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Competency D
Lizandra Rivera lrivera@ymcamke.org (910) 467 3503

Comp D.2 Reflection on Haim Ginott Quote

Instructions: Using the Haim Ginott quote (found on page 137 of Half a Childhood) write a
reflective piece on your role and responsibilities in guiding behavior and how your attitude
and responses can either support or hinder the outcomes. Give examples.
Quote: I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element It is my
personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather I
possess tremendous power to make a childs life miserable or joyous. I can humiliate or
humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be
escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized.
Haim Ginott (1922-1973)
My role in guiding behavior is so important. I feel that its my duty and responsibility
to be a positive example to my staff on how to guide behavior, redirect behavior, and
correct behavior. What I do, how I do it, and the outcome thereof affects more than just me
and those around me, it affects my program and my community. My guidance and attitude,
whether positive or negative, goes beyond the wall of my program. Staff seek my guidance
and advice. They are watching what I am doing and what I am not. In my role, I hire,
onboard, train, manage, and evaluate staff and programming. I help and train my staff in
how to handle and manage behavior in my program. I am a nurturer and role model of
leadership skills to my staff. Its my responsibility that they understand and know how to
guide behavior appropriately. I must provide them with tools that will help them guide
childrens behavior positively.
The Haim Ginott quote made me think of how much influence someone can have in
humanizing or dehumanizing a child. Not too often have I thought of how my actions and
decisions affect a child in terms of humanizing. The power I have to make a childs life
better or worse, happy or sad, good or bad. I am responsible for how they can see their
world around them, what they learn from me, and how they are treated. I could hurt or
heal; it is scary to think that my actions can impact someones life and leave a print that
can shape who they are and who they will be. My actions or reactions to situations, my
responses and my attitude can either support or hinder the outcome in my program.
In guiding behavior, there are a few important things to know and understand about
the child to be effective. For example, I need to know the child. I cannot help someone who
I dont know. Spending time with the child is crucial when guiding behavior. I can learn
about their interests, their background, their problems, their worries, their concerns, their
dreams, what makes them happy and what makes them sad as I spend time with the child.
I will know and understand the reason behind the behavior the closer I am to the child and
know about their background. Another way I can guide behavior and provide opportunities
for children to develop is by appropriately planning versus poor planning. Intentionally
helping staff appropriately plan and evaluate programming schedules, interactions,
activities, environment, and materials will help prevent undesired behavior.