Topics in Early Childhood Education

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"He's afraid of kids, right?"

I recently acquired several cats at my home. My four year-old granddaughter came to visit and pet the cats. One of our cats does not like children. I told my granddaughter, who needs regular reassurance in new situations (like petting cats), that "Gus" is afraid of children. It would be better for her to pet the other cats. During the 1 1/2 hours she was at my house she kept reassuring herself by saying, "He's afraid of kids, right?" This incident made me think of the number of times we must reassure children that they are successful in their activities. If a child doesn't have constant support in learning a new skill, the skill will not be mastered and the child's responses will be sporadic. I am continually amazed at the number of teachers who say, "He knew that letter yesterday and now today he can't remember." It takes lots of reassurance and support to master a skill. That way the child may not need to continually ask, "He's afraid of kids, right?"


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