Aldersgate Preschool

Leave a comment

Discipline – I’ve been avoiding it, don’t you wish you could?

Last spring I wrote a couple of blog posts about how to build social skills and what expectations are appropriate at different ages; you can find those posts here and here.  At the time, I promised to write about guidance strategies.  I’ve, um. . . . . .  been busy  . . . truthfully I’ve been putting it off.  As you can imagine, it is probably one of the most frequently broached subjects parents ask me about.  It is a huge topic with a variety of aspects involved.  I find it easier to talk about on an individual basis.  But, here goes.  I’ll try to break it down into manageable bits.  As with the social posts, I may end up breaking this into a couple of articles.

Avoid the problem

Just as I mentioned in the post about social expectations, behavioral expectations can be stated in advance – especially if you have a particular behavior you are working on.  As you drive to the library you can say, “Remember we walk in the library.  We use our quiet voices.  You can check out 4 books so even though it will be hard to choose, only 4 books.  We can come back and get other ones next week.”  Sometimes I will even ask the children for their input with statements like, “When we sing for our families we are going to use what kind of voices?”  As you head to the grocery store you can talk about expectations with phrases such as “You can ride in the cart.”  “We can talk about things we see.”  “Maybe you can tell me when you see the color green.”  “I have a list and we can only buy things on my list.”  If she starts begging for a special snack then you can easily remind her that we are only buying things on the list.  By the way, the grocery store invites a host of behavioral “situations.”  I may do a post focusing on grocery store issues all by itself.

group-worktime-8-640x427 hannah-asher-640x427micah-6-640x427

You can also avoid the problem by planning ahead.  If he hasn’t had a nap it is probably better wait and do the shopping once dad comes home.  Maybe you’ve notice it – parenting isn’t always convenient.  In fact, often the most effective parenting strategies are the least convenient.  Bummer!   Try to schedule your day so that shopping or other stressful situations happen once in a while and preferably when your child is at his or her freshest.

Finally on planning ahead, it is helpful to have items that are only available during certain times.  I always had a basket of toys we had in the car only on long car rides.  What a tremendous help.  No, it didn’t solve ALL behavioral issues but I firmly believe it lessened them.

Say what you want

Try to avoid using negative phrases such as: don’t, won’t, no, can’t, . . .  Instead say what you want. Think about it this way.  When you tell a child, “Don’t push your food onto the floor” it leaves a world of other inappropriate options available.  Does that mean he can fling food from his fork?  Can he hide food under the edge of his plate?  Instead try saying, “Please keep your food on your plate.”   Think about the ultimate goal, what you really want to happen.


With toddlers I often use the phrase, “Touch gently.”  I say this as I’m demonstrating what gentle touch means.  This is much more clear than, “Don’t hit.”  Giving the children a chance to practice gentle hands is a bonus.  As he or she works with a toy say,”You are using gentle touches.”   It doesn’t come easily.  It’s something our staff have focused on over the years and now I am proud to say I rarely hear a negative statement.  Kids know what we need them to do.


As children approach a situation ripe for conflict (such as child approaching aanother child with a toy he or she may want) give the words to manage that successfully.  State what action you want to see.  “You want the cup.  Say, ‘Can I have the cup please.'”  Or “Cup please.” for the child with limited language.   We often have the children hold both hands cupped in front of them as they ask for the item.  (This gives their hands something to do rather than grab or hit!)  When approaching a child playing on a slide,   “She’s going down the slide now.  Walk around to the ladder for your turn.”  For the child that is resisting sharing toys, also give the words, “Say ‘I’m using it.'” For the child that often resorts to hitting as his or her defense of toys you can even remind them before the conflict, “Remember gentle hands.”  “Use words and say …..”


As I said, this is a huge topic and these are just two of the pieces of the guidance puzzle.  I’ll talk in an upcoming post about additional aspects about guiding behaviors.  I hope these two areas are somewhat helpful.

Leave a comment

Fall Festival Fun with a visit from a King

Our King Gretchen learned a valuable lesson.  Jesus is the true king!  Jesus has all power and authority over Heaven and Earth!  We praise and worship our king.  And we danced a little and sang a lot.




We also showed our praise to King through our offering.

This year we collected items for Mission Southside.

Did you know:

37,000 people below the poverty line in Johnson County

25,000 homes have  people that go to bed hungry every day

1,100 students classified as homeless in Johnson County

You can learn more about Mission Southside here.


And then we ate and PLAYED!  It was a great night of fellowship and fun!

One little guy asked me this morning, “Do we get prizes at school again today?”

   img_1655-300x200 img_1640-300x200 img_1630-300x200img_1646-300x200

Sorry, no prizes at school . . . . until next year!

Leave a comment

Reunited, and it feels so good!

Reunited, and it feels so good – or at least it should.

I came across this adorable video of a boy and his dog both dancing with excitement when they see Daddy coming home.


(click on the photo to view video)

Doesn’t it just make you feel good?  I’m sure you can imagine how this dad feels every time he comes home to this greeting?

I then got to thinking about our kids.  Do we greet them with anywhere near this enthusiasm?  Does our schedule distract us?  Are we dividing out attention with tasks or other people?  Do they feel the love each time we are reunited after our time away, even if it’s just the 2 1/2 hours for preschool?  That can  feel like an eternity for some kids.  It’s easy to take each greeting for granted.

I challenge us all to be in each moment, to fill each greeting with even a portion of the joy we saw in the video.

I’ve been trying to find another way to say this, but I’m just going to do it.

Put the phones down people!  

Believe me, I’m talking to myself as well.

Here is a blog post about phone usage that resonated with me.  I thought you might also find it insightful.


(click on the photo to view blog post)

This photo of adults watching a celebrity at a premiere shows a woman watching it all while everyone else is using their phone.  She is truly in the moment.


(click photo for source)

I love seeing you greet your children as you’ve walked in for dismissal.  As we prepare for curbside dismissal (beginning October 26th) I remember times that parents were distracted by their phones.

I challenge you for the sake of your child, not to mention the safety of all involved, please put the phones down.