Should Adults Step In When There Is Trouble?
Absolutely. But, as a helper, not as a savior. Check in with the child as to what is going on. See what help is needed. Here are some options.
You can help children use their words and talk to the person they are having trouble with. Older
children may only need you to be with them while they speak their mind. Younger children may need you to coach them about what to say and then stay with them while they say it.
If a child is angry and out of control, you can let him know that you won’t let him hurt himself or any other person or thing. Sometimes you may need to use your “friendly muscles” to keep a young child from using his muscles to hurt himself or others. It may be helpful if you stay with him while he settles down (time-in), especially if you want him to do any thinking about his behavior and how it needs to change. (For more information about time-in take a look at the book, TIME-IN by Jean Illsley Clarke and Cary Pillo.)
There are times when a child is being bullied that you may need to be the protective voice. It is very important that children know adults will protect them and not let anyone hurt them – also, that no one will be allowed to take or break their things. For more thoughts on bullying, check out Bullying.