Children’s Feelings

Educators listen to and acknowledge children’s feelings, including frustrations, using words as well as nonverbal communication techniques. Knowing that children often communicate through their behavior, especially when they are unable to verbalize their feelings, educators seek to understand what the child may be trying to communicate in any language. Educators respond with respect in ways that children can understand, guide children to resolve conflicts, and model skills that help children to solve their own problems.

Educators themselves demonstrate high levels of responsibility and self-regulation in their interactions with other adults (colleagues, family members) and with children. This includes monitoring their own behaviors for potential implicit biases or microaggressions on the basis of race and ethnicity, gender, disability, or other characteristics that unfairly target children or adults in the early learning setting, undermine an individual’s self-worth, or perpetuate negative stereotypes. They also confront biased or stereotypical comments in interactions among children and/or adults. When they inadvertently engage in behavior that hurts or undermines an individual’s self-worth, educators model how to manage negative emotions and to repair relationships.

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