Prompting Parents toward Constructivist Caregiving Practices

  • James C. Mancuso
  • Kenneth H. Handin


Christopher now resides in a residential child care facility. He is quartered with and shares the daily activity of a group of four other 3- and 4-year old children. He proceeds through his days under the direction of various young, female child care workers, most of whom have had several years of college work. A not-uncommon interaction between Christopher and one of these child care workers will proceed as follows:

Setting: The worker is helping the young children in their attempt to scale a jungle gym network. The children are clamoring for a turn and for the worker’s help. She has managed to develop the rudiments of a working line up, so that the children will each have her help in the project. Christopher intrudes into the first position in the line. The original holder of that position objects. Christopher resolves his problem by pushing the objector out of his position.

Worker: Christopher, we’re taking turns. Please go to the back of the line.

Christopher: NO!

Worker: All right, no more climbs till Christopher goes to the back of the line.

Setting: There are many signs that the waiting children are aroused. Christopher does not move.

Worker: We’re waiting, Christopher.

Setting: Christopher, staring at worker, does not move. The worker takes a physical stance to indicate that she will not be moved. Christopher continues to stare. After a short pause, the worker moves toward Christopher. She reaches to take his arm. He flops to the ground. The worker bends to pick him up. He vigorously kicks her shoulder.

Worker (using a vocal delivery in the 80–90 decibel range): Christopher, you’re going to spend the next 15 minutes in the “time-out room.”

Setting: Christopher remains lying on the ground. The worker tries to move him toward the building containing the room. He refuses to locomote. He does kick and struggle to escape.

Christopher (shouting repeatedly): Get off me, fuckhead.

Setting: Another worker comes to share in helping Christopher to a dose of “time-out.”


Parent Role Personal Construct Parent Behavioral Training Repertory Grid Child Care Worker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Mancuso
    • 1
  • Kenneth H. Handin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Saint Catherine’s Center for ChildrenAlbanyUSA

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