own behavior. The steps to teaching social skills
are similar to teaching academic subjects except that play and
group activities and discussion plays a stronger role.
Twenty Minute Investment a Day
the skill that needs to be learned.
the skill through discussion and modeling of the desired response.
the rule and alternatives to the rule.
the child what to say and do regarding the new skill.
the child cue himself through self talk.
practice of the skill through modeling, games, puppet and
doll play, and role playing.
the new skill during practice.
the child to reinforce himself using self talk for using the
skill. (Feel good about using the skill!)
opportunities for generalization and reinforcement of the
skill in daily play.
talk about their feelings are less likely to turn to alcohol or
drugs or join gangs. Some of the skills that can be taught and
reinforced are eye contact, smiling, taking turns, listening to
others, inhibiting behaviors that threaten others, following directions,
sharing uncomfortable feelings, stopping sarcasm and egging others
on. Some of the higher level skills are resolving conflict, listening
with empathy when pain and hurt are described, giving support
and encouragement and creative problem solving.
skills training gives children a bigger bag of tricks from which
to choose. Children can learn techniques to deal with threat
and their anger. The habitually angry child can change his perceptual
distortions of seeing hostility and threat when there is none.
He can learn to master the skills of stating feelings and staying
centered during other people's outbursts of anger and refrain
from lashing out at others. Focusing on choices will give him
the time to move into logical problem solving. Self-angering
thoughts can be challenged and interrupted to inhibit impulsive
skill training complements other therapeutic modes of intervention
such as family therapy, play and art therapy and psychodynamic
methods of therapy. Social competence requires that we learn
to feel our emotions, talk about them and make responsible behavior
choices that are respectful of others and ourselves. When children
learn to feel and talk their feelings, then they can learn to
skills are fun to teach because we feel good about ourselves
when sharing them with children. We learn what we teach. What
we teach we learn! Sometimes we even teach to learn!
To Angries Out