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Caregivers given tips on handling children

Caregivers and teachers should be equipped with adequate skills and knowledge on child psychology to enable them understand and explain children’s behaviour both inside and outside the classroom.
To handle young children effectively, one must therefore understand that each child is an individual, thereby making it the role of caregivers to try and understand how young children behave, the cause of their behaviour and its effects on the growth and development of the child as well as how it can affect the child’s learning.
“Each child possesses unique personality traits that should be appreciated and nurtured for their holistic growth, and so handlers need to concentrate on both the strengths and weak points of the child,” Mrs. Maureen Mugogo, a teacher said.
Talking to KNA in Kangemi, Mrs. Mugogo said there was need for institutions of learning to provide a conducive environment to stimulate learning.
The teacher or the caregiver must understand the different methods of learning, what can affect it and how it can be stimulated, she noted adding that the role of caregivers and teachers was generally to nurture and strengthen the foundation of learning for a child.
“Child psychology is a mental activity that can either be seen or not and it is upon the children handlers to be smart so that they are able to cope with all the children left in their care,” she said.
Mrs. Mugogo further expounded on personality saying it comprised of various aspects of a person’s characteristics by means of which an individual is recognized as unique. Behaviour can also be observed either directly or indirectly, therefore, the need for offering individualized attention especially to the toddlers who are beginners in education.
The teacher further noted that personality varies as in life there are introverts and extroverts who cannot be treated in the same way.
“Introverts are socially reserved, thus they are not ready to share their inner feelings and emotions with others even the teachers who spend most of the time during the day with them. They only pay attention to their private experiences and they should be allowed to live the way they were socialized,” she said.
“Most of them are quiet, socially reserved, passive by nature, shy, highly imaginative and intellectual hence prefer to deal with ideas rather than people,” she noted.
The teacher who is also a counselor however cautioned that in such instances teachers should not conclude that the child was lazy but move closer and endeavour to understand such children.
“They should also not assume and overlook the child just because they are quiet, reserved and not assume that they cannot be active but should instead encourage them by providing opportunities to learn and ensuring they participate in group activities they enjoy associating themselves with,” she noted.
All children should be given opportunities and chances in storytelling, drama, and athletics among other things as this will encourage them to speak out their feelings and ideas through their preferred areas.
On the other hand, she said that extroverts who are socially outgoing and prefer to pay attention to their external environment should also be given their space to explore.
“Such children are active and interested in what is happening around them, they are optimistic as they have a natural self-drive and always expect positive results. They are interested in new people, they are talkative, and they get along with every one and also fun loving which makes them to be very popular among others.”
She was of the opinion that such children should be engaged in learning activities most of the time by giving them more work to ensure that they are not idle. They should also be given group activities in order to learn and acquire social skills like turn talking where they are able to listen to others and wait for their turn to talk. The teacher should also control the child such that he does not dominate a news telling or story telling session as this will help him learn to appreciate their peers.
Mrs. Mugogo added that the seemingly hesitant category of children feel differently about most of the things or activities in class in that they can do so many things at the same time. She noted that they also have brain hemisphere hence they can use both their left and right hands efficiently. They are active and receptive to issues and they are never sure of what they want to do when carrying out learning activities therefore the need to assist them.
“Teachers or caregivers should not sideline such children who are not sure of what to do as they sometimes show the behaviour either during learning or when they want to use learning aids. This may create a lot of confusion and they are seen as difficult children to handle which is not correct. This can affect learning because they might feel left out while the teacher concentrates on helping the others and before the teachers attend to them, the time for the lesson is up.
Mrs. Mugogo summed up by calling on the teachers to assist the child make the right decision by giving activities which facilitates decision making. Such activities will help the child weigh options and alternatives available and then take the best option.
While addressing parents during a handing over of a nursery block at Kiawaroga nursery school last month, Kiambu County Executive in charge of education Dr. Joseph Ng’ang’a impressed on parents to support the education of their children.
Dr. Ng’ang’a said parents’ active involvement in the lives of their children would go a long way in enabling them to enjoy going to school.
By Ruth Ndombi/Lydia Shiroya

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