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Tip of the Iceburg

Blog Entry: 19th January 2022


During our most recent whole staff training, Tamsin Grimmer introduced us to this wonderful analogy of understanding Children's behaviour and the reasons behind it. We are huge advocates in finding out the underlying reasons for the behaviour and supporting these much needed emotional needs.

The child’s behaviour is the tip of the iceberg, and what we see on the surface. Behaviour is triggered from feelings, which stem from the deeply rooted needs of the child. Like an iceberg, the bulk of behavior's “mass” is hidden below the surface. The hidden base of the iceberg represents the belief behind the behaviour and the child’s needs. Basic needs consist of safety, security, trust, empathy, understanding, autonomy, adequate sleep and nutrition, competency, respect, love and a sense of belonging and significance.

When a child’s basic needs are met, he or she feels connected, safe, secure, confident, and satisfied. However, when the child perceives (realistically or not) that their need is not being met, then misbehavior will occur. It is important to address the underlying beliefs beneath the surface of the iceberg in order for sustained behaviour change to occur.
Children are good perceivers, but are still learning to understand the world around them. They are not usually able to see the bigger picture and engage in higher level thinking. Figuring out cause-and effect patterns are often too much for them to comprehend.

This is why it is important to consider the underlying feelings and needs of children rather than reacting to the behaviour on the iceberg’s surface.

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Blog Archive

Loving pedagogy and building attachments  
(18th May 2022)
50 year celebration event  
(14th May 2022)
Storytelling through pictures  
(4th May 2022)
Setting the scene!  
(1st April 2022)
Block Play  
(2nd March 2022)
Tip of the Iceburg  
(19th January 2022)
Visits from the PCSO  
(14th January 2022)
Celebrating 50 years of Croft Playgroup  
(11th January 2022)
Happy Christmas  
(16th December 2021)
Confident readers  
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Introducing our Library room  
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When will my child write?  
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The benefits of movement  
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