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A Lot of Impact by Leadership Style on Early Childhood

Introduction

Leadership is a fundamental part of growth that is required at every stage. The character than an individual displays when they have attained maturity will be a clear reflection of the kind of authority that they submitted to. Proper impartation is mostly experienced during the early stages of life where the child tends to emulate what they see (Strickland & Riley-Ayers, 2007). Children are basically under the control of their parents and guardians when they are still young.

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They basically know nothing about what is right or wrong and will hence rely one what they are told by their parents. A child tends to appreciate everything that their parents tell them and will hence emulate their characters (Maynard & Thomas, 2009). They tend to seek clarifications from their parents and ignore what any other person may be telling them. Parents are hence the very first leaders that a child will have in life and will also remain to be a people that will be looked up to for guidance. The level of attachment towards a child and the parent may change subsequently as they grow, they realize that there are also other people around apart from their parents and hence adapting to the situation as the environment may require them to.

A Childhood Experience Requiring Leadership

In a pre-learning institution, there rose a conflict between staff members due to the treatment that had been given to a boy that showed kin interest in the activities of girls (Ebbeck & Waniganayake, 2003). He would hence keep the company of the girls most time and engage in the activities that they would engage in. The problem arose when the teacher in charge became impatient with the boy without sharing the same with his colleagues.

It became worse especially when the boys and the girls were separated for the purpose of playing certain games or doing certain activities that required separation. Efforts to make the boy hang out with the other boys became very tough as he showed a clear interest to go where the girls were and engage in what they were engaging in. when he was forced to stay with the boys, he would appear bored and basically not to what was required to be done. The teacher who did not understand his condition became impatient with him and decided to force him be where he was required to be and used some little spanks to make him do so.

As time went by, it was noticed that the child’s regularity to school changed and whenever he came, he arrived late in the company of the mother who said he had to plead with him to come to school. This raised a lot of concern among other staff members and the school head who decided to investigate into the matter. There was a conflict between different staff members who showed dissatisfaction on the way the teacher took such a matter personal when he had all the chances to inquire. The parent was not happy with the changing attitude of the boy towards school at such an early age and decided to approach the head.

If a proper strategy would have been followed, then the issue would have been solved better. If the teacher would have first consulted the rest of the administration, then a better solution could have been identified which have not caused such an alarm to the parent of the boy.

Leadership Style

Leadership style has a lot of impact on early childhood development. It signifies the ability of the guardian to impact appropriate morals within a child and hence making him or her to grow with confidence in them. Some children find it hard to trust their teachers when they realise that their leadership styles cannot be trusted. A good leadership style does not necessarily mean that the teachers completely understand the situation of their children (Rodd, 2006).

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It simply entails that they provide such a loving care and concern that their children will always cherish. A good leadership style is to know when and how to treat a child when one realizes a certain kind of abnormality in them. The teacher in the above case may have failed to understand that the boy was suffering from an abnormality that was due to the kind of environment that he was brought up in. The teacher may have failed to realise that the boy was not being rude but simply doing what his psychology felt was the best. He felt more comfortable in the company of girls rather than boys due to the environment that she was brought up in at a very tender age (Finkelman, 2006).

Leadership in ECE requires the teachers t0o develop leadership styles that will ensure that they understand the different stages of development in a child’s life. Early childhood educational centres emphasize on the importance of equipping teachers in the area of understanding the behaviour that may be displayed by the children and hence adapting appropriate styles. They have the responsibility of making the children display desirable qualities in their different developmental stages.

Influence of Gender

Gender has a lot to do with the influence that the child will have when they are young and even as they grow up. The boy min the above case seems to have more influence of the girls that the boys (Marotz & Lawson, 2007). After some investigations, it was realised that the boy have been brought up by a single mother who made him to be more inclined to the girls. The mother was the central figure in her life which made her to develop a female dominated character. He spent most of his time with the mother and of course tried to imitate what she did. This was also reflected in his school where by he only enjoyed the company of the other female gender.

When it comes to gender and ECE teachers are required t have an understanding of the gender that could be having most of the influence on the child before undertaking any necessary corrective steps. Even in situations where the child has had both parents bringing them up, they may be having influence of one particular gender who they find it easier to associate with. The teachers should hence know how to distinguish this and apply correct measures.

Concerning the issue of gender, there is usually a tendency for the opposite sex to understand each other and hence treating them accordingly. Female teachers will tend to understand the issues of the boy gender and will tend to be of help more than what the males may be. The female gender also tends to be closer to children and understand them and hence not making any judgements in haste. The teacher being of the male gender and also handling a boy, may have been so insensitive about the situation and simply taking him to be naughty.

The action that he subsequently took against the boy may have been due to lack of information and sensitivity. The boy being brought up by a single mother could be having a lot of female influence within him. The ECE teacher will hence need to have such an understanding before applying any disciplinary measures upon him. This will enable them to avoid any conflicts that may arise between the parents and the teachers.

Developing Vision

Vision is the driving force behind every leadership style. Without a vision, a person is likely to adapt anything that may come their way. Guardians and parent are required to have set a vision for their children. A vision may also be referred to as a target or a desire that they may want to see in them some years to come. It is obvious that every parent thinks well towards their children, it may however not work out well unless they set the standards that they wish their children to adapt. As the children grow up, they will definitely have their own standards but their standards will be based on the visions that their parents had towards them, (Aubrey, 2007).

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Some parents may however fail to impart satisfactorily on their children and rely on the teachers to do so. Teachers in ECE settings need to impart visionary skills upon the children. They need to have the ability of knowing the abilities of a child and hence helping them develop their interests in accordance with their vision. Children should grow with an understanding of whom they are and what they desire to achieve.

Supervision

Children need to be supervised at all times to protect them from any kind of danger. They need to be monitored on the different places and areas that they are likely to look for advice and clarification for their dilemmas. Children may observe a lot of things either in school or on their television screen; they may hence look unto their guardians and teachers for some explanation. Their underdeveloped minds may also make them to adapt any kind of conduct or behaviour that they may see their adult mentors do without knowing the impact it has on the same. The boy grew under the care of the mother who had no ability to impart manly characters in him (Maxcy, 1991).

He instead adapted to a character and behaviour that affected in his socialization in school. His conductor and behaviour became disgust to the teacher but lacked an appropriate way of dealing with it. It may seem that apart from the fact that the child was mainly brought up by a single mother, he could be suffering from other psychological conditions that required certain kind of therapy. Under keen supervision, the mother should have realised his abnormal character and behaviour and explained to the teachers who would have taken necessary action to deal with him.

Children in their early childhood require a lot of supervision from both the parents and the teachers. This is the most sensitive stage of their growth where they can be assisted to grow and develop certain characters. Even though some like the boy may display some abnormal characters, it will be easier for them to be corrected at such a tender stage than waiting when they are mature. Children may show certain abnormalities due to the psychological and past history of their parents. Even though some of the hereditary features were a little bit tough to correct, technology has come up with means and measures through which such features can be corrected.

Children at a tender stage can be assisted through therapy to develop characters and features just as desired by their parents. It hence requires them to be monitored so as to identify such abnormalities and applying appropriate measures to correct them. May parents may assume a problem and think that the children will change as they grow up, however as they mature, they may still display a similar character which may even go at an advanced stage that may not be easy to correct. Weird behaviours should hence not be tolerated in children immediately they are discovered.

Communication

Communication is an essential part of leadership as it signifies the kind of relationship that is shared by the individuals. Method of communication may differ from stage to stage which requires the parents and guardians to apply appropriate strategies. There is a stage where the children are to be shown tender care and there are stages when they need to be reprimanded (Nivala, 2002). Most parents make a mistake of being so lenient on their children that they are unable to understand whether they are dong the right thing or not. This gives the teachers of such children a hard time disciplining them.

The mother of the boy may have failed to read the early signs of such behaviour and communicated to the teachers concerning the same (Bush, 2003). This hence made the boy to be mistaken and misunderstood in school which changed his attitudes towards school. There was a poor channel of communication between the boy and the mother, the boy and the teacher and also between the mother and the school administration.

Mentoring and Coaching

Parents are the first role models that the children will have, they are the people that are likely to win the trust of the children considering the length of time they spent together and the numerous things they do for them. As the very first leaders to their children, they need to mentor and coach them in the ways that are right. Mentoring and coaching not only happens through guidance but also practicing what you want your children to adopt (Staples, 2008).

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The impartation that the parent will have on the children will be reflected on their conduct when they meet a wider society. The influence of the mother towards the boy could not be hidden as he socialized with his friends in school only that the teacher in charge did not understand.

Mentoring and coaching does not necessarily require the parents to impart correct virtues on their children. This is simply because of the fact that children may be encountered by different environments and situations which may require them to display various characters. It mainly requires the guardians to place their children in the right hands by checking out on their association. They usually have a choice on the learning institutions and social places they can always take their children. Parents are hence recommended to ensure that the institutions that they are taking their children to are ones that will ensure that they grow into responsible adults.

Parents may understand the weak areas that they may have in bringing up their children; they will hence select institutions where by they trust the administration to impart correct virtues in the lives of their children. It may be difficult at times to know which institution will be suitable for the child, but the parent can always assess it through observation. After a certain period of the child being in school, some changes may be observed in them which will be a clear reflection of how the children are benefiting from the institution. They ca n always make a choice to retain them there or move them to other institutions basing on such an assessment.

Two Further Strategies That Will Make a Difference

Apart from the above mentioned leadership principles that may be adapted by the parents and teachers, children need to be assured of their parental love and care. Despite the various mistakes that the children may make as they grow up, they need to be assured that there is a second chance for them to rise up. Parents and teachers need to encourage their children to always be strong even when they fail to achieve certain targets.

This should however not be done in away that will make them loose the morale for working hard (Goethals, 2004). One of the most discouraging mistakes that parents and make is to apply a disciplinary principle when they do not understand the root cause of the problem. There are some characters and behaviours that need psychological counselling rather than physical punishment. Appropriate strategies should be adapted at every stage of their growth to ensure that they grow up into responsible adults.

Conclusion

Leadership is fundamental in early childhood and it determines the principles that will be undertaken by the children when they grow up. As the child moves from the hands of his parents to the teachers, it is hoped that they will develop more as they not only go to a wider society but also get more experienced guardians. Teachers of Early childhood are required to have knowledge and experience on issues of childhood which they should display when faced with such challenging issues. Children in the early stages of life are in the best position to make changes and adjustments that will ensure they grow towards a specific direction.

It is the role of teachers to identify the potentials that are within the children and the weaknesses that may be a hindrance to their development. Such abilities can be perfected to ensure that they reach high potentials.

References

Aubrey, C. (2007). Leading and Managing in the Early Years. London: SAGE. Bergin and Garvey.

Bush, T., (2003). Theories of educational leadership and management. London: SAGE.

Ebbeck, M. and Waniganayake, M. (2003). Early childhood professionals: leading today and tomorrow. Sydney: Elsevier Australia.

Finkelman, A., (2006). Leadership and management. New York: Assessment Technologies Institute, LLC.

Goethals, G. (2004). Encyclopaedia of Leadership. London: SAGE.

Marotz, L. and Lawson, A. (2007). Motivational leadership in early childhood education. New Jersey: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Maxcy, S. (1991). Educational leadership: a critical pragmatic perspective. California: McGraw Hill.

Maynard, T. and Thomas, N. (2009). An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Nivala, V. (2002). Leadership in early childhood education: cross-cultural perspectives. Oulu: University of Oulu.

Rodd, J. (2006). Leadership in early childhood. California: Allen & Unwin.

Staples, R. (2008). Early childhood Education: A-D. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Strickland, D. and Riley-Ayers, S. (2007). Literacy leadership in early childhood: the essential guide. New York: Teachers College Press.

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