The reason why I created a non violent preschool for my son, and the reason why I am on the hunt for a humanitarian school (or at the very least a compassionate teacher) for his elementary school experience, is completely selfish: I was a troubled child. I was the hard one. I had BIG emotions, and they were usually not understood. (OK, I admit it…I am STILL the troubled child, and I STILL have BIG emotions!)
There is a fine line between sympathy and empathy. Learning the difference can make huge changes in your relationship with your child. My mother was a professional worrier. Whenever I expressed having a problem with anything, she sympathized, “Oh my poor dear. That’s so awful. Do you really have to do that?” Her sympathy was not helpful. As a matter of fact, I stopped sharing my problems with her because then I had her feelings and worry to deal with as well as my own problem.
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….
Parents often have a hard time with children who “think they’re the boss.” The irony is, that none of us want a marshmallow, a follower; and most of us want a happy, self-satisfied, confident child! (…a leader, perhaps?) So maybe it is as easy as shifting our thinking! We can embrace it as AWESOME that our child knows what s/he wants! This is the type of child who will probably not follow the pack like a lemming out to sea! What our child needs is help learning ways to get those needs met; ways that don’t conflict with another’s ability to get their needs met! It is as simple as that!
Whoo-wee! PlaySchool for older kids! What will THAT look like?
Hiking, Collaborating on BIG plans, building, creating, exploring…….being free (like a kid should be….) (do you remmember those days? Wish you had them back? Why not provide that for Your child?)
Kindergarten through 2nd grade welcome!
When a Parent’s ‘I Love You’ Means ‘Do as I Say’
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….
Walking infants travel the length of 29 football fields each day….