Logical Responses to Challenging Behaviors

Children feel safe and secure and learn to make appropriate behavioral choices when they have consistent boundaries. When they do not have consistent boundaries and expectations, children are confused and have difficulty figuring out what are and are not acceptable actions. To determine their boundaries, children may keep pushing and acting out in less desirable ways until they find them. They also, though, want to please you and will try to live up to reasonable expectations that are clear, simple, few and consistent. Our Shorecrest motto, “We respect ourselves, each other, and the environment,” is an example of a clear, almost all-encompassing rule. When expectations for responsibilities or behaviors are not met, consequences, which are logical and consistent are more effective than punishment. Punishment is punitive and may have unintended negative repercussions, e.g., if adults yell, children learn to yell; if adults hit, children hit. Consequences that are logical are… [Read more]

Who do we want our children to be?

There are many attributes that we all strive to help our children develop. Kindness, tolerance, respect for others, a good conscience and empathy are generally among those at the top of the list. All of these are qualities that can be fostered. Children are born without biases of any kind about other people; if only we could raise them to be free of prejudice by leaving them alone and not passing on negative attitudes. Unfortunately, in today’s society, biased messages are pervasive. Whether they are inadvertently hearing the news, or the adults or older children around them, they are exposed to negative messages about people different than themselves. Our children, also, are constantly exposed to negative aspects of popular culture. When observing children’s play that is influenced by princesses, fashion dolls, Transformers and Ninja Turtles, it is apparent that these stereotypes generally promote behavior that is in sharp contrast to… [Read more]

Holidays, Stress, Gifts and Preschoolers

Beware of Holiday Mania! Children look forward all year to their favorite holidays, and this season is particularly exciting for most of them. Beware, however! The combination of tired, busy adults and over-excited children can end up creating a stressful atmosphere for all. As holidays approach, parents are extra busy trying to fulfill their normal commitments as well as to get everything ready so their children and families have a great holiday. Social occasions fill the calendars, and there is, of course, never enough time to be found for shopping. Parents and children alike are tired as routines and schedules are upset, and patience may be in short supply, making it difficult for everyone to maintain their equilibrium and self-control. Added pressure such as “Santa (or the Elf) is watching!” or “Do you want to lose a Chanukah present?” can backfire as the children fold under its weight. Keep in… [Read more]