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Behavior management: BUILD a child’s confidence

Date: April 21st, 2015
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Lack of confidence can have a huge effect on a child. He can’t do anything unless you are sitting right there next to him. And as soon as you give him a direction, he automatically says, “Can you help me? I don’t know how to do this.”

That’s an emotional thing. These are the same kids who are afraid to take risks because they probably experienced a significant amount of failure, or they have never had a chance to really reach mastery.

Once these kids grab on to something and they can do it over and over, we’ve got to allow them the time to sustain it. This allows them to reach mastery which will then give them confidence.

For example, with the first book you learned to read, you wanted to read it over and over again. To everybody.

But what would happen if someone took the book away as soon as you learned to read it and gave you a harder one? Then, as soon as you learned that one, they took it away and gave you an even harder one.

You were not allowed to reach mastery, and so you would lose your self-confidence.

But if you were given the chance to read the first book over and over, again and again, then you would be more open to taking risks on harder books.

We need to allow kids to digest information and reach mastery. This will help to really build their confidence.

Yes, curriulum moves fast and furious, and we might feel we don’t have the time. But not giving these kids the time just causes them to become emotionally distraught, and then we will just have more problems.