This chapter really highlights what is important in early childhood education.

On page 183 the authors state that "Social intelligence does not come for free. It is gained on the "job"- that is, through meaningful interaction with others in life. What children become when they grow up is in large part of a result of the way we interact with them at home, at child care, and at school." This really points to the importance of interacting with children. We were talking about the different sets of skills that our students come to school with, and we can definitely notice the difference in children that have had more social experiences or more exposure to situations that lend themselves to socialization- such as children that have been with dedicated caregivers, parents, and exceptional daycare type of facilities. As the authors discussed in this chapter, we really agree that the students who can regulate their emotions and are starting to understand the perspective of others are the same students who are overall well-adjusted and doing well academically. On page 186 the authors state that "Interaction is the key and lots of it." We feel that this really validates what we do in early childhood, or at least in Pre-K. When we have students that do not demonstrate age-appropriate social emotional skills, we work hard on helping them to move toward a healthy social-emotional development which will help to prepare them for things to come- in and outside of school.

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I found this chapter to be especially interesting because so often the poor behavior we see in a child is learned from the parent. If the child is easily frustrated and immediately reacts by having a melt down, frequently the parent is easily excitable as well. I think what I learned in this chapter is a reminder that socialization is a major early childhood skill. We need to remember in September that the child who is tanturming, hitting and yelling is just enacting learned behaviors. And, that, before we can focus on cognitive achievement, we must first teach them how to manage thier frustration and help regulate thier emotions. This is much easier said, than done. However, I have witnessed several times, situations in each of your classrooms where through thoughtful behavior management plans, you have been successful in helping a child emotionally adjust to the parameters of school.
I think an important idea that this book repeatedly mentions is the importance that homelife is key to success. Since many of our students don't have a strong homelife, it makes our job that much harder.
I had a few students this year who had total meltdowns when they entered school and now they are doing great. I don't think it was learned behavior from home, but just a scared 5 year old. Although they are well adjusted now, at the time it was incredibly distracting and virtually impossible to teach.
The book suggests "trying to see the world through your children's eyes". I think when we as teachers do that, it makes the situation a little easier to understand.
I am constantly regulating my students’ emotions and their reactions to situations. For example a common occurrence in my classroom; a child accidentally hurts another child. This can be a very touchy situation if not handled correctly because both children involved are full of emotions. One student may be physically hurt and the other scared or confused. A resolution that considers both students’ feelings is imperative.
In my class we frequently discuss our feelings and the feelings of others. The authors’ suggestion of asking students to think about how characters feel in a story is a great way to get students actively involved in a book and transfer the empathy they gain to their individual situations.
Helping to teach children how to handle disappointments and leaning to reframe them into a learning experience and possibly something positive was a very powerful piece of advice for parents. I know how much it hurts us as parents when something happens to our child that causes them to be truly sad or disappointed. We want to fix it, make it better, comfort them, etc… Helping them to find the silver lining or look at it in another way is like putting on the training wheels before riding your bike alone. Life is full of trials and tribulations along with great joy and happiness. Learning to cope with upset at a young age helps you prepare for the “biggies” later on in life.

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