Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Toddler Jonah Day.

Today is one of those days that just started out right but have a very exasperating middle & a fantastic ending.

It started out a warm & sunny day. Remind me that I should never complain about the sunny weather especially when I am running out of warm clothing (just waiting for my supply to arrive, hopefully in the next two weeks). Winter clothing costs an arm & leg, so I think I shall just wait for my parents to send it from KL. Postage isn't too bad when the Australian currency exchange is about RM3: AUD1.

Anyways, today I worked with the toddlers..... Oh my gosh.. the toddlers were acting up! There were 5 boys who were pretty disruptive, and the rest of the group who were watching decided to join them. So the entire group was pretty much acting up.

I kept on reflecting about the reasons why I could have such difficulty in handling them, & partly the reason I realised that is because I wasn't using the right way to interact with them.

Toddlers have different needs from pre-schoolers. This age group requires more kindness, patience & a different way of talking than from the older age group. Of course, sometimes what we read in books at university can only be translated to knowledge with a real life scenario on a continual basis. Since I do not primarily handle this age group, it was a real tremendous learning curve for me.

These are some of the things I remember & observed about them:
  • Toddlers are at the developmental stage that they don't take well to strangers & new faces.
  • Toddlers are still mostly blabbing and speaking in two or three word sentences, sometimes its harder for a casual to understand what they are trying to say.
  • Toddlers respond better to a kind word rather than a direct instruction (they may not understand what the adult wants and thus ignores them!).
  • Toddlers listen better if the adult makes it like a game for them to follow instructions.
  • Toddlers still need a firm hand at the end of the day.
I guess that just means that I have to adapt the way I talk to them than what I was originally planning to do. Oh well!

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