As we work to help children grow to be successful and strong a guiding spiritual principle here at SLDS is love! Through our daily interactions with the children we teach them very simply that God loves us and wants us to love each other! It’s especially clear that adults need to keep these tenants in mind when our little ones are pushing limits by exhibiting unwelcomed behaviors. When confronted with such situations sometimes the first step to addressing these challenging behaviors is to change our own perspective! Amanda Morgan, early childhood educator and author of the blog Not Just Cute, once wrote a thoughtful blog post on this subject entitled, Perspective, A Powerful Tool for Challenging Behaviors.
Mrs. Morgan shares that children will inevitably present challenging, difficult, and irritating behaviors. They are children, and those unwanted behaviors simply come with the territory. But, as Mrs. Morgan says, “That isn’t where we have to put our attention. We can choose to put more emphasis on the things we love. On their best qualities. There is always good. Sometimes we just have to choose to see it.”
Focusing attention on a child’s strengths or positive traits does not mean that the challenging behaviors disappear, nor does it mean that there are not times for appropriate consequences or correction. What it does mean, however, is that we identify negative behaviors as simply that, behavior. The child’s unwanted action, even if repetitive in nature, does not define the child. As Mrs. Morgan says, “You must first teach a child that he is loved, only then is he ready to learn everything else.” This is a lesson to take to heart. Our love for our children can help us to invest our emotions in our child’s strengths while attending to their big or unwanted behaviors. Let’s see our children first from a perspective of love!