As an infant and toddler caregiver, you work with children and families with a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds. Read each of the scenarios below, reflect on the child’s and/or family member’s sense of self, and consider how you would promote a positive sense of self. When you are finished, share your responses with your coach, trainer, or administrator.
Two-year-old Josie is new to your program, and her home language is not English. She is having difficulty falling asleep at naptime. Discuss what actions you might take to address this issue and promote Josie’s sense of self.
- Ask Josie’s parents to teach you one of Josie’s favorite lullabies in her home language.
- Use pictures with words in Josie’s home language for routines such as naptime.
- Label areas and materials in the classroom in both English and in Josie’s home language.
- Gather ideas from Josie’s family about what soothes her at naptime.
- Invite all families including Josie’s to the classroom to share a favorite book, about their job, or something important to them.
- Invite Josie’s family to the classroom to share how they help transition Josie to naptime.
Denise is a single mom with an 18-month-old son, Darius, in your classroom. Denise has been late a few times at pick-up, and mentioned that she just can’t seem to keep up with all the demands of single parenting. She says that she “just can’t seem to get it right.” Reflect on what your response might be in support of this parent’s sense of self.
- Make resources and information easily accessible. Ask Denise if the two of you can set up a time to meet and discuss possible resources that might be helpful.
- Offer positive feedback on something you see Denise doing “right.” Example: “When you drop Darius off, you always give him a big hug and a kiss. I can tell how much you love him.”
- Share positive stories about Darius, and let that reflect back on her. Example: “Darius was ‘cooking’ for me today, and told me many times that the ‘stove’ was ‘hot, no touch,’ and I thought, ‘His mom definitely keeps him safe in their kitchen!’”
- Let Denise know that she is not alone; there are other single parents in your classroom. Would she like you to connect her with them?