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Building, Nurturing & Responsive Relationships

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Presentation on theme: "Building, Nurturing & Responsive Relationships"— Presentation transcript:

1 Building, Nurturing & Responsive Relationships
Beth Vorhaus Melissa Binkley Adapted by Team Tennessee from Iowa Train-Coach-Train, Spring 2011 & CSEFEL Pyramid Model Training


3 Benefits of Positive Relationships with Adults
The relationships that we build with children, families, and colleagues are at the foundation of everything we do. It is important to build these relationships early on rather than waiting until there is a problem. •Parents and other colleagues (such as mental health providers and therapists) are critical partners in building children’s social emotional competence. We should all work together to ensure children’s success and prevent challenging behavior. Point out that it is important to build relationships with parents outside of the context of “problem behaviors.” Parents are more willing to work with you if you’ve developed the relationship with them ahead of time Every adult involved in a child’s life is a partner in their physical, intellectual, and social emotional development When we build these relationships, we create a context for supporting social emotional development and preventing problem behaviors

4 Benefits of Positive Relationships for All Children
Helps each child feel accepted in the group Assists children in learning to communicate and get along with others Encourages feelings of empathy and mutual respect among children and adults Provides a supportive environment in which children can learn and practice appropriate and acceptable behaviors as individuals and as a group When you take the time to develop a relationship with any child, there are benefits.

5 Benefits of Positive Relationships for Children with Challenging Behaviors
Children with the most challenging behaviors especially need these relationships, and yet their behaviors often prevent them from benefiting from those relationships. Adults’ time and attention are very important to children, and we need to be sure that we are giving them that time and attention at times other than when they are engaging in challenging behavior. While it is important to develop relationships with all children in your classroom, it is especially important to take time and develop relationships with children who have challenging behaviors.

6 What is Attachment? The first attachment occurs with primary caregivers in the first 9 months of life After age 2 children have the capacity to build multiple relationships with caregivers independent of their primary attachment Children are hard-wired by age 2 to make multiple attachments and these attachments function independently.

7 Function of Attachment
Survival, safety, and protection Support and a secure base for the development of: Cognitive development Ego/sense of self Resilience Bonding Self-regulation Social development Attachment facilitates the development of cognition, sense of self, resilience, social bonding and physiological self-regulation. Limbic resonance and how it relates to physiological self-regulation. A baby learns to regulate based on adults system, heart beat, closeness, etc. Ex. Baby needs mom’s nervous system to self-regulate breathing, why children die of SIDS. Ex. Females who live together often find themselves on same menstrual cycle.

8 Function of Attachment: Brain Development
If you were born with twice as many brain cells as you have now but your brain is currently 3x larger than newborns…who can tell me why? Connections between brain cells develop through experience. But, why do we have half the brain cells that newborns do? Around age 10 the brain prunes away any cells that are not being used much. If you don’t use it early, you lose it! (Neurological Capacity). This is why it’s easier to learn new things when you’re 4 & harder when you’re 40! 2. The brain develops from bottom up and from of the cortex to the front. Identify areas of brain. Brain stem, survival, fight/flight. Limbic, bonding brain, emotions and ability to attach. Cortex, all higher functions, such as, visualization, language, symbolic thinking, critical thinking, etc. Visual functions (back of cortex) form before receptive language (mid-cortex) and expressive language (frontal cortex). Frontal cortex structures are not fully formed until about 6-8 years. Due to this giving language to feelings, needs & beliefs of children is critical for the development of connections between puppy & computer cents of the brain and therefore impulse control and emotional intelligence. 3. How do you control you impulses to not say or do something naughty? Self-talk or internal dialogue! Your brain has to be well-developed and able to override impulses From previous slide, this is not the case with high risk children b/c they are not often exposed to enough language from adults in the home to develop connections between the feeling and thinking centers sufficiently that are so critical to impulse control. We want a method to help develop positive attachment and emotional intelligence.

9 Video: Positive Relationships
Video Clip 1.1 – Positive Relationships: Introduce video clip: In what ways do you see a positive relationship between this adult and child?

10 “Every child needs one person who is crazy about him
“Every child needs one person who is crazy about him.” -Uri Bronfenbrenner This quote comes from Uri Bronfenbrenner (founder of HeadStart) and illustrates the importance early childhood care and education professionals can play in children’s lives. Children need adults who will fight to get them what they need to be successful in life.

11 Activity: Hot Button Handout 1
We all have “hot buttons” – those behaviors that just really get to us…. and we all have specific ways we respond when those buttons get pushed. When a someone pushes our buttons, they get a certain response. Using Handout 2 ask participants to fill the top row in with their “hot buttons behaviors” Ask for volunteers to name some of their “hot buttons” and list a few of your own. Write on chart paper. Ask participants how they feel (internal response) and how they act (external response) when children (or adults) push these buttons. Write on chart paper. Ask if their responses differ after someone has pushed their buttons 50 times. Ask if their external responses differ from their internal responses. Write on chart paper. Note that everyone’s buttons and responses are different. Ask participants how these responses can influence their relationships with children, families, or coworkers. When children continue to push your buttons, it’s because you are delivering the goods! In other words, they are getting what they want from you. In later sessions, we will talk about identifying what the child is getting, but for now, let’s look at how you can reframe your feelings and responses by understand why the behavior is occuring. This will help you to stop delivering the goods for negative behaviors and to start building positive relationships. From PIES Workbook, Laura Riffel, 2009 Handout 1

12 Challenging Behaviors have a Purpose!
Challenging behavior usually has a message: I am bored. I am sad. You hurt my feelings. I need some attention. Children often use challenging behavior when they don’t have the social or communication skills they need to engage in more appropriate interactions. Behavior that persists over time is usually working for the child. We need to focus on teaching children what to do in place of the challenging behavior. When challenging behavior occurs in classrooms, it is important to remember that “Challenging Behaviors have a Purpose!” Challenging behavior communicates a message Challenging behavior is used when children lack social or communication skills Challenging behavior continues over time because it works! The solution to challenging behavior is to teach appropriate behaviors.

13 Discussion: Cultural Differences & Child Behaviors
Mean Age Expectation in Months for Milestone Attainment Caucasian Puerto Rican Filipino Eat Solid Food * Training Cup * Utensils * Finger Food Wean * Sleep by Self * Sleep all Night * Choose Clothes * Dress Self Play Alone * Toilet Trained-Day * Toilet Trained-Night Mean Age Expectation in Months for Milestone Attainment 16 Carlson & Harwood (2000) Introduce slide: This slide shows a summary of information about when children from various cultures can be expected to attain these developmental milestones. Ask: What do you notice about these findings? (Highlight any large discrepancies in ages, e.g.: sleeping by self for Filipino compared to Caucasian groups) Ask: How might these differences affect a child’s behavior in an child care classroom? Make the point that there are individual and culturally based beliefs that affect our attitudes about challenging behavior. Most children don’t come to school knowing what teachers expect them to do. This could be due to the child’s lack of experience in group care settings or to differences in families’ and teachers’ expectations of children’s behavior. Studies show that parents and teachers sometimes have differences in their expectations about children’s behavior, which may influence children’s understanding about expectations in the classroom. Culturally based beliefs affect our attitudes toward behavior (e.g., what skills we expect children to engage in independently at certain ages, how we expect children to interact with adults, etc.). Show slides on developmental milestones and behavior expectations from research studies (cited on the slides). Talk about how important it is to use a team approach when addressing social emotional competence and challenging behaviors. It is especially important in terms of providing support to the teachers and other adults who work with children with challenging behavior every day.

14 Discussion: Cultural Differences & Parent Expectations
Behavioral Expectations of Two Groups of Mothers Korean-American Mothers European-American Mothers Believe parents and % % Children should play together Prefer children play with 71% % sex-typed toys (e.g., boys play with trucks) Provide children with many % % chances to decide (e.g., give child choices) Introduce slide in the same manner as the previous one – illustrate differences & how they might impact a child in the classroom.

15 Adjusting Responses to Challenging Behaviors
Upsetting Thoughts “That child is a monster. This is getting ridiculous. He’ll never change.” “I’m sick of putting out fires!” Calming Thoughts

16 Upsetting Thought “I wonder if the corner grocery is hiring?” “He ruins everything! This is going to be the worst year of my career.” Calming Thoughts

17 Activity: Reframing Thoughts
Using Reframing Statements Activity Read the four examples listed and generate two to three other challenging behaviors and how you might reframe each one. In reframing the challenging behaviors, do not come up with solutions but rather restate the behaviors to make them more manageable. Be prepared to share your ideas with the large group. Handout 2

18 How to Build Positive Relationships
So, how do we build positive relationships with children? Present the metaphor, adopted from the work of Carolyn Webster-Stratton, of a “piggy bank” to illustrate “making deposits into children’s emotional banks” as a way of building positive relationships (Webster-Stratton, 1999). Instead of a piggy bank, other metaphors might be a garden (growing) or basket (filling). Ask participants to generate other possible metaphors. We make deposits when we do things to build relationships while we make withdrawals when we engage in behaviors that are detrimental to relationship building. Recap some of the strategies observed in the video, emphasizing the power of play in building positive relationships (e.g., talk about things children do at home or in other settings during play, actively engage in children’s play, participate as a play partner, sit at children’s level, joke and laugh with children, spend time with children doing what they love to do).

19 Be a “Bucket Filler!” Developed by Carol McCloud
“Bucket fillers” generally spread their love and good feelings to others "Bucket dippers" rob us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things This is another popular method of relationship building, developed by Carol McCloud (2006). The idea of Bucket Fillers is the idea that we all carry an invisible bucket that contains our feelings. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When our bucket is empty, we feel sad. A bucket filler is someone who says or does nice things for other people. By doing this, they are filling other people's buckets and filling their own bucket at the same time.

20 Discussion: Making Deposits with Children
How do you build relationships with the children in your classroom? Think of the children with challenging behaviors you currently have or have had in the past – how can you make deposits with Refer to Handout 2 - Building Positive Relationships with Children. Use the handouts and the questions on the slide to guide a discussion with participants about how they build relationships with children in their classroom. Encourage the participants to take some time to think about his they can build relationships with children in their classroom how have challenging behavior.

21 Classroom Pictures This is a naptime area is decorated with pictures of fun activities that have been done in the classroom throughout the year.

22 Birthday Charts This chart connects the teacher to each individual child as well as each child to the classroom as a whole by celebrating birthdays.

23 Changing Table This changing table is next to a mirror, which allows the adult and child to interact with each other.

24 All About Me Posters This classroom sent home posters for each child to complete with his or her family listing favorite activities, family members, dream vacations, favorite foods, etc. The posters were then hung under each child’s cubby to connect home and school.

25 Family Treasures “Family Treasures” is another take-home project – parents added a photo or had their children create a picture of their family. Parents also helped their child complete the question portion – who are the family members, what do they like to do together, etc.

26 Family Flowers This Des Moines classroom created a family garden at the beginning of the school year. Children painted paper plates and glued on flower petals with each family member’s name on it. They were hung in the hallway leading into the classroom.

27 My Family This teacher requested parents send in a photo of their family or of family activities (she also snapped a few photos of her own when parents dropped of children in the classroom). She created this “quilt” on a wall leading into the classroom, where children could be reminded of their families while they were at school.

28 Making Group Deposits Greet every child at the door by name.
Post children’s work around the room. Have a “star” of the week who brings in special things from home and gets to share them during circle time. Give hugs, high fives and thumbs up accomplishing tasks. Give compliments liberally. Let children make “All About Me” books and share them at Circle Time.

29 Video: Greeting Children by Name
Video Clip 02 – Greeting Children by Name: Introduce clip: Here we see a teacher greet children as they enter her classroom. Each child selects a colored circle to sit on as they enter the room and join the group for circle time. How does she build relationships with children (make deposits or fill buckets) during this activity?

30 Making Individual Deposits
Call a child’s parent in front of them to say what a great day she is having or send home positive notes. Call a child after a difficult day and say, “I’m sorry we had a tough day today. I know tomorrow is going to be better!” When a child misses school tell him how much he was missed. Write on a t-shirt all the special things about a given child and let him/her wear it. Find time to read to individual children or a few children at a time. Play with children, follow their lead. Acknowledge children’s efforts. Some more ideas to make deposits one child at a time.

31 Video: Individual Deposits
Video Clip 03 – Individual Deposits: Introduce video clip: how does this adult build a relationship with this infant?

32 Discussion: Making Deposits with Families
How do you build relationships with families? How can you make deposits with the parents of children with challenging behaviors? Introduce this discussion. What do teachers do already? What else might they like to try?

33 Making Family Deposits
Keep lines of communication open between program and families Support and encourage parental involvement in activities. Learn from family members about their children, and home and family life. Share resources with parents about how to support the child’s social emotional development. Share positive things the child did at the program (Happy Grams). Conduct meetings with parents in an environment and time convenient for them. Assure parents about confidentiality and privacy rights. Implement activities that bring families together. Acknowledging the good things that parents are doing with their child. Remind participants that, since we are working with young children , it is just as important to build relationships with the families of the children as it is to build relationships with children. Refer to Handout 3 - My Teacher Wants to Know Ideas to build relationships with families. Handout 3

34 Video: Making Family Deposits
Video Clip 05 – Family Deposits: Introduce Clip: In a two-year-old classroom, the teacher recorded children sending greetings to their parents and ed them during the day. Another “Family Deposit” from this same teacher: when children were potty training, she would send texts to parents throughout the day on successes the child had (e.g. Andy said he had to use the bathroom and got his pants off by himself this morning!) This builds connections with the families and leads into opportunities for positive reinforcement of child behaviors

35 Discussion: Making Deposits with Coworkers
How do you build relationships with your coworkers? Think of a coworker with whom you may not always get along – how can you make deposits with them? Introduce this discussion. What do teachers do already? What else might they like to try?

36 Making Co-Worker Deposits
Encourage teamwork Provide support Build trust among colleagues Be honest and kind to one another Respect co-workers’ talents and abilities Acknowledge accomplishments Understand and respect each other’s backgrounds Develop a shared vision, goals, and mission Have a sense of humor Build cooperation It is also important to build relationships with co-workers. Effective work relationships help us feel success and satisfaction with our jobs and careers. Co-workers also provide support in difficult situations and celebrate successes. Ideas to build relationships with co-workers.

37 Activity: Action Planning
Brainstorm a list of 3-5 things you could do to build or strengthen relationships With children With families With co-workers Share with the whole group Identify the next steps you are going to take to build stronger relationships with children, families, and colleagues Note these on your action planning form. What materials will you need? What support will you need? Refer to Handouts 4 &5 - “45 Things” Note there are many free and inexpensive ways to make deposits to relationships with children, families, and co-workers. Use this list along with the other examples you’ve seen tonight to complete this activity. Have participants work with their co-teachers They should brainstorm a list of things they can do to build relationships with children, families, or other colleagues. Give participants about 5 minutes to complete this task. Teams should report back to the large group with examples. Create a list on chart paper. Refer participants to their Action Plans (Handout 6 - “Action Plan”). Give each team another 5 minutes to pick one or two things that they are going to do when they get back to their classroom to improve their relationships with all children, families, and colleagues. Ask participants to note what resources or supports they will need to make these changes. Have classrooms report back to the group what changes they are going to make and what resources the will need. At this point, you should highlight the importance of play as a context for building relationships with children. Explain that play gives the adult an opportunity to follow the child’s lead, comment on what the child is doing, and build positive interactions. Talk about how easy it is to spend most of our time giving directions and correcting behavior, and point out that play provides a context for focusing on more positive behaviors and interactions and promoting children’s social skills and emotional development. Refer participants to Handout 2 (Building Positive Relationships with Young Children by Joseph & Strain). Handout 5 & 6

38 Questions? Melissa Binkley Team Tennessee Program Coordinator Tennessee Voices for Children (615) x115 Beth Vorhaus Team Tennessee Assistant Program Coordinator (615) x124

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