HOW TO MAKE 6+ CHILDREN TO USE ACCEPTABLE LANGUAGE  AND  BEHAVIOR?  

                                       Dr.Madeswaran


Dear teachers and parents,

                      One day my sister was looking very sad. She said that suddenly her 6 year old son is talking rudely. She  also said that sometimes he is also talking some words which cant be used. I just kept quiet . She became very upset that I did not react.

Later the child was deeply observed by me. Yes , the boy used many words which cant be said openly. I called the boy and just had a talk. He said he was much fascinated  by his auto trip to school. He said that bigger boys show their power by fighting and using some words . Those words made the boys very angry.

The child said that he feels just happy and proud to say those words used by big boys. He feels he is also big enough to talk like that. We just cut the auto , then dropped the child in school in our bike. On the way the child asked plenty of questions about many things. Then we said that if he feels he is  great or big he needs to do some thing nice like helping his mother, sister and  being responsible for his own things..

Then we also said politely how to express his emotions without disturbing others. We need to ask a question? Why the 6+ children pick up unacceptable words? The simple answer is , '' they just want to use and show their transition in age and body''.

There are many children in my class often using  4 letter word and many other words. But my keen observation has taught me that they just want to express their emotion. From where they are learning?

1. From the peer group.

2. From the parents, relatives and neighbors.

3. From the TV, films and net.

4. Now they are very independent in reading . So many books expose them many types of words. They really do not know how to use in what sense.

5. This is the age of  challenging. Many children wants to make and express their work as a grand one. So using words from the books they read is a matter of ''self ego''. So these children often use the unacceptable words. It is the role of the teachers to observe the child. Just listen and observe their talk. If you feel that the child has to be dealt specially , call and have a friendly talk.

6. Beyond this around 8 to 9 years , the children are little aware about abusing words, their meaning, how and where to use. Often my primary children bring complaint only about the 4th and 5th graders about this issue.

7. The teachers and parents must call them and just talk. If the situation is little serious, talk firmly. If the child continues to talk, we call them and ask them to wash and brush their mouth.

8. Before that we must check our self. We must hold on our tongue. Parents must be very very careful in using their   words. Often children use the words '' shit''. I have observed their parents using in many contexts.

9. Often we give consequences in severe cases. Often the opponent child or the entire group will be very very upset with the language used against them. The following consequences will help the adults.

a. First  call the child and enquire why he \ she used the language.

b. Then make the child to keep quiet through out the session.

c.  The child need not participate in the group activities.

d.  The child must sit near you or alone and must work. We do not have the right to stop his work.

e.  The child can do some domestic activities. Often our students come to the staff room and help us in arranging our things and also in cleaning. Make the children to frame their own ground rules, unacceptable words among them self. Often talk to them about code of language. When we talk beautifully they appreciate and they follow us. Many times my children have appreciated my Tamil pronunciation and also trying their best to talk like me.

f.  Make the child to join his lunch with you., not with his friends.

g. We send proper note in his records, but not in revenging way.

h. The parents has to be observed. The child's family back ground has to be studied.

i. The most important thing is , just talk and train the child how to express  the feelings and emotions. This is the reality behind all issues.  The child should not do its most liking activity. This is the best  consequence.

Example: My friend has made a place called '' Rama corner'' in his home . If any one in the family is stressed with emotions and angry they can go and sit there. They will be given chance to express their self. I assure that  the child never talks badly.

j. Parents are insisted to exchange their stress and emotions in privacy.

k. Teachers must use good or descent words  to pinpoint any child. I never use any abusing words or even adjectives to criticize any child.

l. Dr. Montessori is very particular about addressing a child and adult. In an ideal Montessori school teachers never use any adjectives to call a child in connection to his body appearance, dress , work, poor or rich, creed and color.

m. Montessori teachers are expected to be the well refined personalities. We talk to them with respect to the age . We too condom, check their behavior and language in firm voice but not in abusing words.

n. There are many situations in which I  raise my thunderous voice but never use any abusing words.

Example: Today when the 'project day' drama  got practiced, many children who came to  see the dram were going on disturbing even after many reminders. Finally I just  raised my voice and said.,'' if you are not going to maintain silence, you will be asked to move out of the hall, then do not feel bad.''

o. There is board in one side of our class. It is covered with good looking papers and there are many slips of papers. These papers have words which help the children to use in many contexts to express their stress and emotions. It is called '' feeling tree''.

Example: We say , instead of saying , '' shut up '' ., say ,'' can you keep quiet? or can you wait ? or can you hold on your self?''.

p. Often we act and show role plays especially to teach them about '' stress and emotional release''.

Example: In my school I cant show a situation in which we have fought or abused each other. Though we have lot of contradictions we argue inside the staff room, but not before the children.

q. Preparation of going out: In many Montessori schools the students are well prepared for a tour, picnic or guest speaking . The children are always in their own world. The picnic, long trip, guest to the school should make them feel happy and normal in their routine. Any sudden change will disturb them. So we always try our bets to inform them in advance. It is not like behaving for one day, it is the change in he child's day. The child must feel comfort and also learn to adapt. There are many situations in which we cannot prepare them for the change.

Often we have enjoyed the guest lecturing because of the advanced announcement and preparation. When the 4th graders were given the responsible to organize the gift set for the guest , they have looked into other children 's settlement, voice level and other things.

The children have to be taught how to greet, welcome , ask questions to the guest--answer them and other things. The advance preparation should not be a threatening  issue. In this process the acceptable behavior will come to the children.

Example: When I was asked to  go to pre primary to teach Tamil suddenly after one term gap, the teachers in that section have prepared the 6 year old children to adapt with me. For the past 3 weeks I am going and teaching them without any obstacle . The children are co operating with me very well.

In our family also , we need to prepare our children before any important event  which involves outsiders. The children should not be '' blank in the mind'' about family situations.

I have seen many friends in who prepare their children before they visit any one. The children are also well informed about their limits and freedom. Better carry your child's books, color set, craft set during long journeys. The adults gathering must not desert the child. The child will socialize and also enjoy the stay with its own work. That work time will make the child  happy . His activities will make others to appreciate the child. The time of stay will be useful also.

Example: When my friend's wife came from America and visited her in-laws in India, her son was so comfortable with the long stay. Because he was well prepared to visit his relatives. His gestures and language were taught. He was given a space to work with his colors  and craft set. He  has  spend his time in collecting flowers  made garlands for his deities. He had his own prayers which involved all. His stay has made many to follow my friend's wife.

Same time when ever the child misused the freedom the mother checked personally. We need to deal with the child in person. But there are situations were we need to be firm before others also.

r. It is very important that both the father and mother or the teachers of the child must be staunch in implementing the ground rules. There should be  unity , harmony and understanding among the adults in handling the child.

When ever a teacher faces a problem he \ she should discuss with the partner teacher and handle the situation if there is a confusion how to handle the issue. The same advice is applicable for the parents. Both father and mother should have understanding in handling the issue. If the mother gives a consequence the  father must not dilute it and save the child unless it is hurting physically. In India most of the parents feel proud to say that the '' girl child always listens to the father and the boy to the mother''. When ever  any issues are handled the children play the trick with their love and attachment to their parents.

If any one of the partner is handling the child, the other must leave it and believe the partner. The child must listen either to father or to the mother. The grand parents are the main hurdles in the families in such situation. They try to safe guard the child out of their love. We always talk and explain the situation to them , otherwise the child 's issue will enter into a big family issue.

s. Why do children listen to a person other than their parents?

In many houses the parents react to an issue and prolong that issue for  ever. The issue will be discussed among all the family members. This makes the child to loose the confidence with them. In many  schools teachers also do the same. We should not be judgmental.

When ever the third person handles the situation , they never shout or beat. They just talk. Later they mingle with the child. The parents are expected to be the same. Even though we beat them , after some time   we must accept them and make them to come to the normal situation.

Dr. Montessori say that the child of 6+ is always energetic , challenging  and eager to move fast in  carrier. The child has to be observed and guided properly, softly and reasonably. If we become the role models they change by them self.

So it is very important for us to be just behind them and observe them. This age makes them to make their own group of friends and it takes them to a new phase of life . It is going to show them many social issues, social values like sharing, feeling for others, appreciating, leadership etc.

Mean while we are much concerned about their change in behavior , language and relation with us . This article is going to talk about their  body care .

* BODY CARE: The child feels very very free to move and play any where in and around the home and school. My children knew all most all the places in my school than me. One can see them having their lunch on the top of our motor shed. Sometimes they sit on the braches and chew their snacks along with the birds.

    The same thing happens in the home also. Often they will be out of our sight. They are in need of the vast natural environment. This makes them to compel you for the week end outing. They are in need of your presence and involvement in playing. But they need only their own judgment.

With this back ground let us see how they need to be  aware about their body:

1. Talk to them about the various functions of our body.

2. They must need to name all most all their body parts.

3. Show them how to use hands, legs for various activities. All though they have learnt in preprimary level , now they are in a re organizing state.

4. Let them do simple  exercises, yoga and jogging. They can just come with you for a long walk and jogging.

5. Let them walk a lot. Make them to walk and run  to near by shops, market and friend's home.

6. Talk about the importance of waking up in early morning. This age group children can wake up by 6 a.m.

7. Slowly introduce the water therapy.

8. Check their toilet habits. This will be leading to later sex education. The night diet is important and it influences the toilet habit.

9. Let them take their morning drink only after brushing the teeth.

10. Slowly introduce the brushing habit at nights after the dine. This habit can be introduced after talking to them about the dental care.

11. Set the clock and make them to train them self  to have time management in brushing, bathing, using the toilet.

12. Make them independent in  toilet, brushing and washing habits.

13. We advice our parents just to simply leave them when they delay for all activities initially. Let them undergo the consequences for the delay. We need not get tensed.

14. The waking up process is a beautiful activity. Just start calling their soul and wake their soul first. Slowly go to bed , sit near the child and call the name. Talk some thing about the day.

Example : 1.'' Dear , see the window screen is dancing for the wind and 2 butterflies are near our room...''

2. Some parents sing songs.

3. We can also start telling a simple story.

4. We can also talk about that day's events.

15. Let them place their bag, books, pencil case and uniform near their table and get ready by previous night itself.

16. Trim their nails, hair.

17. Girl children can use good natural mehandi [ a herbal skin color for hands].

18. They can wear simple jewels, flowers and plait their hair properly.

19. In tropical countries oil bath in a week is a must.

20. Every day applying oil to hair and body skin is also insisted.

21. We place wash basin near our entrance for any hand wash.

22. We never allow them to enter without proper leg wash after a play in the open space.

23. Talk to them about the danger of the tattoos, inks, sketch pens, highlighters and any artificial coloring agents. Often these children paint, draw and colour on their hands and legs.

24. Allow them to play  under the sun, mist, snow and rain showers. They enjoy the time in puddles, stagnant water and sand. After checking the  content of the water allow them to play. In which age they will play again?

But provide them the proper soap, towel and cleaning brush . After the play time they need to use and enter into the class or room .

Example : In my school, we have given the freedom to play like this. But they always have an extra set of dress. During monsoon, children them self bring letter from the parents if they have fever.

    Last week there was a sudden rain with severe  thunder and lightening. When children asked our permission , we just said no. Some started arguing. We just explained the danger behind the   thunder and lightening. They went into the  class rooms and started playing indoor games.

25. Every week we check their nails, hair , socks, shoes and dress. We provide and help them in removing nail polish, trim nails and wash socks and dresses. Sorry to say that there are '' well educated parents'' who have high tech washing machine ., but no time to operate it. They are  just flying across the world or traveling in their car for minting money.

26. We need to teach them how to touch others, hug with friendly touch ,hand shakes.

27. The children are in need to be aware about stranger's physical touching.

28. Using the private parts, toilets have to be taught.

29.Montessori environment is much concerned about the cleanliness of body and place where we stay. Try to expose them to a tidy beautiful set up inside your home and class. Often insist them about a neat lunch sitting with old news papers, napkins and spoons. In India we always insist to eat with clean hands.

30. Washing the body parts before food and after food is monitored .

31. The most interesting aspect is that , all these activities are organized and planned openly before the students. They discuss about these and make chart .They volunteer them self to check their friends. They are good in explaining their friends in more detail than us. It has more impact.

32. Apart from all these we have regular medical check up sessions. The parents are asked to submit any medical record about their child's special medical issues.

33. We have made them to approach us at any time for first aid. They knew where the kit will be placed. We use Homeopathy medicines for some basic health issues. The direction chart will be placed along with the medicine kit.

34. There are many situations where we are responsible and also not directly responsible  for some health issues. In such situation please shed the ego and talk openly and softly to the parents and explain the situation and first help the child to get medical treatment immediately.  We all are linked to each other. We all are living in one community. So we need to believe each other. If we are going to shout and quarrel, the child is going to be affected.

35.More body care information are expected.

Thanking you!

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