As infants, our children begin to tell us how they feel. They tell us by crying and laughing. They cry because they are hungry, sad, uncomfortable, need a diaper change, or just want love. We as adults rush to them to calm them and figure out how to meet their needs. If they laugh, we make the same silly face or noise we were making to encourage them to do it again.
As children grow, as toddlers and preschoolers, they need the same support. Teachers at SimplySmart focus on enabling children to understand their feelings. Children need to have their feelings recognized and acknowledged. At the toddler age, they do not have the ability to express clearly how they are feeling. As educators at SimplySmart daycare & Montessori, we find ways to help children communicate their needs and feelings to us.
In our infant room, we teach them simple words in sign language, like more, please, milk, etc. When they are crying, we use terms like, “I can see that you are sad”. Acknowledging this makes a child feel safe with their educators.
In our toddler classroom, we want to increase a child’s language. Toddler tantrums can be a big occurrence at that age, but our educators understand that this is a form of expression for children. We sing songs about feelings and use pictures so a child can begin to recognize what sad, happy, scared, angry, and excited look like. We talk to them about feelings and when a child is happy, we acknowledge them with words. We tell them, “I can see that you are happy today.” And if they are sad, we acknowledge that by saying to the child, “are you missing mommy and daddy”. It is important that a child feels secure in expressing their emotions.
Sometimes a child can express emotions in a negative way and at SimplySmart childcare & Montessori, we have ways to nurture and grow these life lessons. If a child bites or hits, our educators will use clear words with the child, such as “we do not hit” or” biting others hurts”. The educators will then provide another solution and let the children know that if they are sad or upset, that they can come to the teacher, and they will help them.
In our preschool room, we focus on helping children self-regulate and problem solve their feelings. If a child has a toy taken from them, the educator will ask the children how this can be resolved. They will guide the children to use conflict resolution to solve their issues.
We also understand the need for affection. Our educators know that sometimes a child just wants a hug. They want to be told that things are going to be okay.
SimplySmart Childcare and Montessori focuses on teaching children about their feelings and learning to respect each other feelings and emotions. It is an integral part of the curriculum.