This is something I keep seeing over and over again in my classroom. We get a student that is misunderstood, new to the preschool environment, still in the early stages of building their social skills. They do not yet understand how to properly express themselves or work through a situation, they may not be as advanced in their social skills as their other peers in the classroom. They hit someone, or push someone, or say something rude. Then all of a sudden this child has been labeled by the others as "mean" and they tell anyone who will listen to them that this child is mean and be careful do not play with them.
How do you handle this in your classroom? What do you say to the child and what do you say to the other children?
We devote time daily to address issues just like this with all of our students. We have social emotional discussion time, this usually is during a circle time. We ask questions like, "How would you feel if you came over and sat next to someone to play and they called you mean and walked away?" , "How would you feel if someone told you, that you were not their friend?" We ask questions and let those questions lead us on a discussion about friendships, and what it means to be a good friend, how a good friend should treat us, how to work out issues/conflict with a friend,etc. These times help us explain to our students that they need to give one another a chance. That they cannot just label someone, and ignore them. That they cannot just judge someone based on someone else's opinion. We talk about understand our peers are still learning a particular skill and they can help by doing,etc, We remind them they might have done the same thing. We TALK it out. We don't tell them what they need to do or say, but we help them talk through it and come up with their own conclusion through questions, and asking them how they would feel in the other persons shoes.
Tell me what you do in your classroom to help support positive friendships? To stop labeling and help children problem solve?