Today I want to talk to you about the Conscious Discipline Skill of Perception . This is a tough one. Many times we perceive things that children do the way our parents perceived them. Though a tough one the power of perception is a powerful game changer. First and foremost as a early educator I have to remind myself that children are not BORN with skills to cope or drive or share or carry a lunch tray and balance it. I have to assume that I need to teach or train them each skill that I am asking them to perform. So , here’s an example of the Power of Perception from today.
Our friend Anisa had a hard time coming in the gate and then letting her daddy go home. By hard time I mean screaming and shaking and yelling no. I held her and took her near the calm down center. I did not make her go in. The calm down center is not a place to feel scolded. She sat outside the center and eventually ( 3 – 5 minutes ) I could hear her voice calming. I went back to Anisa and sat beside her on the floor and grabbed two of my new feeling buddies. ( Thankful for amazing friends and partners that give me wonderful gifts to use ! ) I had the angry doll and the sad doll in my lap. I looked at Anisa and smiled and asked her would she like to sit on my lap. She climbed on my lap . We just sat quietly for a couple minutes and breathed. I downloaded my ” calm ” to her. I took the two dolls. I said this one is sad… This little buddy is angry.
Which do you feel like ? She looked at the two faces and grabbed the sad one and hugged it. And hugged it.
And hugged it. We talked. A friend walked over to us and said “I think she would like a puzzle ” and laid it on our lap . Anisa started working the puzzle and smiling . Eventually I got up and went about my other routines and I looked over and Anisa was inside the calm down center. She wasn’t upset. She was playing with the feeling buddies.
She was just checking it out. I smiled. That was Anisa knowing that she might need to come here again and if she does.. this place to calm down isn’t so bad. It’s safe.
I say all that to say I could have looked at Anisa and said ” She is not scared. She is just pitching a fit. She will be fine. ” and walked away. I could have looked at Anisa and said ” This is ridiculous. All the other kids can handle this. I have so many things to do. You are making my day harder than it should be. ” But with the power of perception and the switch that is in my soul now I can look at Anisa and say ” You are safe. You are loved. It’s hard when daddy leaves. You love him so much. You can handle this. I will help you. ” I can perceive that Anisa is messing up my day or I can perceive Anisa is having a hard time and needs my help. This is what I am here for … right ? Eventually I suspect Anisa will be able to feel safe and not scared but it will happen more quickly if I help and not have the wrong perception.
Its also important to note that later in the morning Anisa went back to the feeling buddies and found the happy one and brought it to me. 🙂
If you would like to watch a 30 minute video with Dr Becky Bailey explaining the Power of Perception here is a video .
Something else exciting happened today. One of the ways we encourage children to be kind is recognizing ” acts of unsolicited kindness ” with our super hero KINDESS cape. Today I was reading a book and one of our smaller friends was having a hard time cutting his art work down from the easel. I asked two friends to help and neither did . Scarlett got up from where I was reading the book ( without being asked ) and went to help . .What a helpful friend. Thanks Scarlett for being so kind.
We are still all excited about the art center. Our walls are overflowing with art.
A daddy came to play today. Thanks Leo !
( Rochelle and Jessica came for a bit today too but I had no pictures! Thank you ! )
We are getting more and more in routine and enjoying exploring the materials . May we always have a sense of wonder .