Isn’t it great to have a LONG weekend, even though most of you aren’t working this summer?
Something happened at our house this week that really brought home what my mentor 35 years ago said: “Children don’t grow up all at once and they don’t grow up in the same way.” Now, we all know that, but society/education decision makers want us to think that all children are the same. They will all accomplish goals and pass tests because if we are good teachers we will make that happen. Really???
Four-year-old Kalina and her mother came for a wonderful week. Kalina could draw and skip, but she couldn’t swim. She was terrified of the water and said, “I’m never going to put my face under!” We signed up for swim lessons every day she was here, and we had to bribe (yes, desperate times require desperate measures) with an ice cream cone to even get her to the first lesson. The teacher was so patient and had such clever techniques that I had tears in my eyes watching her work her magic. She sang songs, played games, and gave high fives and hugs throughout the lesson. There’s nothing like a GOOD teacher! Each day Kalina became a little more confident, talkative, and enthusiastic. Well, I think you know the rest of the story. She can put her head under water now and swim a teeny, tiny bit. What a JOYFUL moment when she realized, “I can do this!”
So it is with all children. They are not the same. They all have different strengths and weaknesses. You can’t force them to do anything they are not ready to do. They don’t jump in and swim laps…they blow bubbles, and then dog paddle, and then put their face under…little baby steps. They need to be encouraged, and supported, and enjoy the process.
Holly once commented, “Children take it in and take it in and take it in and then something comes out!” It’s true with swimming, and reading, and writing, and everything they do. Childhood must be enjoyed along the way because adulthood comes soon enough. Never feel guilty if you sing a song, say a poem, tell a joke, or do something just because…