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Democratic intervention style

In everyday life, a democratic intervention style means:

  • giving children choices based on their abilities, such as by giving them the opportunity to choose:
    • which games, toys or materials to use
    • which fruit to eat as a snack
    • where to go for a walk around the house
    • what to give a friend as a birthday present
    • how to place their toys
    • how to decorate their room
    • which book to read before bed
    • whether to brush their teeth before or after reading a story
  • It is also a way to allow children to express their negative feelings, needs and objections, by:
    • listening to the child's frustrations with a sympathetic ear, letting them explain why they feel angry or jealous, taking their feelings seriously
    • helping them put their feelings into words
    • recognizing the reasons why they reacted, broke a rule or are refusing to cooperate (with comments such as : “Yes, it isn't fun to have to stop playing”)
    • giving them simple explanations when they object to decisions
    • staying calm during discussions, despite there being a conflict
    • regardless of the child's behaviour, never letting them doubt the love you have for them.
  • On the other hand, it also means giving children clear and constant support, such as:
    • setting up routines and everyday house rules
    • taking note and encouraging positive behaviours and attitudes
    • applauding their progress and successes
    • giving a few short, clear and positive instructions (e.g., “Walk” instead of “Don't run”)
    • being constant in applying realistic consequences the child is familiar with whenever a rule is broken
    • abstaining from making threats or humiliating the child
    • using courteous language rather than giving orders
    • as they grow, working with them to establish consequences for unacceptable behaviours
    • supporting conflict-resolution among children.

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Last modified date :
December 16, 2016