On Tuesday, as I walked out of the door my four year old son said, “Daddy they’re singing what you always tell us…Stop, take a step back, and tell somebody!” This is a strategy I have taught my children to support them when coping with challenging encounters amongst peers. Now, is this a strategy that my young children always use? Absolutely not. However, they have it in their “social/emotional toolbox” and as they get older each of them will begin to use it more without me, my wife, and/or their teacher having to remind them (essentially they will be building resiliency). Yes, it is important that each day your child comes to school he/she learns math, science, social studies, and literacy, however it is equally important (I would argue more) that we teach and remind our children how to treat others and to help them build an understanding that each child has a different level of being “busy”. What is “being busy”? When speaking about children I define “busy” as a child’s energy and behavior levels. Not misbehavior, but just the overall energy-level and how a person (no matter the age) harnesses and uses the energy. My son has always been described as “very busy” by his teachers (and this he gets from me). My daughter is less “busy” (where this is something that she gets from my wife). From the moment my daughter was born, my wife and I could not wait to have our second child. Since my son was 6 months old, my wife and I have known that we will forever love, cherish, and enjoy our two children…but are done adding children to our immediate family.
It is important to keep this in mind when you are talking to your children about their school day. Sometimes our students tend to perseverate on the fact that their teacher, Ms. Perez or I had to speak with them because they forgot to use one of the techniques from their “social/emotional tool box”, such as keep your hands to yourself, use kind words, and treat others the way you’d like to be treated. And this is ok. Or they could be coming home telling you that this happened to one of their classmates, and this is ok as well. Here at school, we continuously focus on being a community, helping each other grow, and trying to understand others (building empathy). As parents and as educators, we come to the realization quite quickly that every child is different and learns at their own pace. No matter which scenario it is, the conversation should always be centered around the idea that making mistakes is acceptable as long as we learn and grow from our mistakes, and next time go to the new skill that was added to our toolbox. With our conversations taking place here and your support at home, the growth and development of our children will be extraordinary.
Let’s continue to work together on the social/emotional growth of our kids, and if you would like to speak with me about this a little more please let me know.