Caregivers allow the interactions between children to unfold naturally and without intervention so that children are able to experience emotions and conflict, and ultimately to become independent in mastering social situations. While the goal is such independence, interactions must often be guided toward positive results, particularly through a mediated conversation. In such a situation, the caregiver may underscore the seriousness of the situation by addressing the parties in English (depending on language background).
The children are helped in their compassion and empathy by taking time to look at and recognize the expression of the other child and/or teacher. In this way, the children are able to increase skills relative to their social and emotional lives, while safely increasing their sense of their own independence. This stands in contrast to the teacher resolving the issues by dictating terms to resolve the dispute; this disempowering approach is avoided altogether.
If a good-willed resolution is not found by the children (though one almost invariably is), the caregiver’s goal is to redirect to a completely new activity, removing the source of conflict as much as possible. Future resolution on the issue and bringing the children back together in activity would then be sought out by the caregiver -- the sooner, the better.
Part of what makes the experience at Kinderschule so valuable is our small size. Caregivers really know and relate to the children intimately, so the uniqueness of each situation is better understood.
We would like to acknowledge that we inhabit the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, as well as the homeland of the Métis Nation. We are Treaty One people.