Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Getting More Aggressive with Relational Aggression

My fourth (and final--so much for my play to post there once per day) post at Joanne Jacobs' blog riffed off of an article in the Wall Street Journal about "relational aggression" in early childhood education settings. I spent a few days writing the post because I had so much to say after having spent much of the last ten years parenting and teaching younger children. Unfortunately, I didn't quite do the topic justice--although the post was long, I didn't feel I was able to portray adequately the layers of complexity and nuance that goes into guiding young children in navigating relational aggression. But I did my best:
First of all, I love having a specific and fitting term for this. I wish I had had it a long time ago. And, while I don’t think children or girls in particular have gotten any meaner, I am glad to see more focus on relational aggression in early childhood education circles. Certainly, laying the foundation for fine and gross motor skills, for literacy, for independence, for academics or subject matter, for self-care is vital but socialization is a major part of all of the above, though, really, none of those groups of skills and knowledge exist in isolation.
I hope you'll read the whole thing.

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