Does the strategy validate children’s feelings and reassure them that the whole range of
human emotions is acceptable? Will the strategy help the child understand that feelings
change over time? Does the strategy model self-regulation on the part ofthe adult?
Does the intervention promote the idea that we are all growing, changing, and learn-
ing,or does it leave the child feeling like a failure before he’s even five years old? Does it
leave the child feeling hopeful or hopeless,empowered or powerless?
Does the intervention help children understand that all problems can be solved? Does
it promote the beliefthat “might makes right”or does it encourage working to find the
best solutions for all parties involved?
Does the intervention help the child build self-respect? Did the interaction help the
child strengthen respect for others? Was the child demeaned in the eyes ofpeers?
While we would love to be able to control the behavior ofchildren in our care,the real-
ity is that compliance is voluntary.While we might be able to influence Little Johnny,
ultimately he is the only one who can directly control his behavior, just as we are the
only ones who can control ours.And while we may have concerns about the neighbor-
hood he lives in,we can’t change his home environment.
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