You may thinking, "What a strange title for a post on an early childhood blog." Now there is method in my madness. There are those among us, me included from time to time, who see ourselves as the authority maintaining law and order in our environments. I even posted about the balance between structure and spontaneity.
However, preschoolers are much more independent and capable of self management. In fact, they often display concern and empathy for others, which is more than I can say for many adults I know. Already this year I have had several approaches by my preschoolers concerning disputes with peers over any number of things. I am determined this year to empower my children and as such have already put the onus back on them to sort out their differences themselves. So far it has worked rather well.
Today there was an even greater achievement. After one of the preschoolers was stung by what we suspect was a wasp (we had seen one about, but didn't actually witness the stinging) ALL of her fellow preschooler made their way over to her and offered a hug to comfort and reassure her as she was quite distraught. Furthermore, upon seeing this open display of caring and empathy some of the younger children also offered to hug our injured friend. Positive peer role modelling and scaffolding at its finest.
Needless to say, There seems little need for a sheriff in this preschool. The inhabitants are quite capable of settling their own affairs. I'll just hang around to learn a thing or two off them.