Re: DSM: Hashing out philosophy


toddrobinson@hushmail.com
Wed, 7 Mar 2001 21:10:25 -0800 (PST)


Cindy,

One thing that I have found that works pretty well with my spirited 4-year-
old son and the other kids at his pre-school is to say things like "C, it
looks to me like Katie is sad", "Katie, you can use your words to tell C
how you feel", etc. Obviously, I wasn't in the situation, so I have no
idea if some hypothetical thing I would come up with would actually make
sense in the context or not. But, generally speaking, I have been pleased
with my son's increasing ability to "use his words" and I constantly encourage
him to tell people how he feels, without harassing him about it when he
obviously isn't receptive. I hope I have had an impact on his increasing
comfort with his emotions, but I have no way of knowing. Kids definitely
are not a proper experiment with a control group, etc. ;-)

In my opinion, one of the most important things to learn as one grows up
is to "use one's words". From everything I have seen, heard, and read,
students in Sudbury-model schools really excel at this.

And, FYI, one of my favorite books about this type of subject is Parent
Effectiveness Training.

Todd Robinson

At Wed, 7 Mar 2001 21:03:45 -0500, "CindyK" <cindyk@unitz.on.ca> wrote:

>
>Hi all,
>
>I have been reading Starting a Sudbury School and love it. I just read
>=
>appendix 3, Only the Hopeful by Nan Narboe. It talks about The Real
>and =
>The Nice. I think that I am one of the Real. I know that children
>will =
>not always be happy and I don't have a problem with them being bored.
> I =
>also realize that reading it and living it are two different things.
> I =
>have some questions about how to handle children when they are =
>interacting. I will tell you what happened today, how I handled it,
> how =
>my friend handled it and maybe someone could let me know if we are way
>=
>off or at least close to on track.
>
>My daughter, Katie, just turned 4. She is a very easy going personality
>=
>most of the time. My friend C came over with her 4.5 year old daughter
>=
>S. S is very verbally advanced and likes the world of adults. She
>=
>loves to converse with grown ups. As soon as S walks in the door she
>=
>looks at katie and notices that she is wearing short sleeves. S =
>says,"Katie, it's the middle of winter, what are you doing wearing a
>=
>t-shirt?!" She says it with a condescending face. Katie didn't say
>=
>anything back but I could feel how she felt attacked. Being her mother
>=
>and unable to stop myself at this point, I answered, "I like to wear
>=
>t-shirts in the winter. Everybody's different. Maybe she just felt
>=
>like wearing a t-shirt today because it's warm in the house." That
>was =
>the end of that and they went off to play. As I thought about what
>=
>happened, I realized that I had probably given Katie the underlying
>=
>message that she can't solve her own problems. Is that right? I should
>=
>have let her deal with it on her own or come to me for help when SHE
>=
>chose to. It's just sooo hard as the mother of a child who is being
>put =
>down by another.
>
>Later on, Katie drew a picture for S. When she gave it to her, S. =
>declared that "That's not how you draw people!" And she proceeded to
>=
>tell katie how to draw people properly with a stomach and a belly =
>button. Now S's mother doesn't say that her drawings are done wrong
>so =
>we don't know where she got this from. I wanted to say that everone
>=
>draws differently as again I could just feel Katie's hurt. But this
>=
>time I kept my mouth shut. But it didn't end there. S started to =
>loudly declare that she didn't like Katie's drawing and she wasn't going
>=
>to take it home with her. Very loudly, over and over repeating it.
> =
>Again I wanted to say something but I didn't. My friend, C was beside
>=
>herself. She didn't know what to do. She has tried to tell S about
>=
>hurting other people's feelings in the past but that only sets her to
>=
>declare loudly that she wants to hurt their feelings and that she =
>doesn't care. It's very hard to listen to. What do you do in a =
>situation like this? Just sit back and watch? C ended up saying that
>=
>she liked Katie's picture and wanted to take it home. She got up and
>=
>put it in her bag and then we moved on to something else. After they
>=
>left, I contemplated bringing it up with Katie, but again I held off,
> =
>hoping she would come to me if she wanted to talk. She did. About
>20 =
>minutes after they left we were having a snack and she said, "S didn't
>=
>like my picture." Then she said, "C liked my picture though." I then
>=
>said, "Did you like your picture, Katie?" She answered yes. So I said
>=
>that that is what counts that she likes it and told her that everyone
>=
>has different taste and like different things. Then I couldn't help
>=
>myself and I added that I liked her picture too. :) She didn't seem
>too =
>upset by it all but clearly wanted to talk about it.
>
>I think I know how to handle Katie, it's the other child that my friend
>=
>and I can't quite figure out. It's hard for C not to think that her
>=
>daughter deliberatley tries to hurt people sometimes and it's hard for
>=
>her as the parent to watch it. She wonders what she did to get this
>=
>behaviour. Does anyone know how to handle an aggressor like this (with
>=
>deep respect and profound regard)? While she was here today, she also
>=
>stomped on Katie's foot because Katie wouldn't come and see something
>=
>she wanted to show her. Does the "victim" always have to file a =
>complaint before action is taken even if an adult sees it happen? Do
>=
>you explain to 4 year olds that they can file a complaint? Do you ever
>=
>remind them? ie. after an incident.
>
>I am trying to hash out the reality of this philosophy and sometimes
>=
>it's just really hard to watch. Any help would be much appreciated.
> =
>Thanks.
>
>~CindyK
>
>
>
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