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Have a Little Girl Who's "Flat-Out" in Your Class?

Posted by on in Early Childhood
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I’ve come to use “flat-out” to describe what others may call “bossy,” simply because it’s not as derogatory or stereotypical. True, there are little girls who live up to the stereotype and are not pleasant to be around. But, for the most part, the rest have a spunk that’s better off being channeled than stifled.

Little girls with grit are often criticized for being b*tchy or bossy at a young age. At the same time, strong-minded little boys are considered leaders, with an admirable amount of confidence.

pumpkins children www.wall321.com 49

In today’s world, confidence and moxie are qualities that are just as important for girls. When we take a look at the strong women who have made a difference in how our gender is perceived and respected, it is clear the days of standing back and taking whatever’s hurled our way are over. Yet, we feel compelled to look a little girl in the eye and tell her to stand down and be nice.

Of course, as responsible adults, we need to recognize when spunk crosses the line to rude or disrespectful and teach her ways to rein it in. Spirited girls need to be taught how to give others the chance to lead... and to be kind. I believe this can be done without breaking that spirit.

The extra effort it takes is definitely worth it, because of all the potential these cheeky little girls possess. That potential may very well include being able to…

Be an advocate for herself. She will not hesitate to speak up to be heard nor tolerate any disrespect or other nonsense. She will never be the silent and complacent one.

Be a leader. She will be creating her own example and making choices that are grounded in her own beliefs, opinions, and thoughts. She won’t be the one who follows other kids around, doing foolish things just to fit in.

Be unafraid to take risks. She will feel comfortable enough in her own skin to consider new choices and ideas and to shape her own future.

risky play

Be exuberant. A strong-minded girl is excited about life and the chance to do things on her own.

Be an advocate for others. She will not have any fear to speak up on others’ behalf. She will be the one to say something when someone is being mistreated or bullied.

compassion

When I taught preschool, I always enjoyed the little girls with pluck. They were smart, asked questions, were observant, challenging, and never rolled over. Yes, they needed the occasional reminder about who was actually in charge, but it was rarely a struggle, if there was consistency and mutual respect.

I continue to enjoy these young women now, in my college classes. They still ask the best questions and aren’t hesitant to be innovative and challenge accepted ideas.

They will be the “flat-out” leaders… the ones who drive change and make a difference.

strong leader

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Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Ivy Tech is the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college systems, serving nearly 200,000 students annually.

Her professional background has always involved children, over the past 40 years, having been a primary grades teacher in the Chicago Public School system, a teacher of 3 and 4 year-olds in a NAEYC accredited preschool for 15 years, and a certified Parent Educator for the National Parents as Teachers Program.

Debra is a certified Professional Development Specialist for the Council for Professional Recognition. She has taught CDA courses to high school career/tech dual credit juniors and seniors in preparation for earning their CDA credentials. She also conducts CDA train-the-trainer events across the country and develops and teaches online CDA courses for several states, is a frequent presenter at national and state early childhood conferences, and is a Master Trainer for the states of Minnesota and Arizona. She was also awarded the NISOD Teaching Excellence Award by the University of Texas.

Debra is active in her community, supporting children's literacy and is on the board of directors of First Book in Indianapolis. Debra is a contributing author for Hamilton County Family Magazine and Indy's Child in Indianapolis.
She loves spending time with her two grandsons, Indy, who is 7 and Radley, 3.

Debra has spent the last 16 years dedicated to the success of those pursuing the CDA credential and is the author of The CDA Prep Guide: The Complete Review Manual for the Child Development Associate Credential, now in its third edition (Redleaf Press), the only publication of its kind. She hosts a website providing help and support to CDA candidates and those who train them at http://www.easycda.com
The comments and views expressed are not in collaboration or affiliation with The Council for Professional Recognition or Ivy Tech Community College.
Follow me on Twitter at /easycda

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Guest Monday, 21 May 2018