Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Early morning........






It's that early morning time again - when all the world is still asleep - and I am sitting in the dead quiet contemplating the day ahead - and some of the days behind........... 

I am cursed though you know.  Today I have a day of "running around" - out to the Island to check on my lil school - off to the shops to try and find two retirement gifts for current staff - then off to the dollar store to buy piles and piles ......... and more piles.... of supplies for my kiddies at my BIG school - and then if there's time - stop and buy groceries for me before heading back to school for 3 this afternoon.  I could have used a good night's sleep - I could have used the extra hour of sleep - but no.......... this was the morning I woke at 4 to stare at the clock slowly ticking off the minutes till the alarm.  It's gonna be a longggggggggggg day.


About 2 weeks ago (I think it was) I had an episode during the lunch hour........ where one child shared a granola bar with another child (against rules...... there is no sharing of food) and of course as the fates would have it.... the granola bar had peanuts in it...... and the child who took a bite of said granola bar had an allergy to peanuts.  


BUT that isn't the story (really) ......... I spent the next two days drilling in to the kiddies why there is no sharing of food... why when we share food bad things can happen.... don't share food... don't share food... don't share food.  Was the message I drilled into their lil heads.

And instead of getting better - the incidents of sharing food sky rocketed.  I was pulling my hair out.  What was going on????

Well on Monday we had our workshop for my staff - my untrained staff .  I of course was going to attend - show support and all that ........... and one of the lessons of the morning was how to phrase things positively.  To banish the word "NO" from our vocabulary.  So "NO RUNNING in the hallways" - becomes "Thank you for walking"  ..........so "No yelling" becomes "Please use indoor voices".  because when we say no no no ... the kids do it anyway........ in fact the kids do it more.  


So my lectures on NO SHARING ....... were a waste of time.  What the children took away from my serious talks - was not how serious it could be - not how a child had been rushed to the hospital ...........nope the one word that they took from all the words I spoke was.......... you guessed it ........ "SHARE"  Thus the increase in sharing food.  What I should have said was "We eat our OWN food" ............ 


And I have been thinking about that........ hell I have proof that their theory is correct....and it fascinates me.  And it doesn't just work that way with children - but with everyone.  Negatives do not work.  Use positives and people will hear you and be more inclined to follow the rules - direction - whatever term you want to use.

And it seems to me - in the early hours of this morning - that we humans are weird creatures - "NO" makes us do something more - and "YES" makes us comply.  Subliminal messages we don't even know we are giving............ 

Then I got to thinking about all the "negative" messages I hear - we all hear - every day.  I was thinking about the messages I have received ....... like the stop smoking messages.  I have heard "It's really hard to do most people fail and have to stop smoking over and over again".  "You can't do it alone - you need help"   I wonder if people heard - "You can stop smoking... You are stronger than the cigarettes - You can do it" if the rate of successful stop smoking campaigns would be higher.


Same as losing weight or exercising more.  You can't do it by yourself - you need help - you need diet plans - diet pills.  You won't keep up exercising by yourself - you need a buddy / partner to do it .......   I wonder what would happen if everyone took the attitude that You CAN do anything you put my mind to....... yeah that's what I am wondering - in this early morning when nothing much else is filling my head................

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You hit the bull's eye on the aspect of "no" with children. Early in my teaching career my mentor teacher explained and demonstrated this idea. Lo and behold it truly does work! As does the compliment stating the rule in a positive way!

Reading this morning almost made me miss the classroom and working wtih children and teachers... but I came to reality quickly and remembered how much I enjoy my leisure time now.
Joyce