Showing understanding by facial expression and gestures

THE IMPORTANCE OF FEELING UNDERSTOOD

The educator's facial expression gives enormous feedback during the daily routine (i.e. encouragement can be shown with smiles, commonly referred to as a universal language).  

In the process of settling in, this means that the educator gets involved with the child and tries to send repeated signals and create happiness and trust. These signals should be simple and effective. It might be useful to discuss with the parents and child to design and practice a ritual for the goodbyes. 

Rita’s educators should smile often, give nonverbal and verbal signs of acknowledgement leading to him feeling of being understood and accepted. Modelling of these accepting behaviours are then generally imitated by his parents and classmates over time should Rita feel understood, accepted and ultimately, happy!  

Congruence can be achieved by allowing the educator to fully engage with the child. This requires a high educator-child ratio, good organization of the daily routine between the team of educators within the group and ideally the settling in a time when the children are the most engaged. That way the educator can fully embrace a new child while ensuring that the rest of the group does not miss out on this process.