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...
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~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