Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Playing Favourites: From Favouritism to Fairness

By: MILICA ATANACKOVIC

Tuesday 24 January 2017

I received feedback from a family early into my ECCE career and it was a bitter pill to swallow. The parents felt their child was not happy and thriving. One reason they gave was that their child was quieter in nature, but a more contentious issue was that they felt educators (myself primarily) were not greeting him with the same enthusiasm as other children in the mornings. They believed this favouritism towards other children was affecting their child’s sense of self and belonging.

All feedback brings an opportunity for deeper thinking. Reflecting on my interactions with each of the children, I asked myself some questions. How did I greet them all each morning? Did I make time and spend time with each child every day? Did I make them each feel valued and listened to? Was I ensuring I built strong relationships with each child, and working harder with those it was more challenging to form relationships with? Most importantly - did I show favouritism?

For a child to thrive, develop, and grow it is fundamental that they belong. The initiation of one-to one interactions builds a child’s sense of identity. In our role as educators and caregivers, strong relationships are formed with children. But we are also human, working with humans, and there’s a natural pull towards certain personalities. We need to stay mindful of the children we are not naturally drawn to. Consistent, balanced and non-preferential interactions are paramount to our work with each child and their family.

 

What message is heard when one child is welcomed with open arms and another merely gets a ‘hello’ when they walk into the room? How does that feel for the child who is welcomed, and the child who just gets a ‘hello’?

Respect always comes before love. Children are developing a sense of who they are and how much they are worth. By respecting them in equal measure you ensure high quality professional standards. To be an educator is such a privilege, but it comes with great responsibility. Children are absorbing your every word, every action. You are their role model and in your care they are developing who they are. They are seeing how they are valued. Every interaction you have with children, or every interaction you withhold and have with another, is noted and observed. They also learn from your interactions with your colleagues and families.

This process of self-reflection resulted in a change to my practice and daily interactions. I made it a priority to treat each child with the same respect, consideration and attention, ensuring they felt acknowledged and recognised. The child and his family stayed and in partnership we supported his self-confidence and enabled a successful transition to school.

So as you start or as you leave for the day, just take a moment to think: how would you like each child to remember you today?

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Síolta QAP(1) Well-Being(10) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Spiders(1) Magda Gerber(1) MA(1) Employee(1) Party(1) Confidence(1) World Health Organisation(1) development(8) Aistear(128) Twitter(1) TOY Programme(1) AIM(2) collaboration(1) Cognitive development(1) IGL(1) grandchild(1) Time(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Learning journals(1) Penguins(1) behavioural science(1) AsIAm(2) Treasure Chest(1) Exclusion(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Valentine's Day(3) Proceedings Journal(1) Covid pandemic(2) Training(2) Giraffe(2) Breathing(2) Window(1) Pobal(1) art of the relationship(1) DES Inspection(1) Pretend Play(1) Family wall(1) Thank you(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Buddies(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) dogs(1) Art(6) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Drawing(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Time Out(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Degree(1) GoToMeeting app(1) early life(1) Snack Time(1) Anthony Semann(1) Meal time(1) Maths(6) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) EECERA(1) Magnavacchi(1) Consent(1) Design(1) Magic(1) outdoor space(3) Exercise(1) Meet the Members(1) Community involvement(1) EM Standing(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Quality(4) Arts(1) Visitors(1) Health(2) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Effect of Lockdown(1) Nonverbal(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Horizon 2020(1) Creativity(5) toddlers(3) Norway(2) Mealtimes(1) learning(19) Mo Scéal(1) Primary School(2) Children's Research Network(1) Through the looking glass(1) baby room(1) RIE philosphy(1) Plastic(1) journey(1) Music(3) risk assessment(1) research(6) Professionalisation(5) Children(4) Obesity(1) Family(1) Home Corner(1) dublin(2) Emergent Curriculum(1) Environment(2) Return to Work Training(1) racism(1) Lego(2) show and tell(1) Learning through Storytelling(1) social science(1) Arlene Forster(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) transitions(10) budget(1) PIP(1) Empathy(1) Leprechauns(1) Self-Esteem(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) life long learning(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Whole Group(1) Playschool(1) Snakes(1) Policy(2) Love(3) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Appreciation(1) First 5 strategy(1) UNCRC(2) International Narratives(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Learning Stories(9) Your place(1) Culture(2) Reggio Emilia(2) pets(1) Japan(1) friendships(1) Book Club(2) Care routines(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Budget 2020(1) The Jelly King(1) listen(1) Challenges(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) conversations(1) Fantasy play(1) Counting(1) child-centric(1) National Holiday(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Advocacy(1) gender bias(1) Limerick(1) Research Conference 2019(1) preschool settings(1) Afghanistan(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Gardening(1) aistear blog(3) Oireachtas(1) Recycle(1) outdoors(4) lockdown(1) keezy(1) Wilenski(1) Sweets(1) Self-regulation(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Early Years Education(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Halloween(2) Inter-generational(2) Names(1) science(3) gender stereotype(1) Siolta blog(8) Behaviour(3) CPD(1) early years learning(1) primary education(1) creche(1) Qualifications(1) emotional environment(2) Irish(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Traditions(2) Engineering(3) Human Resources(1) Sessional service(1) awards 2020(1) Budget 2019(2) Favouritism(1) curiosity(3) play pod(1) Maynooth University(2) structure(1) Wrapping paper(1) Routines(2) Smiles(1) Childcare(3) National Awards 2019(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Kerry(1) blog(47) Vietnam(1) Engagement(1) Interaction(1) Arithmetic(1) research submissions(1) stories(3) Awards 2018(3) learning bias(1) mushrooms(1) Reading Time(1) staying connected(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Staff Motivation(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Glitter(2) educarer(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) risky play(2) Performing(1) Performance Management(1) preschool(4) annual conference(1) Inspections(1) SPICE Framework(1) Academics(1) Queues(1) online training(1) RTE Investigates(1) Decisions(1) STEM(3) Together Old and Young Programme(1) MECPI(1) Storytelling(7) Nutrition(1) man up(1) Trick or treat(1) Autism(4) Small World Play(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Self Help Skills(1) education(2) Mental Health(4) phone apps(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Laughter(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Funding(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Reopening Childcare(1) Identity and Belonging(4) code of professional responsibility(1) Affordability(1) Independence(1) dining experiences(1) HR(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Yoga(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) Universal Design(2) Digital(1) Upcycling(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Leargas(1) Rich Documentation(1) ECCE(7) Inspirational(2) Child mental health(1) Mud kitchens(1) Wendy Lee(3) refugees(1) Impact(1) School Age Childcare(1) christmas(9) COVID-19 landscape(1) UN(1) Kids Own(1) Reflective Practice(1) University(1) Titles(1) Supernanny(1) DCYA(6) Awards Night(1) Builders(1) ECEC(3) Research and Professional Learning(1) children development(1) Our Little Seed(1) family time(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Orla Kenny(1) Treasure(1) Masterclass(2) Stress(2) Kilkenny(1) Laugh(1) Social Skills(1) linc(1) Gratitude(1) Child Care(1) Elders(1) Event Guide(1) Workplace well-being(1) Certificate(1) GDPR(1) Participation(2) mental health problems(1) Relaxation(1) Photographs(1) educating(1) Bereavement(2) maternity health(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Craft(1) planning(1) Budget 2018(1) coronavirus(1) Equality(1) Sociodramatic play(1) United Nations(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) books(4) Interactions(3) College(1) Awards 2019(1) Educators(2) Aldo Fortunati(4) Building Resilience(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Brain(1) Scents(1) reopening(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) Annual Conference 2019(1) Infection Control(1) Academic Skills(1) Engineers Week(2) ERASMUS+(3) Communications(1) Early Years Educators(3) responsive relationships(1) TRAP(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Administrative Burden(1) imotion(1) science week(2) eating(1) Iceland(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Pedagogy(2) movement behaviours(1) Children's Rights(3) Loss(1) Little Buddies(1) Socioemotional development(1) The Lullaby Book(1) New Appointments(1) conference(1) communication(4) Fee Play(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Covid19 crisis(1) COVID-19(13) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Learning Journal(2) supportive environments(2) Frosty the Snowman(1) Prexit(1) Change(1) Learning Story Awards(2) keep in touch(1) Winter(1) under 3's(3) Large Doll Play(1) Syria(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Running(1) babies(7) democratic citizens(1) Capable(1) Feeding(1) democracy(1) Settling in(4) emotions(2) Anxiety(2) Mount Everest(1) Games(1) Children and families(1) National Awards 2018(2) early years research(2) Thanks(1) Reggio(1) Book Review(1) reopening ireland(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) SAC(1) Pen green(1) Children's Voice(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Study Trip(1) Shoes(1) E.coli(1) Teamwork(1) Communicating(1) Maths Week(1) Document Learning(1) Recycling(2) Loving Relationships(2) play stories(2) Leadership(1) children’s learning(1) Investment(2) Belonging(3) Positivity(1) emotional well-being(1) Online(1) developing motor skills(1) INTO(1) Thinking(1) UD(1) Workplace Relations(3) Technology(3) continual professional development(1) child-centred approach(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Trigonometry(1) purpose(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Trade union(1) interacting(2) Support(1) routine(2) healthy eating policies(1) Pre-School Services(1) Sustainable(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Sustainability(3) community(5) Fabric(1) feisty(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) NCCA(3) Eritrea(1) Celebrations(4) listening(1) Italy(1) Early Years(1) Albert Einstein(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) ELC(1) Creative(1) meals(3) play(35) Death(2) Cork(1) Confident(1) food(1) bloom app(1) San Miniato(4) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) NAEYC(1) Visual Impairment(1) worries(1) Childhood(1) Mantra(1) Ceremony(1) bonds(1) Wesco(1) Painting(1) Interests(1) value(1) Playdough(1) CIT(1) overhear(1) early childhood educator(2) Identity(5) Celebrate(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Exit interview(1) Map(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) ReCreate(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) Mayo(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Flowers(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) social media(1) Adoption(1) Covid response(2) risk(2) apps for children(1) Xbox(1) Opportunities(1) Wonder(1) Maynooth(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Biting(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) First 5(1) pablo(1) Seanchaí(1) play pods(2) Santa(2) experience(1) Line-ups(1) inspiring interactions(1) Sleep(1) Awards(2) Seas Suas(1) Montessori(3) Educator of the Year Award(3) Inspired Practice Awards(1) learners(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Dance(1) ICBN(1) Learning Story(1) Facebook(1) European Project(1) Scéalta Blog(103) Mindfulness(3) Easter(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) story time(2) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Research Seminar(1) respect(5) Grief(1) Frustrations(1) CCTV(1) Mixed age groups(3) trust(4) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Snacks(1) Story(2) Malaguzzi(1) Síolta(131) Intention(1) Rituals(1) Workforce(1) Competent(1) Summer(1) Sculptures(1) play therapy(1) Exploring(1) Sequins(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Maternity Leave(1) Weather(1) Graduate(1) curriculum(5) Diversity(1) early childhood(1) Infectious diseases(1) Imagination(3) dining(1) Youtube Series(1) learning hub(1) june29(1) Graduation(1) Irish guidelines(1) EECERA 2016(1) Role play(1) Sport(1) Early Childhood Ireland(6) Buddy Bench(1) peer group(1) Jenga(1) Mark Twain(1) Digital Devices(1) outdoor environment(1) role playing(1) Vertical grouping(1) Potential(1) Iraq(1) scéalta(50) ECEC Setting(2) Plants(1) Traffic Lights(1) parents(6) iOS(1) UNICEF report(1) memories(1) Hand Hygiene(2) Patterns(1) Shapes(2) Inspiring Practice(1) Trade Unions(1) relationships(18) Exploratory Play(1) Margy Whalley(1) reading(5) Touch(1) Light table(1) Mathematicians(1) ears(1) Maria Montessori(1) Blocks(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) education system(1) Inclusion(3) youdoodle(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Decision Making(1) outdoor play(6) animals(2) code of ethics(1) Body Language(1) environments(1) childcare services(1) Online Research Symposium(1) documentation(4) Care-giving routines(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine