Over the weekend there was a news report talking about ways to help behavior of preschoolers, namely how to prevent poor preschool behavior that might lead to school suspension. Apparently, suspending preschoolers is a bigger problem than you might think.
It comes down to teaching the teachers and parents how to redirect the preschoolers' feelings. Preschoolers have a trouble expressing feelings regarding difficult situations or just changes in a routine: new baby to the family, moving, trauma, abuse, neglect, etc. So, when they cannot express themselves, they act out.
Touche. I think this is not just a preschooler issue. It is a universal problem. I think we all are just preschoolers at heart. Not to call anyone juvenile but I think many of us, either due to stressors beyond our control, un-nurturing situations that have never allowed us to grow and develop or just stubborn willfulness, have acted like preschoolers. Certainly there is a growing concern and problem that individuals and groups of people feel that they are not being heard, that they do not have a platform to express themselves and consequently they act out in words, actions or deeds.
I know for myself, when I have felt that I have not been heard, not been appreciated, and not been able to express myself, I act out- feeling depressed, angry, and out of sorts.
I wonder if the strategies taught to teachers and parents to help the preschoolers would be helpful to us?
Lessons from Preschoolers:
- Concentrate on what I can do, not on what I cannot
- Redirect my thoughts when I am feeling upset
- Find a comfort corner when I feel sad
- Practice breathing, meditation, prayer every day
- Respond to others' outbursts- with listening and redirection and not with big feelings too
What about you? Have you ever felt frustrated that you were not being heard and understood? Have you ever "acted out" only to feel guilty and ashamed of your preschool behavior? What can you do to prevent that from happening? What lessons have you learned from children?