Promoting Peer Interactions with Infants and Toddlers

Report
It’s Mine: Promoting Peer Interactions
with Infants and Toddlers
By Masha Levin
Infant/Toddler Specialist
Objectives:
 Participants will learn strategies for promoting
interactions between infants and toddlers.
 Participants will also learn how to guide children
in their play with peers and how to encourage
problem solving and conflict resolution skills with
infants and toddlers.
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY
In your small groups,
come up with 3
strategies to support
positive peer
interactions.
What are some strategies
that you use to support
positive infant/toddler peer
interactions?
Be prepared to share
with whole group.
Why focus on infant/toddler peer
interactions?
Social-emotional
development is the
foundation for
learning and
predicts future
social and
academic success.
Ethan Laughing
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
Why focus on infant/toddler peer
interactions?
Children build
each other’s
competence and
understanding of
culture.
Bigstockphoto.com
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
Why focus on infant/toddler peer
interactions?
Conflict and the
need for proactive
strategies.
Petitalma.com
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
Why focus on infant/toddler peer
interactions?
When children are
challenged, they need
relationship support.
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
The Adult Interactions That Count for
Peer Relationships
 Be sensitive to temperament.
 Listen to babies.
 Be affectionate.
 Use positive affect and affect mirroring.
 Comfort children in distress.
 Be emotionally available.
 Be empathic—use nurturing care.
 Use gentle touch, hold, and enfold.
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
The Adult Interactions That Count for
Peer Relationships
 Engage in eye contact and face-to-face







responsive interactions.
Engage in reciprocal interactions.
Be responsive—read cues.
Be sensitive
Promote a sense of mastery.
Encourage self-regulation.
Support families.
Set up a nurturing environment.
Wittmer, 2008; Focusing on Peers
Setting Up the Environment for
Developing Play & Friendship Skills
Self-Reflection…
 Is there enough physical space for children and adults




to engage in social interactions?
Is there enough space for 2 or more children to enjoy
side by side activity and for teachers to be close for
supervision?
Is there time in the daily schedule for opportunities to
develop play skills each day?
Do you have equipment that would encourage 2
children to interact?
Do you have enough materials for 2 or more children to
use at same time?
Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Infant/Toddler Module II
Progression of the Development of
Friendship Skills
1. Positive
interactions
with adults
2. Showing
awareness of
other children
3. Playing
briefly with
other children
5. Practicing
turn taking and
sharing
4. Wanting
what Kidscomplishment.com
others
have Babyexpert.com
Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Infant/Toddler Module II
Promoting the Development
of Friendship Skills
 Encourage toddlers to help
each other and do routines
together
 Provide positive verbal
support for play between
children
 Read books about friends,
playing together, helping
each other, etc.
 Practice turn-taking and
sharing
Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Infant/Toddler Module II
Small Group Activity: Brainstorm…
When do conflicts
occur?
What needs
are children
expressing?
GardenCityPatch.com
When I Think of Infant/Toddler Conflict,
These are the Words that Come to Mind...
 Crying
 Screaming
 Biting
 Hitting
 Pushing
 Scratching
 Body movement
 Incident reports
 Unhappy parents
Yumkid.com
Strategies for Infant/Toddler Conflict
Resolution
Let’s Watch!
Lockhart, Shannon; High/Scope Early Childhood Specialist
So You’ve Used the Conflict Resolution
Strategies, But…
 You still have children who need support with self-
regulation:
 A skill that allows children to translate what they
experience into information they can use to regulate
thoughts, emotions, and behaviors (Blair & Diamond
2008).
 An infant/toddler teacher would partner with the child
and family to help them develop self-regulation skills.
 Redirection, acknowledging feelings, giving positive
feedback and providing developmentally appropriate
experiences are strategies that will help the child develop
emotional self-regulation.
So You’ve Used the Conflict Resolution
Strategies, But…
 You still have children who need support with
stress:
• Stress—when a person shows, by difficulties in personal
relationships and worrisome bodily responses, that he or
she is having a struggle and cannot cope with felt or
perceived difficulties (Honig 1986).
• Perceptive awareness and monitoring of infant and
toddler behaviors is your first line of defense against
emotional troubles (Honig 2010).
• Let’s review some behavior and body signals of stress…
So You’ve Used the Conflict Resolution
Strategies, But…
 You still have children who need support with
withdrawal behaviors:
 A child exhibiting withdrawal behavior may appear to
have given up attempting to get his needs met and to have
moved away from interaction with others.
 Nevertheless the infant or toddler is expressing his
experience, and it may appear to be a preference.
 This type of challenging behavior is often overlooked in a
busy childcare setting.
Children Who are Experiencing
Challenges with…
Scenario #1
Demetrio, a 26 month old toddler, angrily throws the
toy on the ground. Earlier, he had tried to climb a
book shelf and had a huge tantrum when a teacher
tried to redirect him to the safe climbing area. Later,
other toddlers moved quickly out of his way when he
picked up the hammer to the xylophone and started
tapping his way through the room.
Children Who are Experiencing
Challenges with…
Scenario #2
Ariel, a 9-month-old girl, has just been left at the
center by her mother, who was late for work.
Although she did stay with her daughter for a few
minutes before handing her over to the teacher, she
started screaming when she hastily said good bye
and hurried out the door. She is now sitting on the
floor and alternately screaming and sobbing.
Children Who are Experiencing
Challenges with…
Scenario #3
Roberto is a 13 month toddler. When he becomes
very upset, Roberto’s teacher tries to cuddle and
soothe him, but he pushes her away, arches his
back, and looks away from the caregiver.
Knowing about is different from knowing how to.
Knowing about means learning theory.
Knowing how to puts theory into action…
We know that even people with considerable
understanding of infants and toddlers have trouble
acting on that understanding unless they have
learned to apply theory. Knowledge does not
necessarily build skill.
–Janet Gonzalez-Mena
Resources
NAEYC
• National Association for Education of
Young Children
• www.naeyc.org
ZERO TO
THREE
• National Center for Infants,Toddlers,
and Families
• www.zerotothree.org
CSEFEL
• Center for Social and Emotional
Foundations of Early Learning
• www.csefel.vanderbilt.edu
Resources
PITC
TACSEI
CSSP
• Program for Infant Toddler Care
• www.pitc.org
• Technical Assistance Center on Social
Emotional Intervention
• www.challengingbehavior.org
• Center for the Study of Social Policy:
Changing Practice in Programs
• www.cssp.org/reform/strengtheningfamilies/resources/changingprogrammatic-practice
Thank you!
 Do you have any
questions?
 Please fill out your
Evaluation and pick
up your Certificate
of Attendance.

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