Parenting

13. Our Reactions are Funny Facial Expressions to Kids

jose-ibarra-297117I was inspired by a video clip of a father making funny faces to his baby and the baby was laughing hysterically.

This reminder me of a time when I did something similar with a three year old – where I would make these random silly faces and the boy would laugh hysterically. 

The faces I made where exaggerated expressions – emphasized expressions of surprise, fear, silliness. I would in the moment really use / push my face to intensely express myself and to provoke laughs.

From this, I had been looking at how we as adults probably do look ridiculous when we go into reactions – how what we experience inside is translated and seen on the outside through our facial expressions and body language.  Like for example anger – how we can pull our face down, our brow furrows, we go into a deep frown. If we freeze it it may actually look hilarious / funny, just as if we were in a state of extreme fear. How our eyes bulge out wide, our mouth drop open – it can look really funny to a child.

Perhaps when we go into these emotional experiences we do “look” funny because maybe what we are going through is silly / funny — For example getting angry at a spill on our shirt, or being stubborn and saying you know how to do something when you don’t. So little things like that can be silly if we really look at it — especially if they are small / futile things that really don’t matter. 

 

Recommended Resources:

DIP Lite – Free Self-Development Course

EQAFE.com – Self-Perfection Merchandise

School of Ultimate Living – Life Creation through Words

 

Additional Support:

Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race

Extraordinary Parenting: Leila Zamora Moreno

Teacher’s Journey to Life with Anna Brix Thomsen

Advertisements

11. If I tell the kids something they don’t want to do = I am mean

brandon-morgan-16639Belief: If I tell the kids something they don’t want to do = I am mean

Context: Telling the kids they have to clean up after themselves from the items/they took out for themselves, especially when it’s ”crunch time” and we need to be somewhere soon. From them there is resistance, temper tantrums, avoidances, and big ”no!”s I think/believe I am not a nice person (but mean) if I tell them to do something they don’t want to do. Yet these kids needs to be aware of our schedule, that at a certain time of day we have to clean up everything to move onto the next thing in our schedule effectively.

Additional note: Perhaps the kids don’t know or realize the responsibility, reasons/purpose as to why we need to clean up.  Even if they do realize/see, and still fight/resist cleaning up they have to do. These kids are placed in an environment by/through the parents and are given no choice about it. That means they also have to follow the rules of this environment, but if the rules are in alignment with what is best for all – then it’s a great training ground for them to practice living with others effectively.

Self-Forgiveness: 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I tell kids to do something they don’t want to do then I am mean

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that when a kid doesn’t want to do something – such as cleaning up after themselves it means I am a mean teacher instead of realizing the child resisting the task has nothing to do with me but the relationship the child has formed toward the task and thus it is part of my responsibility to work with the child in having them release the resistance they have formed with/toward the task

I commit myself to find ways/means/methods to support children through resistances they have towards tasks, such as cleaning up after themselves so that they can find joy in everything they do

I forgive myself that I have NOT accepted and allowed myself to clarify with the children why we need to clean up – why it benefits all of us on an individual and collective level, illustrating through words or pictures the value and benefits of taking responsibility and putting back/cleaning up what you use has on a person in the long-run

I commit myself to educate, share and explain the benefits and importance of taking care of what we use and putting it away/cleaning it up properly

I commit myself to live the word CARE for my environment – caring for the items in my home and environment by taking care of them properly

I forgive myself that I have NOT accepted and allowed myself to find ways to make cleaning up fun for the children – such as putting on music, or making a game, or picking the jobs out of a hat, or having us live a word like ”Slowing Down” with cleaning where our movements are slow…using various ways and methods to be creative in the moment with what we do and not just stay limited in cleaning up/doing a task one way

I commit myself to make chores/errands in my life more enjoyable by listening to music, or finding some other creative method to enjoy what I’m doing more

I commit myself to make clean up time fun/enjoyable for the kids by putting on music, having us live a word, making a game out of it

I commit myself to educate the kids on why we need to clean up at a certain time, and what are the consequences if we don’t clean up at a certain time

Within this I realize just because kids don’t like something I say doesn’t mean I am a mean person or certain person but that there is a negative relationship they have towards the task/what I just said.  It’s also important I check in me to see if I have any resistance to doing tasks, and to make sure when there is resistance I sort it out or push through it, because if I allow resistance in me with doing tasks and don’t do them, how can I support children through it?

 

Additional Support:

Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race

Extraordinary Parenting: Leila Zamora Moreno

Teacher’s Journey to Life with Anna Brix Thomsen

10. Tantrummy Fits with Clean-Up Time

delfi-de-la-rua-157488I got the opportunity to run my own classroom downstairs where I work with 6-7 children for about 3 hours, 5 days a week. It may not seem like a lot of time with them, but for me it is. These moments are filled with spontaneous activity, new ideas, activities, discussions, learning – every day is new and unpredictable, so in a way I have to roll with it yet keep to a structure as best as I can.

Something interesting came up today, was from my fourth day working here I noticed the tendency of not wanting to bother to ask or request or tell the kids they need to clean up after themselves. I just didn’t want to – I was too damn scared. I was too scared for the idea and the reality of possibility facing their cries, their resistances, their temper tantrums, their ”no’s…” because I have encountered this, there are certain children who have developed the perfect tonality and expression and behavior to manipulate adults to get their way, and I’m one of those adults who have not been able to as of yet find a way to stand through the manipulation and temper tantrums. I have instead cowered to this fear and did the dirty work myself as I allowed me to clean up after them while they read, talked, drew pictures.

This is exactly how my mother treated me – she did everything for me, I didn’t do a lick of work and perhaps this is because my mom knew if she had me do chores and errands I would throw emotional tantrummy fits, manipulating to get my way. Funny how life works this way where I am now in my mother’s position acting just like her.

How do I change this?

  1. When I go back to the classroom I am going to hold a circle time right before we need to do our chores/clean up tasks and explain why we need to clean up, the importance of it, how it supports everyone, how it builds character, etc.
  2. Second is to work on my own fears of being manipulated by children / people – cause if I am being manipulated I am still brainwashed – only people who are not brainwashed do not get swayed in their minds with emotions and thoughts but know exactly who they are and what they stand for. This means I am still allowing my own thoughts and emotions to manipulate me instead of understanding why I so easily succumb to these specific thoughts/emotions.

 

Additional Support:

Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race

Extraordinary Parenting: Leila Zamora Moreno

Teacher’s Journey to Life with Anna Brix Thomsen

 

 

9. Hidden Messages Behind Popular Children’s Stories

x4kaajg0tmu-aaron-burdenI read the story The Gingerbread Man to children. This is a holiday book that is read during the Christmas season. 

Basically, a grandmother was hungry, made some cookies, and when she took the cookies out of the oven, a gingerbread man pops out and runs away because he doesn’t want to be eaten. The entire story is all about the gingerbread man running away from children and animals until he ”befriends” a fox by a lake. The fox cunningly invites the Gingerbread man on his back so he can take him across the lake. The Gingerbread, innocent and obviously gullible, goes on the fox’s back and gives in to the fox’s lies until he is eventually eaten.

The children find this story funny – but I found elements in this children’s book that were a disturbing:

–> First point: the Gingerbread – (yes – magically ) birthed into a living being, experiences his first moments of life in hostility where despite the Gingerbread Man wanting to live (ie: ”don’t eat me!”) people refuse his request and run after him – wanting to eat him  when the Gingerbread Man wanted to live.

–> Second point: that the Gingerbread man’s death is due to the cunning and sly deception of the fox – who at first seemed trustworthy in wanting to help the Gingerbread Man, but ended up at the last moment eating him – and in the illustration, the Gingerbread Man’s face is in fear. 

Yes it is a story – but if you look behind the words and pretty pictures, it’s really a screwed up story that makes death and deception something entertaining for the kids. The being (Gingerbread man) came into the world with the intention to live yet was immediately threatened because everyone wanted to eat him, instead of being born into a world where individuals (humans and animals) welcome and nurture him.  

Similar elements are found in real life – like a child being born in a war-torn country, or an abusive household, –once the baby born, they are threatened with real-life problems. 

So, how can a story like The Gingerbread Man be an appropriate story for the Holidays, especially Christmas – which is known as the season of ”giving” and celebrating life (of Christ)? I understand some may react to my words, and find the book funny and entertaining, but I’m the type of person who likes to look beyond the words to see what is really behind it all, and if these words/meanings support our children’s development.

I suggest we as parents/teachers/adults start analyzing the meanings behind the stories we share with our children – those ”hidden messages” we tend to overlook and see how we can instead teach and show how to support each other and life, so that we raise our children within the foundations of supporting life for all.

5. From Reacting to Understanding

children montessori reacting to understanding helping them fufill a needI had for a long time reacted to 4 year old V for his behavior and difficulty listening to teachers and children. He is different in that he cannot connect easily with the school materials and/or with other children by socializing.

What started happening was V began to give a lot of physical contact to the teachers and children, where he would randomly go up to a children and try to kiss them on the cheek, lips, or arm. Children would react to this, yelling or hitting him to go away, and so we as teachers started to teach V about space and asking before kissing children. This helped to an extent but then V continued with the physical attention without asking.

One day I looked deeper at the point, looking at human needs, and what this child’s behavior is showing me about needs he wants fulfilled. I saw V needed personal attention and physical touch as groundedness, which was what he was trying to do for himself by kissing and touching children, but it was bringing consequence to him.

Sunette from EQAFE.com showed me how V is an emotionally oriented child and does require personal attention because it is what he needs and by me supporting this need will support him with less consequences. One example to support him is sitting with him and reading a book for example, where we act out certain parts from the book (the character jumps so we physically jump) — making the together time a physical activity thing supporting him to stay grounded in the physical (so it’s not just all mental like reading and looking at pictures) but combining the mental, physical and potential education for him.

By supporting V to fulfill his need of attention, this can assist him to settle down within himself and not need so much attention from others, which then lessens consequences. Then additionally V now can move on to fulfill another need that will support him in reaching his utmost potential the more he develops/walks in life.

So for me, I have been shifting my focus to reacting to V to observing V — asking myself what does he NEED, what is his (problematic) behavior showing me that I can support himself with?

I got to apply this point of supporting him when V started to cause conflict between two boys. He kept poking them and being in their space when they were telling him to stop and go away. I used the opportunity to invite V to help me with laundry, since all the other children were busy. V came with me, and I showed him how the dryer works, and had him participate with me in taking the lint off of the lint catcher and putting clothes in the dryer.  We talked and I made sure he was engaged in the task. Once we were finished we went upstairs to look for something, then eventually we went back downstairs where V was more calmer and went to join children drawing.

So, this was a cool point to realize for myself, to shift focus from reacting to understanding – asking myself what does this child need, how can I support him…and find ways to get the child involved mentally and physically by fulfilling his need.  If we as adults practice and apply this consistently for our children, we support them in developing their self-stability, talents and self-awareness.

Thanks for reading.

3. What Really Goes on in the Classroom?

Q5FJUK9OFHI attended a parent’s evening where the other teachers and I got to give presentations on what we do with the children and answer questions for the parents.

One of the teachers I work with shared a new pattern that has been developing with children in our classroom – and that is children judging and critiquing other children’s work by calling names in a negative sense, like for example a boy saying to another boy’s painting ”that is kitsy kratsy” – an expression basically meaning that work is babyish/like scribble.

When the teacher spoke and acted out the words as the boy (”kitsy kratsy”) at the meeting, the parents in the room laughed.  This was an interesting behavior that I did not expect from them, and perhaps it was because I forgot for a moment that the parents do not get to experience what it’s like in the classroom, and that to see the reality and the outflows when children make fun of each other’s work is actually not funny and we have a as teachers/staff have to deal with it.

Sure it may seem funny when the teacher pretends to be a child and act out the calling of names, but when you’re actually experiencing it by seeing other children say these remarks and comments towards another with the intent of getting some form of attention or to trigger reactions in another child — it’s actually not something to laugh about.  The result of a child crying or becoming upset is not fun to see and experience, and if the parent saw their own child having their work being made fun of/criticized/judged by others I’m sure they would not be laughing too.

One problem from this is how parents/child caretakers are very much separated and unaware of the social interactions that go on in the classroom, and I really think they should be aware of their child’s daily interactions with others because it is through daily interactions children have with the environment and other people that they develop themselves by seeing what is accepted and allowed and ok, and from this act on what they see others do.

If we have parents/teachers/adults allow bullying and name-calling to go on in the environment without intervention, children will continue to do it because they see it as ok.  If we find these things funny and not so serious to deal with, this may damage the child more than we may realize.  But the problem is is that we are not skilled or prepared (as teachers/parents, etc) on how to deal and handle conflict effectively to the point where we can support a child to stop and change a behavior completely that is best for all.  In the classroom I work in, we have intervened, though it has been difficult getting through to the child to stop the behavior/pattern completely — where the child will repeat it the next day. There seems to be an addiction to triggering other’s reactions by name-calling and bullying, and perhaps it is because of the nature we as adults exist in being addicted to the positive and emotional energies of the mind.

So, before I get off track, I’d like to get back to my point and that is how parents/caretakers are not aware of what goes on in the classroom as much as teachers/school staff, and I really think the parents should be aware 100% of how their child is acting in the classroom and interacting with students, because there is only so much teachers can do — we can direct, intervene, share knowledge, but it is really the parents that require to be just as attentive, supportive and aware of how the child is in the classroom because only then can they see what they need to align in themselves and their lives because however and whoever the parent is in their self-expression in how they exist for their child will influence the child, and the child will act according to how they have been brought up and witnessed in their parents and act it out in the classroom (and in life too).

Yet parents have to work to make money/survive and the education system is exactly set up to allow parents to fulfill their daily jobs while the children are taken care of by teachers. I really truly believe the best education a child can receive is from their parents, where parents really show and stand as examples of what it is like to treat others the way they want to be treated and live life in respect of oneself and the world. This to me is ideal, because if the parent is sound and stable in who they are and they through their living actions and words show their child how to live and act, that will influence and strengthen the child positively, that will send ripples throughout the world.

At this time parents and caretakers must go to work and use their time away from their child to perform duties simply to make money to survive. Despite this, there are courses and information parents can read and utilize from the (little) time they may have to assist them in understanding how to take care of oneself and one’s child in thought, word and deed in a way where the ripples of one’s action is a step to making this world a better place.  They can listen to parenting recordings on EQAFE, learn how to live through the power of words, and take a free self-developmental course.