Last year, we had a child in our class that had some trauma in her life. From the beginning of her time at our center, when she was 3, she would scream, hit, scratch, and try to run away from the teachers when she didn’t want to do something. She had little positive interactions with her peers because she had such an explosive temperament. Daily, she would scream that she hated her teachers, school, and the other children in the class.
We worked with her mom in getting her counseling, spent time working with her counselor, and created an action plan with her mom that entailed consistent consequences, and utilizing tools to help her express her needs and wants more effectively. We worked on building a strong relationship with her little things like daily hugs, conversations about her likes and dislikes, and even phone calls on our days off just so that she could say “Hi!”— it really did just make her day!
Over the course of the year, she slowly but surely started to react less aggressively and was able to express her needs and wants with the appropriate words. She began to do as requested promptly, or at least with fewer reminders! She began to make positive relationships with not only her primary teachers but her peers as well. She began to make friends! When she went to Kindergarten, we all cried because we were all so very invested in this little girl and her family. About halfway through next year, her mother brought her in to visit.
Even though she is still working through many struggles, she has made great steps and will hopefully continue to do so with the positive support she has received.
At times, you will come across a child that pushes you to your limit. They will test every inch of your being. You will dig down trying every strategy you can think of to help them. When you come across these little beings just dig deeper and don’t give up. Because in the end, you both can come out stronger.
Cinda Barth, Partnership Lead
YMCA CHILD DEVELOPMENT – SAINT ALPHONSUS ELC