Building Those Relationships

I was recently reading and article called, Building Positive Relationships with Young Children by Dr. Gail Joseph and Dr. Phillip Strain. In the article they were talking about how critical it is to build good relationships with children. That is one of the most important ways to avoid negative behaviors in the classroom. I liked their metaphor of a piggy bank. Every time you engage in positive relationship building with a child it is like making a deposit into their piggy bank. However, when we nag or criticize a child, we make a withdrawal. Teachers and caregivers should ask themselves, “Am I making a deposit or a withdrawal in this child’s piggy bank.” Turning the negative (a withdrawal) into a positive (a deposit) will go a long way to continue to build that solid positive relationship (a full piggy bank).


16 responses

  1. Thanks John! I have to agree with you. Whenever I babysit younger children I always try to give them lots of positive comments and let them know how really great they are; or attributes I enjoy about them. They are smarter than we think, and know what we are saying. Great insight!!-Catherine Drake

  2. Hi John,Hope this finds you well! I love the piggy bank idea. It was a good reminder to me. I’m somebody that avoids debt and so I need to make sure this is true with my kids too! Thanks for the reminder. Hey, are you teaching TL4330 this summer? Please let me know! Thanks so much!!!

  3. I think this is so true not only in children but with adults as well. In almost all of my Human Developmemt classes we have talked about this in one way or another. Even as adults you can get so many complements but the one negative comment you get about yourself is the one comment that you dwell on and have a hard time getting past. I think it is so important to build “Bank Accounts” with those around you! Just something to consider when you meet new people…. Courtney P. TL4330

  4. I agree with this as well. I have seen how important it is to build up a child’s self esteem. I try to always make positive comments and tell them what a good job they are doing. Stephanie C. FCS 5170

  5. I believe that this is an awesome and extremely accurate metaphor! I spent many of my summers throughout middle school and high school teaching swimming lessons to children of my community. This lesson proved true immediately as I began working with children. I have always thought of it as taking a step forward in the right direction of the teaching goal with every positive comment I had for a child and taking TWO steps backward with each negative comment. Children thrive on the positive reinforcement we give them and are greatly setback by our negatives. I strongly agree with making deposits in our children’s piggy banks. Krissy S TL 4330

  6. That’s a really good analogy. When I’ve applied it to my work, I’ve noticed the children respond much more postively. -Patricia Q Teaching 1010

  7. Building the sense of community and helpfulness in the classroom creates strong positive relationships with children in the classroom. It builds their confidence and the focus is on the behaviors you want. Thank you for reminding us how important relationships are in the classroom

  8. I agree with this 100%. It is very important to remember that as that child’s teacher, your positive feedback may be the only “coins” going in the piggy bank. We just have to convice all teachers to turn “withdrawals into deposits!”

  9. I passed your deposit/withdrawl comment on to many of my peers. I love it, and it hit home for me. The more we deposit the bigger the return πŸ™‚ I just took over a preschool class for 4/5 year olds and 3/4 year olds. I find the 3/4 year old class VERY challenging, but they came from a class that didn’t make many “deposits” so I have to keep this in mind as we move forward with the rest of the school year. Thanks for the reminder :)~ Aurele Van Reck

  10. The piggy bank philosophy is very true and it works. I teach 3-5 year olds and sometimes it can be challenging but when I engage in positive guidance the children respond much better than going the punishment route.

  11. Can you please share the article with us? May be it’s helpful for us! Service Gem

  12. I think this is very true and love the metaphor of a piggy bank. I mostly remember from my younger elementary years the times when a teacher had gotten mad at me. Many children tend to give up on certain things when they get negative feedback. However, if they receive positive feedback the student will want to learn more and continue what they are doing. I especially think that positive comments are important when teaching Early Childhood so the students will have a positive outlook on school and learning.

  13. To build the relationship with the things which are something nothing in the true sense . Still they sometimes become very close to the children .

  14. I never had relationships with any children before, I mean as a father, ever, nevertheless now I'm uncle for the first time and I think I have a gift in regards to treating children.

  15. It's really important that while kids are still young they already know what is good relationship and how to have good relationship with others.

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