Distance or love


A newcomer joined one of the groups of the children. It is not easy to start in a new preschool where everyone knows each other. You might recognise the situation from starting a new job.

Everyone seems to know each other and know how to do everything, while you are trying to find out how everything works. You feel out of the flow and you have to find strategies to tackle it.

Of course it is the same for a child. What did this child do? He became boisterous.

Probably because he wanted to hide what he felt. He did not feel good. But to show weakness is not in the norm of being a boy.

So how did he act? He was tense and talked about how strong he was and that he did boyish things. In contact with other children he was rough.

How did the teacher address the behaviour?

They tried to keep calm, but could hear themselves calling his name in a negative tone, like his name was "stop it", and doing that many times a day.

Do you recognise this situation? I do.

I have experienced it over and over again. Those small boys. Unsure of if they are accepted and  if they are important within the group. Acting unkindly, trying to take power from others and making other children sad.

I also recognise that the first reaction of adults that is to distance themselves from these children.

These new children that are disturbing the balance within the group.

Then the child itself could be positioned as being the problem.

What did the teachers do about the situation?

Even if their instinct told them to take distance themselves from this boy and looked at him as someone that they had to control, they used another strategy. Love.

They took this five years old boy as soon there was a problem in their lap and wrapped their warm arms around him.

They met up with a view that he was he was important, wonderful and had a positive approach towards him.

They helped him by supporting him how to manage situations with other children.

The boy started to change directly.

A few weeks later he was still restless, but the distance between him and the teachers was gone.

He did not have to struggle for a position by trying to take power from others.

It is strange that we do not usually take distance from girls when they are not feeling uncomfortable acclimatising to a new group. 

Apparently the norm of being a girl are tackled with other strategies in these situations. 

It seems that we have a tendency to confirm certain behaviours in small boys instead of guiding them through these situations with love allowing these masculine "norms" to take place.