Aggression and biting in preschool

Learn about: Aggression and biting in preschool from Tom Hobson,...
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Aggression and biting in preschool

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When children get in conflicts, especially when it involves things like biting or hitting or kicking or scratching, which is a very normal thing for young children to do in a classroom, to me they're not being aggressive, they're not being violent, they're not being bullies. All of those things imply intent. And children this age are not able to form that intent. They're not sure what their behaviors are doing. They are scientists. They're in the world, they're just pushing buttons. They're trying to figure out what's going to happen. And part of what happens when you bite somebody is they cry. And this is something that the adults in the room need to draw attention to them, say, "When you bit that person, you bit her, now she's crying. It hurt her," and help them develop the synapses that create empathy and help them understand that their behaviors affect other people. Part of that learning process is how the adults in the room are reacting as well. So when they see that we're taking it seriously, that when they hurt someone else that we're stepping in, this is also part of the consequence of the behavior. And this goes on throughout life. When you commit acts that hurt other people, a lot more people get involved than just the two people involved.

Learn about: Aggression and biting in preschool from Tom Hobson,...

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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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