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"It's all about relationships!"

Supporting young children in their social and emotional development is one of the most important things we do as early childhood educators. When we form strong, nurturing relationships with children, it increases their ability to be happy, to relate to their family and community, and to have friends.

This is also one of the most challenging areas for people working with young children. How do we stay calm ourselves as we support a child that is angry and pushing another child? What do we do when a child refuses to listen or follow our directions?

Most adults want to first correct behavior in children, and then have children earn positive attention by responding and “being good.” The most important message this module contains, is that we must start with building a positive relationship with each child before we can expect changes in behavior. In order to build a relationship, we must get to know about the child’s temperament, interests, experiences, and family background.

Other words to describe what happens when we form positive connections with children are self-esteem, resiliency, child mental health, healthy brain development, social competency, and social/emotional development. All through this module, as you read, listen, observe, and reflect; think about how you form relationships with the children and families in your program. That’s what it’s all about!

In this module, you will be introduced to: