Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Use What Works" A Lesson From Preschoolers

Preschoolers Know To Use What Works!


We had a fantastic day at preschool yesterday.  It was the letter "B" day and we kept ourselves busy with boxes and beads and baby dolls, while eating bagels with blueberries and bananas.  It was one of those utterly engaging and triumphant days that keep teachers enthusiastic about teaching.  But in the midst of all the cooperative play and self motivated creativity, I found myself momentarily frustrated with one of my students who was choosing not to follow my verbal directions.

Upon reflecting what might have been going wrong with our interactions, I remembered hearing one of the boys telling another as he was building a chimney on the cardboard box house he was creating--"Timmy, we need to use what works!".  AHAH!  Light bulb moment for me.  I had been giving directions to the non-listening little boy, as I was engaged in toasting and distributing bagels to four children at the snack table.  The little non-listener had his back to me and was selectively ignoring my instructions--or was the problem with me?  I was not using what I know works!

In order to have the little boy listen to me, I needed to go over to him, bring my face down to eye level for him, and after establishing eye contact, calmly and clearly let him know what I expected him to do.  Shame on me not him!  I know this is the effective method and yet I needed the other children to remind me what to do!

Parenting can be like this, too.  Sometimes we fall into patterns that are not working, and for some unknown reason, we continue to repeat the non-effective behavior and continue to frustrate ourselves in the process.  And usually we are actively blaming our children for the distress.  I challenge you to think about an issue you are struggling with in your family and then actively search for a fresh approach to the situation.  Think about ways that you can positively change your behavior to impact the situation.  Often times, the behaviors in our children that are most frustrating to us, can be vastly improved by our reaction to them.

So in honor of "B" day--Be the Best parent you can Be, and Better your family by Breaking patterns of Bad Behavior and Bettering your approach to your Babies!

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