Showing understanding by our actions
By responding to a need correctly, the early years educator shows the significance of feeling understood and that basic needs can be satisfied. Every time an educator successfully reacts to a child’s needs, desires, and emotions, he or she is demonstrating an understanding of the child. This, for example, can be done by following the line of sight and handing over the bottle or a toy, helping with undressing or holding hands outside.
Rita’s educators can show understanding by allowing him to choose activities for himself and friends (team captain) or choose his own clothing within a role play area. Educators should also examine their classroom library to ensure that books are available to be read aloud to, with and by Rita and his classmates that counteracts gender stereotypes. In daily discussions and lessons with the entire class, the educators can think of gendered professions and counteract stereotypes among professions. For example, can boys be ballet dancers? Can girls be pilots? Other counterstereotype statements can be linked to colours. For example, can boys wear pink? Can boys paint their fingernails? Can girls have short or no hair? A goal for Rita would also be to refer to him as a boy using the words such as (his, he, him) if that is what suits his happiness best and to encourage his parents to do the same.