An Adeona Family Podcast: An Early Childhood Journey
Episode 06: Reframing Behaviour
Prosocial behaviour in the form of sharing, helping, and cooperating is the hallmark of social competence throughout childhood. Teaching pro-social behaviour is achieved through responsive care and consistent boundaries.
We’re born with a genetic disposition toward certain things, then it’s the nurture that people provide that switches on parts of our personalities. This is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to remember that the response they give children from their own behaviour will switch on and off certain behaviours in the child.
What’s The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment
Discipline: to guide, to teach. When a child is displaying behaviour that we deem to be anti-social, that’s our opportunity to help that child regulate themselves and use that moment to teach.
Punishment: time outs, smacking etc – no real information is being given to the child other than ‘you can’t do this, otherwise it will result in some form of fear-based punishment’.
Teaching pro-social behaviour is achieved through responsive care and consistent boundaries.
Using Language to Promote Social Behaviour
When we want to promote social behaviour, using certain language, such as saying what is allowed as opposed to what isn’t allowed, communicates the type of behaviour we want to encourage. For example, instead of “don’t put your feet on the table”, we want to say “can you put your feet on the floor, please.”
However, when it comes to biting or anti-social behaviour along those lines, it is okay to stop the child and say “I can’t let you do that.”
It’s important to remember to always approach the situation calmly. We want to be responsive, not reactive. Children need to feel safe, seen and soothed before we can continue with the teaching moment.
- Dr Daniel Sigel: Hand Model of the Brain
- Janet Lansbury – “No Bad Kids”
- Dr Tina’s Books:
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