Mama Mia, Pizzeria….
Posted August 2, 2010on:
Mama Mia, Pizzeria
The Baby’s got ________.
Can you guess this rhyme (or a version of it) that is a favorite with the preschool and kindergarten crowd? If not, I feel sorry for you! You are missing out on a real treat in beginning language and secretly enjoying a few laughs with young learners deciding what they can get away with!
Are you hearing words that are less than desirable in your home, from your child or their friends? Here are some reasons for it and guides to use with it.
Why? Children are literally combining exploding abilities in multiple growth domains. They are processing everything they see, hear, touch, smell and taste. They are thinking things through. They are connecting their brains with their bodies at incredible speed. They have discovered that language is powerful. They are keenly observant and don’t miss a trick. They have learned to store information and use it later. They are testing their place in the group – as leader, follower, learner, helper, comedian, challenger, peacemaker… This age likes to push the envelope to see what they can get away with and who they can get a reaction from.
And as everyone knows – if a child gets a laugh or reaction once, they will repeat the joke, word or action over & over & over….
So what to do?
- Consider the source. Children literally learn every single bit of communication, primarily vocabulary, from adults. They did not make these words or actions up – they have learned them. Please don’t blame a child for adult actions. Often this makes us look in the mirror. Make sure they hear & learn better words from you. Monitor the adults your child is with. If you don’t like the actions or words of an adult or another child in your child’s life, say so!
- Give high praise for “nice” words and actions – make a big deal. Remember you are their most important teacher. They are interested and responsive to what you think. Never miss a chance to validate your child’s kind words or actions.
- Ignore what you can. Potty words lose their glamour quickly and insisting everything is “poopy” gets old when no one pays attention to it. Children learn quickly what gets a reaction and what doesn’t. Remember that negative attention is better than no attention at all.
- Replace. If they have learned a bad word, give a replacement word that they can use. Start to use a fun word yourself i.e. “Beans!- I dropped it!”
- NEVER ignore bullying, threatening or mean words. Follow above steps but quickly respond. Very often we give young children entirely too much credit in understanding how to solve a problem or resolve a conflict when they simply don’t know. They are very young and they need you.
Beans!!! You still haven’t figured out the rhyme?! Go find a kindergartener.
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director