Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Too Quick to Judge

"Are these clean?," Tey asked as he reached for a spoon from the dishwasher at one breakfast last week. After placing it at his spot at the table, I saw him headed back to the dishwasher and grabbing for more silverware. I assumed the worse. He's getting his grubby hands all over on my clean dishes! He's gonna try to get a fork to see how that works for eating cereal! He's gonna make a mess! He should just be sitting and eating! "Tey, what are you doing?" I asked in an accusatory tone. "Putting away the clean dishes," he replied innocently. I proceeded to lay on the appreciation for taking initiative in helping to keep our house clean.

by Neilochka
Why did I not expect better from him? Why did I assume he was going to inconvenience me with a mess? Would that have been such an inconvenience I couldn't have just asked him to help clean up the mess later? That too would have been a great teachable moment, and lately I seem to be trying to avoid those instead of taking advantage of them.

This morning I was helping Bean cut his nails in the bathroom while Tey and Mei Mei were in her room playing. Right when I finish cutting the last toe, Bean asked me read a book to him and then I heard Mei Mei starting to fuss. "Not just yet," I said, "it sounds like your sister needs some rescuing from Tey." I walked into the room ready to talk Tey about taking toys from his sister, remind him to use gentle touches, etc. I saw him holding her head with one hand, his other hand in her face as, and she was wiggling to get free while growing more and more frustrated. After closer examination, I realized he was wiping her snotty nose with a tissue. Again, I thank Tey for taking initiative and helping his little sister.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I am too quick to judge my kids' behaviors for the worst. It's so discouraging when the tables are turned and someone does that to me. It really, really, REALLY bothers me. So, I feel awful that I do that with my own kids who, more often than not, are just trying to help. I don't even know how that has become my assumption. But no more!

With this post, I'm promising to change my perspective. I believe our kids will eventually fulfill our communicated expectations, whatever positive or negative. If we are quick to accuse, to blame, to assume, then we're setting them up for failure. I'm going to assume the best of their intentions and I think it will make a huge difference in the long run for them, but mostly for my own attitude. I know I need to lighten up a bit going into this homeschooling thing, and this is a good first step.

1 comment:

  1. The adult's perspective and the child's perspective are so different. One of the major challenges of many school situations is that teachers and other adults don't try to see how the child views the world. Have you read at all about the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy? You might find their philosophical approach interesting for a more child-centered take on learning.