There have been a few incidents of hitting the past couple weeks with various children. Hitting is not uncommon in preschool because children this age are still learning a lot about impulse control, especially when angry! To help us talk to the children about this, we brought Rose (one of our persona dolls) to circle last week. Here is our conversation-
Alisha: Today I brought Rose to circle! We have seen her up on that shelf and some of you already know her and some of you might be meeting her for the first time.
(Many children say “I know her!”)
Alisha: Raise your hand if you remember anything about Rose
CL: I see that shirt that Katee brought and you saw that she could wear it.
Alisha: CL remembered that this used to be Coco’s shirt and then Katee brought it to school now Rose gets to wear it! Look! It’s a unicorn with a jewel eye.
DB: I remember!
HE: Nick fell over!! (up on the shelf)
Katee: Oh no! We will help Nick.
DB: I remember the jewel eye!
Katee: SM told me something! She said “I remember that Rose has to talk in Alisha’s ear.” she was wondering if Rose is going to talk in her ear some day!
Alisha: Who knows!? Maybe! Well Rose came to circle today because something happened and she needs some advice!
DB: And help?
SM: First she has to tell us what happened!
Alisha: Okay. I’ll tell you. At her school she was in the yard playing and there was this ball that she loved! It was a rainbow bouncy ball. I saw that we actually have some too… It was just like those ones. At her school they only had one! And she loved the rainbow bouncy ball. And she liked to take it with her everywhere. But this day, she wanted to move on to do another project in the garden so she put the rainbow bouncy ball down and she went over to the garden to help plant some vegetables. After a little bit she decided, “No,I want to go back to my ball because my ball is the best thing ever! And it’s rainbow and it’s beautiful and it’s super bouncy and I just love it so much so I’m going to go back and play with the ball.”
DB: Is that her ball?
Alisha: No, it’s not her ball from home. It’s a school ball for everyone but she loved it so much and she played with it almost every time she went outside. BUT when she turned around to go back to the ball… someone else had the ball. And Rose went over there… and she got soooooooo mad. She felt her face getting hot, like super hot. She felt her fists clench up like this and in head she was thinking “Thanks MY ball! That’s MY ball! I wasn’t done with it!!!” and she was soooo mad and she went up to her friend who had the ball and she went like this [Makes punching motion and big noise] and hit her friend. She hit her friend realy hard! Her friend started crying. The teacher ran over and said, “Stop!! Rose! What’s going on? wow! that really worried me!” and Rose said, “THAT’S MY BALL! And I wanted it and I wasn’t done with it and it’s my favorite thing and I really wanted it and I play with it all the time and it’s my favorite thing and I really really really wanted to play with it and I’m SO MAD!!!” And Rose started crying actually. She was a bit scared because her teacher used a really serious voice.
DB: When my mom and dad say I need to go to my room, I start to cry.
Alisha: Yeah, she started to cry too and she was little scared because the teacher had a serious voice and had a serious face. And the teacher’s voice was kind of loud because they were trying to get her to stop hitting her friend. And so now Rose needs some advice about what to do. She felt really bad once she calmed down. She felt sad about what she did. And she knew that that wasn’t okay. She knows we aren’t supposed to hit our classmates. She needs a little advice about two things. The first thing is how can she calm down next time so that doesn’t happen? The second is how can she make sure her friend is okay?
ZP: I have to tell you something…. Maybe it was Nick??
Alisha: Maybe it was. Should I ask her?
(kids say yes)
Alisha: Rose, was it Nick that you hit?
(Alisha puts ear up to Rose’s mouth)
Alisha: Yes, it was Nick.
DB: We were right!
Alisha: Should we bring Nick to circle too?
LG: Yes, to check on him to see if he’s okay.
STr: Check his arm!
LG: Yeah, because it’s broken!
CL: Yeah, he has a cast!
Alisha: Oh no, he has a broken arm and he got hit. Ouch! There’s one thing I want to tell Rose before Nick comes. (Turns to Rose) I’m worried because my friend Nick is hurt, but I still love you, even though you hit Nick. I still care about you.
FC: I hope Nick is okay since he has a broken arm!
DB: Nick has the cast from her hitting him?
Alisha: No, Nick has the cast from falling off the swing, remember? He already had this cast when Rose hit him. So what is some advice for Rose. If she turned around and someone else had the ball she wants to use and she gets really angry, what are some ways that you know how to calm down when you are really really angry?
LS: Don’t hit!
Alisha: Don’t hit, that’s true! What are some ways that she can calm down before she hits someone?
AB: She should wait her turn
EB: She can take a deep breath!!
Alisha: Okay great! Did you know about that Rose? …. She said she knows about it but she forgot, she needs to practice more. So let’s practice a volcano breath. Breath in… Breath out….
(everyone does multiple volcano breaths)
CL: She can count to 5!
Alisha: Okay let’s try! 1…2..3…4…5… Did you hear that Rose? The next time you get really angry you can take a deep breath or you can count to 5. Any other suggestions?
LW: Don’t hit the cast!
Alisha: Yes, Nick is extra sensitive because of the cast so we have to be gentle around that.
Katee: What could you if you really feel like hitting somebody??
LS: Don’t hit him!
Alisha: That’s true. But sometimes people get so mad it’s hard to control your body so we are talking about ways to calm down before you get THAT mad. Raise your candle if you have ever been so mad it’s hard to control your body?
(many kids say, “I did!”)
ZP: I did. My sister hit me with a really big stick and it bonked me and I couldn’t even breath the air and I couldn’t even talk.
Alisha: You couldn’t breath the air and and you couldn’t even talk?? Did it hurt really bad?
Alisha: How did it make you feel?
ZP: It made me so sad. And my mom just comed outside.
Alisha: I’m glad you had an adult that helped you. You can always ask an adult to help you if you feel sad or mad. Anyone else have a time they felt very mad?
CL: One time my mom was so angry that it made me even angrier than her!
Alisha: That happens sometimes! Someone is angry and that makes you angry and then it’s double angry! Did that happen to you ZP when your sister hit you?
ZP: Yes and it was a big stick and it was so long then the stick said bonk on my head!!
DB: Was it KP?
ZP: Yes it was KP!
DB: Well she doesn’t hit me… she’s my friend.
Alisha: Well sometimes in preschool even friends hit each other because everyone is still learning about that. When you are an adult, friends do not hit each other. In preschool, children are learning how to control their bodies and when you will learn a lot about it. Because then when you are older you will be able to have the tools to control your body.
Katee: Has anyone felt so angry that they hit one of their friends at school?
(some say yes, some say no)
SM: One time I screamed at the top of my lungs because I was so angry.
(Lots of kids make connection signs)
Alisha: So we talked about ways Rose could calm down. She could take a deep breath or count to 5. Another thing she can do that’s always an option for her and for you is to come talk to a teacher. We can remind you if you forget how to calm down if you feel like you might use your body in harmful or hurtful ways.
LG: Yes, do not hit!
Alisha: Another thing you could do is even hit a pillow instead of a person! Pillows don’t have feelings and they are very soft. It won’t hurt your hand and it won’t hurt the pillow , so that could be a good option if you aren’t able to calm down right away.
EB: Also, you could calm down in the calm cave!
Katee: What about the calm cubby? Is there anything in there that helps you calm down?
Unkown: Love dragon!
STr: The calm bottles!
EB: They have bubbles and sparkles!
ZP: And boogers!!!
(everyone laughs and says ew!!!!!)
Alisha: So the next thing that I wanted to talk about was that Nick told me he feels a little worried to hang out with Rose again because last time when Nick was with Rose, he got hurt. He felt a little worried that it could happen again.
CL: If I was worried it would happen again, I would talk to a teacher.
Alisha: Okay. That sounds like a good plan. What could Rose say to assure Nick that he is safe?
EB: Are you okay???
Alisha: Yeah! Rose could go up to Nick after she calmed down and say, “Are you okay?” She could even say, “I was really angry and I didn’t control my anger. It was hard for me to control my body so I hit you. Next time I will try to control my anger better. Do you need anything to help you feel better?” It’s important to ask if they need anything. They might want an ice pack, a hug or something else. They might still be too hurt to talk to you. But it’s important to try.
DB: Yeah you might say, “Are you okay? Do you need anything?” And they might say, “No I’m not okay” That means they are not okay. If they said, “yes” it means they are okay.
Alisha: They might say they are okay or not okay. They might want help or they might not. But what everyone wants is for them to know they will be safe around you. Rose could say, “Next time I will try to control my anger.”
MH: She could give him a hug.
ZP: Maybe Nick was holding Rose’s ball.
Alisha: Nick was allowed to because it was a school ball and Rose wasn’t playing with it anymore.
EB: You should never ever hit your friend
Katee: No you shouldn’t. Does that mean that we don’t love rose??
(Kids all say No! I love Rose)
Katee: Do you still want to be friends with Rose?
(kids all say ya!!!!)
Alisha: Yeah! We can all help remind our friends how to calm down and control our bodies! Okay, thank you everyone. Let’s say bye to Rose and Nick now!
Bye Nick and Rose! Until next time!