I was thinking about a conflict the other day that involved my son and myself. I realized that ‘conflict resolution,’ per se, doesn’t truly exist when the conflict is between the two of us. And that is because I have an agenda. You see, I think I know the better way, the better tactic, the “truth,” and even before I let my son explain his thoughts and intentions, I am already formulating my response.
I refuse to damage my sons! I will not allow my sons to play with girls’ toys, because I want to preserve their authentic selves….
We all know that our children are not reflections of us, but every once in a while we get tricked into that lie again! It sneaks in, and we spring into RE-action, rather than mindful response. That way of “reflective” thinking is a trap that often leads us to seek approval from the random parents around us. It can throw us into a tizzy of self-judgment: Oh my gosh my child is screaming (at me)! What is that father/store clerk/woman thinking about us/me?! Instead of, “Oh my gosh my child is screaming… what does my child need that I can give him?” The irony is that those parents who we are trying to please in that hot moment of crisis don’t actually matter to us as much as our own children do, nor are they even in line with our own core values!
Without a teacher present, children look for a much wider range of information and consider a greater range of options. Knowing what to expect from a teacher is a really good thing, of course: It lets you get the right answers more quickly than you would otherwise. Indeed, these studies show that 4-year-olds understand how teaching works and can learn from teachers. But there is an intrinsic trade-off between that kind of learning and the more wide-ranging learning that is so natural for young children. ..
Wherever you go, it is the staff who make a school what it is. And the staff at Riviera PlaySchool are all grounded in the same philosophy — that of non violent communication, and mindfulness. You will notice that every interaction between child and adult has a consistent and tangible feeling of respect and compassion. And when any conflict occurs, it is a true learning moment, and teachers are on hand to hold space for the children to resolve their own conflicts. We try to not rush to a resolution of our adult creation. Sometimes children can take a while to sort a conflict out to a place they deem to be “fair.”. And we give them space to take the time to do that, while offering support, and helping them keep bodies and hears safe. We pay particular attention to where we are during the conflict. We stay on the sidelines. We don’t jump into the fray energetically. If we notice our speech becoming more rapid, or our voice becoming louder, then that’s a signal to us to take a step back and let them have their own emotions about the conflict at hand… It’s pretty tricky, and it keeps us more awake as people. It is an incredibly magical thing to witness a couple of small children figure out a workable solution to their volatile dilemma…and then walk away laughing together, more emotionally and socially intelligent than before.
Parenting is a life-long learning process of nurturing our connection with our children. Parenting is “messy” business. There is no “prescription” for dealing with the day-to-day challenges of raising children. There are however, basic communication tools that can assist parents in dealing positively with challenges, while deepening the relationship between parent and child. This workshop will focus on how children learn….
PUNISHMENTS and REWARDS: What to do Instead Setting boundaries that work with children Parenting is a life-long learning process of nurturing our connection with our children. Parenting is “messy” business. There is no “prescription” for dealing with the day-to-day challenges of raising children. There are however, basic communication tools that can assist parents in [...]
I have been ruminating on helicoptering. You know, that thing that we do at the park when we are afraid of offending other people via our child’s poor behavior. “Tommy! Don’t throw sand! Share your toys!”
“I secretly believed that sibling rivalry was something that happened to other people’s children. Somewhere in my brain lay the smug thought that I could outsmart the green-eyed monster by never doing any of the obvious things that all the other parents did to make their kids jealous of each other. I’d never compare, never take sides, never play favorites. If both boys knew they were loved equally, there might be a little squabble now and then, but what would they really have to fight about?
Now Hiring! We are looking for a compassionate, empowering teacher/facilitator, or an assistant teacher/facilitator and a few good substitute teachers who love to play and facilitate emergent plans with children.
Riviera PlaySchool pre-kindergarten program in Redondo Beach, CA www.RivieraPlaySchool.com