Speak Respectfully to Children to Build Self-Worth
Yesterday we discussed a nanny named Ariel who is upset that children speak to her without respect. But what about nannies who do not speak respectfully to their charges?
Maria F., a nanny in Staten Island, NY has issues with nannies that are disrespectful towards children. Maria says, "I see nannies yelling at their charges when we go to the playground. It angers me. Not only are they hurting the child's feelings by yelling at them, they are embarrassing the child by scolding them in public too."
In her article, Language for Growing Children of Peace, Anita Remignanti, Ph.D. agrees with Maria F. The author writes, "Typically, adults do not speak to each other in commands and directives unless they are softened in some courteous manner. 'Close the window' is softened to 'Would you please close the window?' or 'Let the dog out,' becomes, 'The dog needs to go out.'"
"An adult who speaks to other adults in commands and directives usually feels superordinate or is unaware of the necessity to speak courteously," says Remignanti.
She continues, "Unfortunately, the rules for softening commands are often omitted by adults when speaking to children. There are times when danger is present that adults must use quick commands with either a child or an adult."
Remignanti says, "Children are not subordinate to adults although they are weaker, less knowledgeable, and in great need of guidance."
"Children can exasperate the most patient adult and it is understandable that we command them harshly at times for the sake of expediency," she says.
"In principle, however, children should be spoken to in the way they are required to speak to other people," says Remignanti.
She continues, "Modeling is a powerful force of childhood, and there is no doubt that children will speak in the way they are spoken to."
Pam Leo of Connection Parenting (™) says in her article Teaching Children Respect,"We often make the mistake of thinking that since children are smaller than we are and have less information and experience than we do, that they don't have all the same feelings we do. But they do."
She continues, "The same kind of treatment that would embarrass, humiliate, or hurt us, embarrasses, humiliates, and hurts children. When human beings are being hurt emotionally, our thinking shuts down."
"When our thinking is shut down we cannot learn, we can only record. When adults try to 'teach' children by criticizing, lecturing, shaming, ridiculing, giving orders, screaming, threatening, and hitting, it shuts down their thinking so they can't learn what the adult intended to teach them to do or not to do; they can only record what is being modeled," says Leo.
Yelling at children is disrespectful and only hurts their sense of well-being and self-esteem.
Have you found yourself yelling at children during your work day?