After a particularly difficult day, I walked into her office, closed the door, and slumped down in a chair. I spilled a detailed account of the day and expressed my frustration. She calmly listened and what she said next changed me as an educator and as an administrator.
He’s so bad. She’s shy. He’s going to be a doctor. She’s a troublemaker. He’s chubby. She’s an artist. Have you ever heard someone say something like this? Have you ever said anything like this? Labels (positive and negative) are powerful and can follow a child and impact how others see them and how they perceive themselves.
The basis for building successful friendships begins early in life. During these early years, children are learning how to navigate the tricky friendship waters. They are learning how to be patient when it doesn't seem possible, how to be kind even when unkind things are happening, how to be flexible, how to really listen, how to comfort, how to share, how to be empathetic and how to formulate a meaningful apology.
Over the last few years I have been thinking a lot about what I want for my kids (honestly from society in general!). As I read about gun violence on a college campus, a child taking their own life, and the hate permeating much of society I now have a better answer to what I want for my children’s future.