Eastern Connecticut State University
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Guiding Young Children's Behavior

Segment 1: Fostering Trusting Relationships


An early childhood teacher’s relationship with a child can affect that child’s social development and behavior. A trusting and supportive relationship between teacher and preschool child can also help ease difficult transitions. Families experiencing challenges and stressors such as a new move or a parent's absence especially need and value additional support from teachers. This segment of Guiding Young Children's Behavior explores why trusting, supportive relationships are important to children’s development, and how teachers can succeed at creating an atmosphere that promotes building positive relationships.


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Questions to Answer After Viewing Videos

  • Think about three specific children in your class. What are they dealing with in their home life that might affect their behavior?
  • Think about children you have met or who are currently in your classroom who prefer non-physical warmth. What are some non-physical ways to show these children warmth?
  • You are in the block area and a child says to you, “Look what I’m making!” and shows you a tall tower of blocks. What are three different authentic responses you might make that go beyond simple praise?

Additional Resources on Fostering Trusting Relationships

  • Flicker, E. S., & Andron Hoffman, J. (2006). Guiding children's behavior: Developmental discipline in the classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Geddes, H. (2006). Attachment in the classroom: The links between children’s early experience, emotional well-being and performance in school. London: Worth Publishing, LTD.
  • Howes, C., & Ritchie, S. (2002). A matter of trust: Connecting teachers and learners in the early childhood curriculum. New York: Columbia University.
  • Marion, M.C. (2010). Guidance of young children. Columbus, OH: Merrill Publishing Co.

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