Monday, February 22, 2010

Understanding Preschooler's Emotions and Fears in Early Childhood Education



“Nothing in life is to be feared. 
It is only to be understood.” 
~Marie Curie

One frightened boy's story;
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp6h2JlDpzI

My parents used to talk me though many of my own fears. It is comforting to know there is a process to everything….even fears. As a Preschool Teacher I try to look at young preschooler’s fears and struggles logically and with empathy and compassion. Some situations call for thinking with the heart a bit more than the head…depending on the situation.
What I love about the word ‘understanding’ is it has the word ‘stand’ in it. I visualize a person simply standing….listening…being present and giving of their time. I really know how important that is to people because people pay others to do that for them. It’s called therapy.
This…I am not, of course…but talking kids through situations I do in fact do. Just like us, kids often have the answers but need encouragement, empowerment, and consolation. This often enables them to learn skills to encourage themselves and others.
What I love about working in early childhood education is that I do have opportunities to have conversations with preschoolers. I never really know what effect I will always have…I can only hope I am giving them a foundation for success that will last them a lifetime.

7 comments:

Melissa: Mother to 3 Little Sprouts said...

Thank you for sharing that. You are for sure giving them a great foundation!

Theresa Milstein said...

It's nice that you're thinking about their fears, and addressing them. I remember my son's kindergarten teacher telling the parents, "You don't know how many worries they have that they don't tell you about." After that, I made sure to pay attention to his moods and ask more questions.

Barbra Stephens said...

Hi Melissa and Theresa,
I really appreciate that. I know we all care...kids just don't say much about it, and if they do they really have their own language at times.
What I really love about both of your blogs is you are very in tuned with kids. Alert. That is an intelligence not many people desire to have....but it comes out in your writing...and that from the heart reaches the heart.
Thanks again. :)

Dan Gurney said...

If you listen and keep your heart open, you will affect them greatly, but perhaps in ways they'll not be able to remember consciously. Actually that sort of influence is all the stronger because it's operating in the unconscious parts of their minds... so worry not. You're having a great influence.

Barbra Stephens said...

I won't worry...Thanks Dan
:)

Moni said...

Hi there,
I appreciate this blog dedicated to the little ones.
Currently, I am in the process of developing a research project for my Art Therapy and Counseling program. I would like my research project to focus on building emotional awareness and reducing stress levels in pre school using art based interventions. I am having trouble choosing a way to measure the reduction of stress levels or measuring if the child acquired new knowledge about their emotions. I would appreciate anyone's input on how to measure these things....I was thinking some sort of pre/posttest, before and after the art interventions.
Thank you and keep up the good work,
Monica (mirando_luna0@yahoo.com)

Barbra Stephens said...

Hi Moni,
This sounds like very interesting work. I'm intrigued. I will make some phone calls and see what resources we have.