“I don’t want to play with you.”
“You’re not my friend.”
“We’re playing families. If you want to play, you have to be the dog.”
Seems like everyone can remember a time when something like this happened to them as a child, and how much it hurt. Children still say these things to each other – and we see how much it hurts them, too. When researchers ask them, every child can remember a time when they were excluded – yet no child ever reports being the excluder!
One of my listeners recommended that I read the book You Can’t Say You Can’t Play, in which the author (who is a teacher) proposes and then introduces a rule that you can’t say “you can’t play.” A few researchers (including Professor Jamie Ostrov, with whom we’ll talk today) have since tested the approach: does it work? If not, what should we do instead?
Since most of these situations occur in preschool and school, teacher Caren co-interviews Professor Ostrov with me: we have some great insights for teachers as well as lots of information for parents on how to support both children and teachers in navigating these difficult situations.
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