Observe the child during daily activities, particularly around temptations.
If needed a temptation can be placed within reach of a child with a rule that the child is not to touch and why it is wrong to touch it. For example, “Don’t touch this glass ball. It might break.” “That is your sister’s new doll. Don’t touch it.”
As the child moves through the day, you may see the child reach for something out-of-bounds, then withdraw her hand. The child may also talk to herself to remind herself not to do something. “Don’t go outside.” If a temptation is purposefully placed, observe the child without the child knowing she is being observed (while talking to the parent, for example).
Children of this age still have difficulty controlling anger and frustration, but they are beginning to be able to follow directions and understand right and wrong. Tell early childhood educators to acknowledge the children’s efforts whenever they do something right. This will encourage them to do right more than punishment for doing wrong.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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