This morning I read this article:
Mean Toddlers: Preventing Mean Girls From Developing in the Earliest Years
Later this happened in my class
Will: “Sarah, Sam is crying?”
Me: “Yes, I think he might be frustrated.”
Will: “Sarah: he needs help?”
Me: “He may. Would you like to ask him?”
Will to Sam: “I help you?”
Will helps Sam put his puzzle away.
Will (skipping over to me): “Sarah, I help Sam.”
I am happy to provide a prepared environment where Sam and Will can identify and naturally acknowledge their feelings and be genuinely empathetic. My story is about boys, but any of the girls in our classroom have a similar experience.
What this article doesn’t say is, like the new research on praise and the importance of struggle, adults need to support children in identifying and feeling settled with their feelings and must then also allow them to experience the full spectrum of feelings, this includes jealousy. I like how the author writes:
“It’s OK to feel a little jealous about someone else having something that you would like for yourself, but that it is not OK to get mad at her for having it.”