H20 TO GO!
Growing Emotional Resiliency & Navigating Through Childhood
with Heart, Humor & OptimismBy Margo Judge
The Final Word-A Practical Application for Gaining Perspective
The Beginner's 'What Would You Do If You Were'...Conversation
But we also want to put them in a
position of some control and take them out of reaction mode and into action mode. So, this is going
to be the very beginning of putting them in the director’s chair and Action!
When your young child
tells you anything they didn’t like at school-a friend was mean, the teacher yelled, the quiz was really hard
the very first thing to do is ask why? It makes your child have to explain beyond what I call
the declaration statement. (This will be a great tool for increasing their analytical skills) The second thing is to
emapthize with your child's feelings. (Remember, we want to promote their empathy, therefore we need to show it towards them)
But, we can also add a little perspective and empowerment. That is the third element of our conversation.
so sorry X was mean. But you know, everybody can get a little mean sometimes. However, if they really like each other,
they can make up and be friends again. Anyway,let me ask you something. if you were the President of the United Friends of
(name of child’s school) What would you proclaim as a definition of a friend? How should friends
act towards each other? And what do you think should happen when a friend is mean to other friend?
If your child says, 'I don't know'
then you can suggest some ideas and then ask them how they'd feel about that.
2) I’m so sorry the teacher yelled. Obviously, she was cranky she didn’t get enough
sleep last night. See? That’s why you need a lot of sleep, so you won’t be cranky with other
people. I get cranky too when I haven’t had enough sleep. Everyone gets
cranky sometimes. And some of us yell. So next time she yells, just think-oh no! Not enough sleep.
Better just ignore her. So, if you were President of the United Teachers of XYZ School, how would you like teachers
to act? How should they treat students?
fun with this. Homework, no homework? Added fun classes. This is a chance to use
humor and be creative
3)I’m sorry the quiz was hard and you got a bad grade.
Well, there will be good grade days, and bad grade days. That’s normal. You
can’t have good grade days all the time! If you ask anyone who is grown up—doctors,
scientists, writers, teachers, especially teachers, they will tell you they definitely had a lots of bad grade days.
What, you should be an exception? (And smile) Ok, if you were President of the United Testers of XYZ School, what would
you do about tests? Get rid of them altogether? Have fewer? What would be a better idea than a
quiz, or a test?
4) Now, after
you’ve had this conversation, you can tell your child that you think he/she would make an
excellent President of the United Anything. And one day, you are sure he/she will be a leader and can
make those kinds of changes (no matter how outlandish they might sound, it doesn’t matter. What matters
is that your child feels he/she can actually take an action and make something happen)
5) Finally give your child
a hug and say that next time he/she gets upset about someone or something to just think—
If I were President, boy would things be different! And wait until I get home and tell Mommy how I would
change things! Then save it for later when you can share with me, and just go on to other things, ok?
When we get to Perspective in Middle School
(next week) I will talk a great deal about Teachers, Peers, Sports, Extra-Curricular Activities and how important it becomes
that kids do not get stuck in the moment and shut down. This approach to conversations about grade school is a beginning.
It introduces a wider view.
It continues Humor
And it promises a better tomorrow.
They don't get stuck in reaction mode,
and the journey towards emotional resilience can continue.
Have a great weekend playing around with your wider lens! And what would you do
if you were President of Whatever? Fun round table, or car trip talk!
The Envelope Please
Before H20 to Go! moves down the road and through one of the rougher
patches of its journey, I would like to mention one more aspect of Perspective that is truly left to us. Our priorities, our
reactions, our worries, our disappointments will leave their marks on the emotional health of our children. And nowhere
will this be more a fact than for those of us whose children will be applying to private nursery school or kindergarten, grade
school or Middle School, High School or College. Nowhere will our nerves be more on edge than in respect to decisions that
are out of our control-our children's acceptance or rejections. At no time will it be more important to have some much
So, here I am! To offer some!
To help you step back and take a longer and wider view so that you can help your children do the same.
The Envelope Please
Before we get into the specifics of school, and helping our kids not get stuck, let's
talk about us not getting stuck in our own angst-ridden moment in time--as in a crumpled or framed (depending on the contents)
envelope that will inform whether our kids have been accepted or rejected by the school of choice It would be unrealistic
and unfair, looking back to say-don't worry relax, it will all be fine. Even though knowing what
I know now, it will, in fact, be ok. Right now, you're too much at the center, juggling your own
angst and your child's, listening too much to that inner voice needling and hinting-What might we have
done better or differently? And why is the selection process so rigid? And if it's such a crapshoot, what
about all those prep courses-especially when my child does not test well??!! Or, why do admissions have to
discriminate against children with highs and lows, and conclude that because Sammy cannot read well, he will never
read well? And why is there such hesitation with quirky, inquisitive children who ask lots of questions--not
because they like to interrupt, but because they have naturally restless, discerning and inquisitive natures? Why
is it that Admissions people fail to see our children the way we see them? You want so much for your child to be acknowledged
for all his/her unique attributes and talents. You want him/her to be and feel accepted. You want him/her to thrive and succeed
and you think, in spite of your more rational side, that the forthcoming envelope will hold the key. And,
it has been a tough time for your children with the interview process, the entrance exams, the applications-so very
unsure, are they still, (you too!) how to isolate rejections, and all too quick to equate a rejection with failure.
But in the end, no matter what, it reflects on us, as parents, right? That is how we feel, if we are being
perfectly honest with ourselves-At this moment in time, their success will be our success, their disappointments
will be ours, and their sense of themselves will be our sense of ourselves and them.
Well, I am here to offer this advice and consolation: There is a natural, inescapable order
to the world. We, as parents, will always be our child's first and best advocate until our child can be
his/her own. Schools and teachers will always be our child's first and best route to knowledge, but not necessarily
their personal advocates. We should not approach education thinking that either a school, or its teachers will 'understand
or appreciate our child. Their job actually, is to understand their subjects well, and appreciate the world of learning.
True, some schools and teachers will be better at that than others. But, it is left to us, to teach our children
how to get along in that natural order, how to best function in it, so they are never victims, and how to take advantage
of whatever it has to offer, so they can move beyond, and ultimately succeed. There is a natural order
to acceptances and rejections-Admissions requirements. Random selectivity A balance of diversity,
The necessity to fill a particular need. It is left to us, to help our children understand that one moment in time-one
rejection, one hope dashed, one wish not fulfilled-does not a future determine, nor, a person's
worth decide. In life, for every rejection there will be an acceptance, for every hope dashed, there will be one realized,
for every mark not reached, there will be another surpassed. And a person's worth can only grow over a long period
of time. That is the natural order of the world. Whether our children get into our first choice or theirs makes
no difference in the larger scheme of fate. It is what our child DOES with any choice that will determine how far
he/she actually travels. Our children's school life is very long, with many lessons to be learned along the way. So,
I leave you with this MomOpinion truism: IT TRULY MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHERE OUR CHILDREN GO, IT MATTERS WHAT
THEY MAKE OF WHERE THEY GO. If we can help our little ones explore that notion, our elementary school kids
understand that idea, our teenagers accept that fact, our college kids expand on that philosophy, they will have
power and control and success will be in their hands.. .to shape and mold.
So now I can say to you, do not worry. They will be end up where they end
up for a whole host of reasons that may have nothing to do with the obvious. the logical or the fair.And wherever they are
with your support and optimism, they truly can make anything they want happen. There are no locked doors while growing
up. There is no one port of entry on the voyage to achievement. There will be many moments in time. And many chances.
This is just the beginning. And the envelope please...
Installment#15/Ch 3 Part 2/Intro