The tired tantrums

This has been a week of Olympic visitors, Olympic attending and Olympic T-shirt buying. Last night, I was very privileged to have landed an invite to the USA House to eat, drink and take photographs with Olympians for free! There was some serious badge-trading, handshakings and a lot of children crying, running and accompanying adults responding.

We know that the child is still developing his self-control and general abilities to self- regulate. It’s been very hot lately and thirsty children can act very strangely BUT not unpredictably. Having a tantrum because he is tired, hungry or thirsty is a very valid reason but not an excuse. Modelling self- regulating strategies is extremely effective for young children. Are you sipping water regularly? Having regular snacks when you are out with your child? Modelling useful sentences like, ‘Please excuse me. I am quite tired. I think I will just sit for a while.’ Your child wants to be just like you. They may not do as you say but they will certainly do as you do.

Lots of trips and outings? Children feel safest having information even when they don’t really know what it means. So do tell them what is going to happen. ‘First, we will take the red central line to Stratford. Then we will get off and walk. There will be people there to tell us where to go. Etc etc,’ and they will be quite happy repeating it to themselves.

At SKChildrenworking, the children will be making their own snack and participating in groups Montessori describes as ‘Grace and Courtesy’. Grace, largely describing movements such as, ‘How to carry a tray’ or ‘How to roll and unroll mats’, while courtesy, usually describes language such as ‘Can I have that after you please?’ or ‘Excuse me, I need the toilet’.

These are presented in a group and the children take turns to do the movements and say the words to one another. Like anybody learning a new skill, the children are eager to participate alongside their peers. Do you remember being a child and being a little confused about what the right thing to do or say is? Your child will treasure this opportunity to experiment in social etiquette through mutual modelling and experience.

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