The idea of guiding a large group of children can send some adults into a cold-sweat panic. What they may have envisioned as an idyllic reading of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” or a thoughtful conversation about the life cycle of the butterfly begins to look more like a full-scale mutiny as serene children on the rug bounce around like popcorn kernels and contribute thoughts to the group discussion that range from what they did on Wednesday (“or maybe that one other day that wasn’t yesterday but wasn’t a long, long time ago…..”), to the dead frog discovered in their driveway, and on to an impromptu performance of a funny commercial they saw this morning.
I don’t remember what it was that set him off in the first place. But he had passed annoyed and had clearly moved on to angry.
I remember the day I headed out on my own. No classmates. No chaperones. No host family. I got on a bus and went into the city center.
I’m not the biggest Lord of the Rings fan. I’ll be honest right there. It’s dark and stressful, and that’s just not my idea of a great time.
“I left a baby gift for you on your doorstep. It’s the perfect thing for a mom with four boys.”
My friend mentioned this to me casually as we both worked in our neighbor’s kitchen, preparing refreshments for a wedding.
The “impulsive three-year old” section of my brain wanted to drop what I was doing and immediately run next door to tear open this gift. What could possibly be the perfect baby gift for a mom who had just had her fourth boy? It was even more intriguing to me because this friend is an amazing mom herself. She has seven children, and while I’m sure she has stories that would contradict my accounting, every one of them always seems so well-behaved, so kind, so creative, so smart, and so sweet. She certainly knows a thing or two about motherhood, and so I hoped that this gift was some secret of the trade. A talisman from my Jedi master.
The “responsible adult” section of my brain won out, and I helped out with food for a few more hours before making my way home to find a small wrapped box on my doorstep. I slid my fingers through the tape and pulled out the box.
And started laughing immediately.
Here’s a look at what I found inside:
That binky. I laughed because it was hilarious, but I also laughed at myself for thinking the gift would be so serious. [Read more…]
As I wrapped up the Read Along of Rae Pica’s book, What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives (affiliate link), I intended to do a typical Q&A follow up with Rae.
You know the feeling. You’ve finally settled into your groove. You’re getting creative or tackling a project or just paying the bills. You’ve found that sense of flow where things really start coming together.
Q&A sessions can feel a little like an out of body experience.
Whether you’re a parent or an educator (or both!), child behavior is at the top of your concerns at some point in each day. In the latest section of our read along series, What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives (affiliate link), Rae Pica explores several topics surrounding our adult approaches to managing child behavior. She shares a key concept that is at the heart of what I teach about Positive Guidance : [Read more…]