Creative Childcare Consulting
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Are You a Bossy Pants?

Do you like to be bossed around?aaaaa

I know I sure don’t like it.

How do you feel when you think about someone managing a considerable part of your life? Most people might react negatively to being told what to do and when to do it. You might even consider being a bit of a rebel or being outright defiant.

So my question to you is, how are you managing the children in your care?  You are their role model, often for more than 8 hours a day. Are you unknowingly teaching children to become bossy, or are they learning to become respectful humans?

What Is Respect?

The definition of respect is esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.

If you were out to dinner with friends and you witnessed a woman snap her fingers at the waitstaff and yell at them because they weren’t bringing her food quickly enough, what would you think of that woman?

You’d probably think they were rude, inconsiderate and disrespectful.

Now imagine you’re in the classroom, and you hear your room partner call across the room to have a child come back to the block corner, and clean their mess up right away before they play in another centre. To make matters worse, your room partner tells the child to hurry up; they have other things they need to do.

What do you think of your room partner?

Many adults speak to children in ways they would never dream of speaking to another adult. Some Early Educators fail to use “please” or “thank you” when asking children to do something. Adults will tell children what is going to happen and then become upset when some children don’t cooperate or comply.

Just like you, children get tired of being bossed around. The best way to teach children how to be respectful is to be respectful to them. Do you have a very bossy and challenging child in your room? Where do you think they’ve learned to push other people around? It may not have been from you, and you have the opportunity to teach them how to be more respectful to others.

Think back to your favourite or best supervisor. They probably were very respectful to you and were able to get the team to do the tasks with enthusiasm and joy. Children are no different. They want you to be a leader, not their boss. Speak to them kindly so that they feel respected and appreciated. Avoid actions that may belittle or humiliate them.

Instead of being bossy, why not try to be:

  • Empathetic
  • Mindful
  • Honest
  • Generous
  • Passionate
  • Consistent
  • Fun
  • Curious
  • Compassionate
  • Reflective
  • Trustworthy
  • Humorous

What would your life be like if your supervisor had all of those previous qualities?

Children are going to enjoy being with you more and be more likely to cooperate when you are a fun person to be around. Educators have many things they need to do over the day. It is much easier to tell everyone what they are supposed to do, and when and how to do it. Instead of being bossy, make a promise to yourself that you will be respectful. Invite the children to join you in fun, exploration and comforting routines.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. You’ll slip occasionally and catch yourself being a bossy pants. Acknowledge your mistake and be better the next time.

Until next week,

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