Developing self-monitoring skills
An important stage of education is the development of children cultural norms and restrictions. The ability to regulate and control one's own behavior on the basis of rules and norms adopted in culture, while taking into account the feelings, interests, needs of other people, is an important feature of any educated person. It is gradually formed.
One of the indicators of the level of development of self-control is the ability and readiness of the child to delay the satisfaction of the desire in order to later receive something more valuable. American psychologists V. Michel and R. Metzner developed a program of laboratory experiment, which was subsequently repeatedly reproduced in different countries. Preschool children were left for 15 minutes in a room with relatively unappetizing salted driers and mouth-watering marshmallows. Children were given instructions that they can eat one thing. At any time, the child can eat the drying, or if he is ready to wait 15 minutes - marshmallows. It was noticed that the older the children, the more often they are ready to delay the satisfaction of desires, for the sake of getting something more valuable. In similar laboratory experiments, it was found that those with a more developed capacity for delaying the pleasure of children are more responsible and mature. These children have a higher level of achievement motivation, higher intelligence, in school they demonstrate high academic performance, are more likely to follow norms, even in the absence of external control.
There are a number of methods that allow increasing the level of internal cognitive control of the child, and consequently, his ability to postpone momentary desires. N. Newcomb identifies five such methods:
1. Teach children to be distracted from the attractive qualities of the desired object. It is based on teaching the child not to think about these attractive qualities.
2. Used for similar purposes and methods of self-control training. It is based on the fact that even small children can use self-instruction. In JR Patterson's studies, children were offered an attractive object as a reward for doing a long, monotonous job, and the children were warned that a clown out of the box might try to distract them while they were working. Some children were given the installation - every time this happens, repeat to myself: "I will not be distracted by Mr. Clown". Studies have shown that these children are less distracted.
3. Learn to control your attention. This method is more suitable for adolescents, so, during special studies of sixth graders, they were taught during individual mathematical studies to fix the moments when they are distracted from the task, and use them as signals to return to work. These children were more focused and better coping with mathematical tasks than those who were not taught these techniques.
4. Method - & quot; positive estimate & quot ;. I.J. Toner, I. P. Moore and B. A. Immos in their experiments talked with the children before the beginning of the "game with sweets". Some schoolgirls of the first and second classes were told that "... they know that they are patient and can wait before they get something pleasant, if you can not get it right away." Other children were given a neutral assessment (eg: "I heard that you have a lot of good friends in school"). Then in the game, the machine gave the child one candy every 60 seconds (all these candies were intended for the child). As soon as the girl took the candy, the machine stopped, the game ended. The experiments showed that the experimenter with his remarks predicted the behavior of the child, the girls, called the patient, showed a markedly greater ability to delay the receipt of the desired, expecting, on average, 2 times longer than the others.
5. The way is "imitation of a man putting off pleasure". In their experiments, Albert Bandura and W. Michel showed that parents and other "socialization agents" can successfully develop in the child the opportunity to delay the satisfaction of desires for achieving more valuable results. They can achieve this by teaching the child ways of cognitive regulation or acting as role models.
Researchers JH Block and J. Block introduced the concept of "ego-control". They have experimentally proved that too high and too low self-control can have a disadaptive nature. Thus, three-year-old children referred by the researchers to the group of over-controlling ones demonstrated a stable tendency towards indecision, conformity, unmotivated delay in obtaining the desired. They found themselves more passive in an unfamiliar situation, but at the same time demonstrated positive qualities: persistence, a tendency to plan their actions. In addition, these children did not show violent emotions, had a narrow range of stable interests and expressed their needs in an indirect form. Children, qualified as insufficiently controlling themselves, on the contrary, were naughty, expressive, spontaneous and curious. At the same time, they demonstrated an inability to concentrate and delay the pleasure. These observations suggest that extreme options - excessive and inadequate control - are undesirable.
In addition, JH Block and J. Block proposed the concept of "plasticity of ego-control". They argue that the most adaptive behavior is switching from a higher to a lower level of control and vice versa. Children with a high level of ego-plasticity can be collected in one situation (for example, in a kindergarten class) and spontaneous and emotional in another (for example, playing in a playground). Early development of ego-plasticity is associated with emotionality, the level of development of empathy, social responsiveness.
Throughout the entire period of childhood, the level of ego-control and the level of ego-plasticity remain relatively stable. When the children participating in the studies of JH Block and J. Block reached the age of seven years (four years after the initial distribution of these groups), they observed some behavioral characteristics. So, the children who entered the group with insufficient self-control were more energetic, curious, restless, spontaneous in comparison with children having a high level of self-control. They showed great vigilance, aggressiveness and a tendency to manipulate others. Children with a high level of self-control (marked at the age of three) at seven years old were shy and clamped. Other manifestations of high ego-control depended on the level of ego-plasticity of the child. A high level of ego-control (at the age of three) combined with high plasticity is a good basis for predicting good adaptability at the age of seven. Such children are characterized by a low level of anxiety and a high level of socialization.
Developing a child's prosocial behavior
By the term & quot; prosocial behavior & quot; in this context we mean positive social actions of the child: helping others, sharing something, altruism, empathy, caring, etc. The first germs of prosocial behavior can already be observed in infants and, of course, in two- and three-year-olds. Prosocial behavior is greatly intensified during the period of education in primary school. In this connection, the question of whether prosociality can be regarded as a stable personal property is important. Studies show that children who are more inclined to work together are also more generous and responsive to others. In some studies, preschool children have been shown to demonstrate significant connections between different types of prosocial behavior.
It is important that longitudinal studies indicate that prosocial behavioral strategies are fairly stable over time. Correlation coefficients between prosocial behavior at the age of two and pro-social behavior five to six years later are statistically significant (D. Baumring). The variability of prosocial behavior depends to a large extent on culture. Children who have grown up in conditions where the way of life is based on the cooperation and mutual assistance of family members and in general members of society will be more cooperative. A child who grew up in a society built on competition will be socialized differently.
In addition to cultural and educational traditions, an important factor in the development of prosocial behavior is the individual level of empathy. Individual differences in levels and degrees of empathy are evident from earliest childhood and, as studies show, are fairly stable. For example, some children, watching a crying child, begin to cry themselves, others react more calmly and rationally. In the process of development, the relationship between empathy and the nature of prosocial behavior is becoming increasingly close.
From the point of view of education, it is important that the experience of playing someone else's role helps to increase the level of empathy. This was discovered by observing the children involved in playing different roles, and those who did not have such experience (RJ Janotti). The factor of development of empathy is reliable attachment. Infants who had a strong attachment to the mother, at an older age, showed great concern about the poor mood of the adults interacting with them, showed more sympathy for their peers.
In the education of prosocial behavior, adults usually use methods: learning by their own example, reasoning, direct instruction and placing responsibility on the child.
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