Redefining Care

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

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.