Conscious Discipline cites that a typical preschool classroom has sixty conflicts per hour. That’s one per minute! The main reason for this is larger class sizes of same-aged children who have the same needs and skills. This is a recent problem that is on the rise. When young children are in classrooms filled with conflict, there is less learning time, their social skills are hindered, and the environment can create lasting behavior problems.
In the past, young children were typically taught in multi-age groups, and conflicts were fewer. Students of different ages offered different skill sets to contribute to the group and had different needs, so there was not as much competition.
At Square Roots Preschool, our class sizes are much smaller than an average preschool. Our classes have six students maximum. Those classes have students ranging in age from 2-5. The teacher has time to attend to the needs of individual students, and there is more instruction time since conflicts are fewer. In our classes, we practice conscious discipline in order to help our students resolve conflict. We help them communicate how they want to be treated by asking them questions about the situation with the goal that they will learn to manage conflict situations on their own in a respectful manner. We help by suggesting words that they can use and talk about how we can handle a conflict situation better in the future. We practice our skills and learn to treat one another with respect.
The Conscious Discipline video, “Are Children Safe in Preschool?,” illustrates the importance of empowering children to be socially successful as well as develop cognitively during their preschool years.