Summer Blog Book Study: Helping preschoolers learn to resolve and manage conflict

Today is the beginning of our summer blog book study and this year, the focus of our book study is “Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom.”  If you haven’t joined us for our book study in the past couple of years, then be sure to read this post in its entirety to learn all about the book study and to get a taste of the helpful and insightful information that will be coming your way all summer long…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

There are so many different approaches towards managing challenging behaviors in a classroom setting so instead of choosing one book, each blogger in our study will be sharing insights from a behavior management style book of their choice. At the end of this post you will see a linky of each post as they go live which will help you keep up with the study as we go along…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

Helping Preschoolers Learn to Resolve and Manage Conflict

To kick off our study, I want to share a few highlights from the recent Bam Radio interview I participated in titled “Helping Preschoolers Learn to Resolve and Manage Conflict” along with an overview of the expert advice shared by the authors: Rae Pica, Karen Stephens, Sandy Heidemann, and Karen Nemeth. To listen to the interview in its entirety, click on the photo below or the links above…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

No one likes conflict

Let’s face it, no one likes dealing with conflict. Often times, adults rush in and try to solve conflicts as soon as they pop up. But the reality is, young children need to know how to work through conflicts on their own. According to Karen Stephens, not learning to resolve conflict  can lead young children towards  having a problem with over-dependance, fear of failure, isolation, withdrawal, and the effects can lead to more serious issues such as bullying or even problems that can extend all the way up into their adult years.  Although we may not like dealing with conflict, it is important to note that conflict is a natural part of play, growth, and learning for young children and we need to prepare ourselves for how to best guide children through the process of resolving conflict…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

Let’s Talk About It

There are many causes of conflict that can arise at any given moment so trying to list them all wouldn’t be possible. However, there were a few causes emphasized in the interview that I will make note of. The first one was an inability to communicate effectively. Young children are still building their library of feeling words and according to Karen Stephens, it is important to help young children learn to identify their emotions with words. Feeling statements such as “I’m confused” or “I’m frustrated” are just two examples of giving young children the words to express their emotions verbally rather than physically. Karen Nemeth stresses the importance of using body language and gestures to communicate needs and feelings. Using gestures is especially effective where you might have a language barrier between children or an inability to fully understand the speech of a particularly young child. And finally, learning to appropriately communicate feelings and emotions requires the teacher to model these ideas and not just talk about them…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors


Consider the Environment

Conflict can also be a product of the environment. For example, large open spaces in your classroom will often lead to young children to getting overly excited or stimulated. Give them a large open space and most likely, they will want to run or play wild. Our experts suggested to save the large open spaces for outdoor play and divide your classroom up into centers and spaces that give children ample room to move about but not so much space that they are tempted to run freely through the classroom…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

Observing Conflict

In our interview, the experts also talked about the importance of observing conflict before jumping in and trying to solve it. Too often, we as teachers want to resolve conflict quickly. There are many reason for this. One reason may be because we don’t want our students going home telling mom or dad that they didn’t get along with others. We want everyone to alway be happy and to go home happy. Another reason is because it seems like conflict is a deterrent to the learning process but conflict actually plays a valuable role in helping young children build healthy social and emotional skill sets.  However, Sandy Heidemann reminds us that there should be boundaries in place that are unbendable such as no hitting, biting, or other physical conflict and no name calling – period.  Understanding that conflict is a part of natural growth and development will help you learn to observe the conflict and see where you need to model or teach the children to resolve their conflicts or know when the conflicts can be worked out among the children in their own way…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

A Safe Place

Often times, we think and parents think that a safe place is a place where conflict doesn’t exist. But a safe place really is about creating an environment where parents will know that you have their child’s best interest at heart and the children in your classroom will know that they are a valued member of the classroom community. Everyone involved in the child’s life needs to understand that normal conflict that occurs during play will be a part of your classroom. And because your classroom is a safe place, your students will be learning how to resolve their conflicts through healthy and peaceful strategies rather than avoiding conflicts altogether. Remember, learning to resolve natural conflicts that come up as young children interact with one another is a healthy part of social and emotional development…

Summer Blog Book Study: Challenging Behaviors

There were many more tips shared in the interview than I have shared here today so be sure to hop over to Bam Radio if you would like to hear the interview in full.  Later on in the summer, I will be bringing you insights from the book “Managing Emotional Mayhem” by Dr. Becky Bailey and “Beyond Behavior Management” by Jenna Bilmes and my fellow bloggers will be sharing other meaningful tips and suggestions on helping to address challenging behaviors from the resources they have found so be sure to stay tuned-in all summer long!


Our Next Topic 

Be sure to hop on over to Fun-A-Day on June 25, 2014 (Wednesday) and see what she has to share on her first book choice for our Challenging Behaviors Summer Blog Book Study!

Available on Amazon

See the Linky Below

After each post goes live, we will add it to the linky below so you can easily find all the posts and read them whenever you have the time. If you are viewing this post by email, you will most likely need to come to the Teach Preschool Blog to view this post in its entirety and to see the linky…

Apply for College Credits

To learn more about applying the book study towards college credits, click on the link right here!  To read the FAQ’s from Concordia University about the college credit click here!

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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