The heat of a moment looks different for everyone. Especially for school-aged young ones. As we approach mid-winter recess, tempers are a bit shorter and energy is a bit more...well, wild shall we say. (If you are an educator, you know exactly what I mean by that!) ;-) Because of this, we often see the intensity rise within disagreements between children. A misunderstanding over a puzzle piece could have been quickly resolved last month. But at this point in time it can seem like the end of the world for the child to not be able to play with the blocks they want or clean up the way they believe they should. As an adult in the classroom, it is so easy to try to jump in and address the problem, direct the children to apologize, and then move on from it.
As we lived many of these moments over the past week, I expanded the typical 3 step approach with two thoughtful, intense personalities. The kiddos were instructed to clean up the floor puzzles they were collectively working on. Student A is a helper. He is also a leader and likes to have a bit more control over situations. He went ahead and tried to “help” his friends by breaking apart their puzzles to put the pieces back into the box. Student B was not ready to break down his masterpiece quite yet. As you can imagine, the intensity rose between the two and the next thing you know they both come rushing over with “He hit me!” and “No, I only touched him.”
The children were both frustrated and seeing flashes of red. I could have said “What? Why would you hit him?” and then quickly rush through our 3 steps to problem solving (denoted with an * below). But instead, I pulled them aside and walked them through the following steps:
All in all, the steps from beginning to end were less than 2 minutes. Both kiddos transitioned right back into the group ready to learn, together, and they were stronger than before. The best part is- they experienced how powerful a moment of silence and connectedness can be in problem solving. Imagine how incredible we could feel if we did the same thing as adults...
What if we all just loved to love. Take a moment to feel what that means.
I’ve been doing that a lot over the past few week; thinking about what it means to love to love. Love myself. Love others. Love our universe. Unconditionally. My 2 year old minis inspired this week’s thinking. Earlier this week, I snuck into their room to awaken them before they were quite ready to start their days. I ruffled around for a minute and then heard a faint whisper.
“Good morning, sissy.”
“Good morning, mama.”
“Hi baby.” And then she snuggled her baby lamb oh so tight.
Mini B’s head wasn’t even off of the pillow. But the first thing that she did was welcome others into her day with love. Even though she had a pretty good fight with her sister the night before (they are determined toddlers right now!), which led her to time out with me, she had let that all go. Today was a new day. Children love a new day. They don’t drudge up the past. There is no worry or fear associated with the day ahead. The kiddos don't list out all of the things they have to tackle for the day. They just experience it. They are mindful of the present.
I am constantly in awe of this. I understand that some is developmental, but I do believe that we all had this innate ability to just lead with love when we were younger. We still do. Life just often gets in the way. Can you imagine if we maintained even a portion of this ability to enter every situation with an open heart, an open mind; one without pre-judgements or expectations?
As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The Law of Love could best be understood and learned through little children.”
This further confirms why my passion lies working with children, especially those under the age of 5. A day doesn't go by where I don't learn something from them and their intuitive drive to just be love. I encourage you to watch as they capitalize on their capacity to love this weekend. And then lets collectively do at least one thing to follow their example. That is how we can create mirrored magic. As we follow their example, they will follow ours and the love will then flow endlessly around us.
P.S. I love that you took time to read this. ;-) It means the world.
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I'm obsessed. This is fabulous. LOVE that you are doing this. The new way of being a student forces us to think outside the box and approach how we teach more dynamically.
~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019