Froukje Matthews studied for and trained as a primary school teacher in her native Holland, obtained Montessori teaching qualifications (3-6 and 6-9 cycles) in Australia as well as a Post-Grad Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the QUT (Brisbane, Queensland). She taught Kumon Math to all ages, worked as and ESL teacher in Spain and has run her own Montessori Playgroup and preschool for over twenty years. She speaks five languages and has lived in a number of countries.
How to make the link from using body language to using words.
Children will often try to communicate by using body language, facial expressions, pointing. This is quite normal because that is how it all starts and parents, in particular mothers, often keep this type of communication going much longer than necessary out of sheer habit. Besides, how would one know when to stop responding to wordless communication? We don’t, unless someone draws our attention to it.
You are the boss and the leader in the eyes of your child. If you grovel, apologize or say "how sad this makes you" when he or she throws a tantrum when you have stopped him from doing something that may be potentially dangerous, you tell the child that HE IS THE BOSS!
Not only do you give your power away, but you load him up with a responsibility he is not ready for.
A young child does not understand these dynamics, it doesn't make them feel powerful, but insecure. This will be expressed by the child acting like a little dictator and pushing boundaries, not because he feels strong, but because he doesn't know what to do with the power he now feels he has.
Take your power back to where it belongs: with you. You are the parent, let your no be no and your yes be yes. Set a clear rule of what is permissible and if the pre-schooler does not stick to the rule, simply tell him that he has to grow a bit more before he is given another chance.
We harvested our potatoes this week. Once dug up I showed the children "how to divide" by giving them all one at a time until there were none left. Two of the boys said: "Can I have a big one for my dad? My dad loves potatoes, he loves a big one!"
Take notice dads if you happen to read this post: never think that you don't feature in their thoughts , because clearly you do!
One little girl had picked a watermelon (not quite ripe) and put it in her box. She could fit four potatoes nicely around the melon and took all the others out, didn't want them. This was very interesting, because clearly it was not about "equal amounts" for her or size, it was about the visual effect of the watermelon and the spuds fitting so snug and nicely...
But the flowers, the flowers are always for their mum....