Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Parenting Tip - Providing Choice

Here is a great parenting tip I came across this week:

When you want your child to do something he may not be excited about doing (homework, a chore, etc.) negotiate a time with him or her. For example: Your child is playing with lego on the floor. You say, "You need to practice piano. Would you like to do it now or in ten minutes? Okay, in 10 minutes it will be 5:30." [Source: www.wholefamily.com]
This led me to reflect on the nature of a conversation such as this. I'm sure most parents can relate to the sorts of negotiation this quote implies when thinking about their own children growing up! Indeed my 3-year old Isabella is gaining in her ability to negotiate quite quickly!

The importance of providing children with choice is crucial in helping them gain independence over their own ideas and their environment. One of the most important tasks we have at the start of the school year is to provide children with opportunities to develop how their classroom will run. 

If you go into any of our amazing classrooms, you will see examples of what might be called 'rules', or 'charters', or 'norms'. These are guidelines which teachers and children have developed together as part of establishing both how the classroom will run, but also how people will treat one another. One of the great things about this is that every class may have done this in a different way.

This is, in my view, best practice for creating the environment which every child can take ownership over and learn within throughout the year.


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