Why we need to start listening to children’s behaviour communication

Behaviour is communication. How often have you heard this? How often have you said it yourself? It’s true, how a child behaves does communicate how they are at any given time.
So, I ask you what type of behaviour gets you listening to the child?

Is it the loud, the angry, the wriggly, the quiet or the complicit?

When children are unable to express themselves through words, they communicate the way they know, through their behaviour. So often, the very thing that is difficult to express verbally is the one that leads to acting out.

Actions speak louder than words. But your children’s actions are not without reason.

These actions mask what the child really needs. They become a deflection, a safety mechanism, a way to bring a predictable outcome.

It can also be disassociated from their feelings. Did you know that children demonstrate extreme behaviours because they don’t know what it is that they’re feeling? And that it’s beneath the feeling where you’ll find what they need.

To discover their unmet need or, underdeveloped skill, you have to ‘hear’ what they’re telling you

It’s the way that you can help them best. How you’ll know what next steps you must take.

If you can get it right in their early years, you gift children the opportunity to reach their potential in later years.

Recognising, understanding and knowing how to respond to young children in developmentally appropriate ways, is not only essential, but a beautiful act of respect. That you see the child for who they are and want to know and help them regardless of how tricky their behaviour is making it.

As Early Years teachers you hold positions of privilege. Stepping up and creating ever-so important bonds and connections with your young learners. In short, the type of attachment that a young child forms with their primary caregivers has an impact on how they behave at nursery or school settings. Securely attached children have faith that someone will be there for them if needed; although we’re delving into the field of attachment which is another blog altogether.

Suffice to say, don’t let your children’s behaviour drown out their unspoken voice. Try your best to tune in and listen, even to those who maybe communicating much quieter than the rest.

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