“Have You Been Good Today?”
‘Have you been good today?’ Is a question children are often asked. But what do we mean, what is ‘being good’? Can One honestly say they are ‘good’ all the time?
As humans there is a strong association between emotions and behaviour, and we see it emerge in many forms everyday. Unfortunately it is often the negative behaviour that receives the most recognition, whilst the positive behaviour we portray daily is regularly overlooked.
Questioning children about whether they have been good puts too great an expectation on their behaviour, and often we don’t care that they’ve been good. We just want to know they haven’t misbehaved.
Expressions of anger or desire are a normal part of development and should not be considered as negative; ever find yourself getting cross with the television remote because it won’t record your favourite programme or crashing about in the kitchen as you’ve been left to do the washing up, again? These scenarios often result in a swear word being used or objects being slammed down in frustration. An adult tantrum.
Most of us as adults we have positive inhibitions and control, something that children lack as they are unaware of the full range of emotions that effect their behaviour.
Therefore it is important for us to nourish all forms of behaviour portrayed by a child and Early Years practitioners have the duty to promote positive behaviour in children, which will enable them to learn and develop progressively.
As children develop so do their emotions; they become strong and very real. By meeting children’s emotional needs as we offer sympathy and patience, we support children to behave in line with expectations for their stage of development and to develop as happy, secure and well-balanced individuals. It’s important that we provide clear explanations about what to do and what not to do, respond consistently to certain behaviours and always praise and focus on the good behaviour.
And instead why not ask, “What have you done that was good today?”
Written By Sarah Hawkins