|Supporting Appropriate Expectations||
ACTIVITY ID: 26036
Directions: In high stress moments, there can be a fine line between inappropriate caregiving practices and child abuse. Below are several scenarios across age groups. Use these scenarios with staff during a staff meeting or group training to role play concerning situations that may occur in the care setting. Encourage the staff members to dissect the elements of each scenario and reflect on how it makes them feel, how they would respond in the moment, and what follow-up or support they would need from you and/or the program manager.
Role Playing Scenario 1:
Over the course of several weeks, Sasha, an older toddler, has started biting her peers when she becomes frustrated over materials. The behavior has been getting more and more consistent. The teachers in the classroom have tried removing Sasha from the situation and providing her with the appropriate words she can use, but nothing seems to be helping. Cara, one of her teachers, has shared that she is frustrated with this behavior and thinks Sasha is just always going to be a “biter”. You have also heard her make statements like “No, that’s bad!” when Sasha bites. This afternoon, after Sasha bit Alex, a peer, for the second time that day, Cara shouted from across the room, “Alex, bite her back and she will stop!”
Role Playing Scenario 2:
The infants in your classroom seem to be having a particularly hard day. Many of them are fussy and aren’t sleeping well. Your co-teacher is noticeably frustrated and keeps saying things like, “Geez they are being so cranky,” and “I can’t wait to leave here today.” After she is finished making a bottle for a crying infant, she walks to him and swiftly picks him up by his arms. She holds him in front of her face and says loudly, “Okay, okay, stop crying you big baby. You are giving me a headache.”
Role Playing Scenario 3:
Christopher, an older infant, is new to the program. His parents have shared that they follow his cues and feed him when he seems hungry. Unfortunately, you and your co-teacher do not quite know his cues yet and are struggling to know when he is hungry versus tired. Your co-teacher tells you that the next time he is crying, to let him cry it out because you can’t keep feeding him all of the time. She thinks he would do best on your classroom schedule. How do you respond?
Role Playing Scenario 4:
You are on the playground with a group of preschoolers and Isaac, a four-year-old, begins to climb the playground fence. Another teacher, yells “Isaac, get off the fence now!” and runs toward him. She grabs him by the arms and quickly pulls him off the fence. Isaac screams, “Let go, you are hurting me”.
Role Playing Scenario 5:
A group of school-age children are preparing to play outside. A staff member that is supervising them shouts, “Everyone needs to stay off of this slide because it looks like it is missing some screws.” Moments later, several children climb the stairs to the slide and quickly go down it. The staff member turns to you and casually says, “I warned them. If they are too stubborn to listen, it’s their own fault if they get hurt. They better not come running to me for help.” How do you respond?