Guiding Independence

Praise and Accomplishment
How do you feel now that you’ve ….?
I noticed all that work you did and now …. is finished!
You had a problem and you figured it out.
You did…with the… (you drew that picture with the…)

Safety and Redirection
It’s my job to keep you safe.
I need you to walk inside, you may run outside.
You sound… (frustrated) you wish that you could… (stay and play).
You can do it yourself, we can do it together, or I can do it for you.
I need to hold your hand when we cross the street.
You’re having a hard time listening so I’m going to move your body away.
If you want to… (yell, bite, jump) you can… (go outside, bite a pillow, jump on the trampoline).

Emotions – I know you want the answer to be different.
I know it’s hard to… (Wait for dinner, write your name, climb the play gym).
You’re letting me know you are done.
I can see you have some really strong feelings about that.
Do you need to cry some more or are you finished?
You’re upset; you can go to your room if you need some time – I am here when you’re ready.
Wow that was difficult. You seem (sad, frustrated, tired, angry)

Always Ask – May I help you?
Would you like me to move this closer to you?
Would you like to sing with me today?
Would you like me to pick you up?

Offer Real Choices
Do you want to walk to the car yourself, or shall I carry you?
Will you be wearing the red or blue shoes today?
Which vegetable would you like for dinner, carrots or green beans?

Offer as little help as possible
Where…. can you look for that?
What…. else might work?
Who… could you talk to at lunch?
When… did you see it last?
How… will you solve this problem?

Observations, Feelings, Needs, and Requests
I am feeling annoyed that the toys are still here on the floor and not back on the shelf. I need the floor clean so we can be safe. Can you take care of your things now, or in 10 minutes?
Wow that was difficult. You seem (sad, frustrated, angry) that you can’t pick up the pea with your fork.
Would you like some help?

Adapted from The Prepared Environment.

— admin