Observe adult-child discussions when children want to do something the adult doesn’t like.
If a natural situation does not occur, ask the child what is something she would really like to do one day. Then ask what she would say if she were told she couldn’t do it. Give her a hypothetical reason and see how she responds. Continue to challenge the child’s suggestions, to see if she can sustain the argument with more justifications.
The child uses reasoning to support her requests, even when early adults disagree. This shows independent thinking and a positive view of her abilities.
Although early childhood educators and parents don’t like to be challenged, remind them that verbal debate and negotiation make children see more than one side of an issue. They also are forced to justify their ideas. Encourage discussion of facts versus opinions and wants versus needs. When children learn to differentiate these, they can have more rational (versus emotional) discussions.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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