- Check in with the parents. Is there anything you need to know? Sometimes parents can be hesitant to let you know any personal struggles their children are having because they don't want their children labeled. First discuss the positives and then ask them how the child feels about coming to class. You can say " I have noticed Sara is having a challenging time with sharing the green scarves." You might not need to say anything else. The parents might fill in the blanks. If they don't then you have left the door open for future conversations.
- Keep food celebrations to a minimum. This is where it gets tricky with my daughter. She has many food allergies which makes her feel left out at times and having the offending food can make her behavior erratic. What I have noticed through this experience is that so many celebrations revolve around food. There are many children with allergies and food restrictions (which effect behavior.) Find. a different way to celebrate. It be helpful to the children in your class and it teaches kids that sweets are not the only treats for a job well done.
- Don't force participation. It will only lead to anxiety and a power struggle. Let the child watch and enter at their own time.
- If the child is watching have them engage in other ways. And make sure to give choices. "Sara, would you like to stop and start the music or hold the scarves?"
- Praise for effort. Praise the child for when she does participate and praise the class when they show kindness to each other.
- Dance class is a place of exploration, art and a place of community. Practicing these skills in the studio makes them dance to life outside the studio!!