We have many amazing educators at Children’s Choice, and I am always inspired when I have the opportunity to observe them in action. On one such day in Jacksonville, Florida, I watched an educator as she created a great circle time for her two-year-olds. I learned a gesture and a line from her that I have used in meetings as well as in personal conversations.
Two-year-old children tend to get “off subject” when you are reading a book. We certainly want them to get involved in the story, and we strongly encourage open discussion. Part of their learning and our assessment of their learning is listening to their perception of stories and their verbal skills. However, sometimes we need to move on—to the next page, the next concept, or the next activity—because there is so much more to discover. Ms. Sheronda had such an expressive hand gesture and sing-song way of saying “M-o-v-i-n-g O-n.” When she did this, the children magically followed her suggestion and moved on with her to the next exciting discovery. Ms. Sheronda is now leading a great class for Children’s Choice in Birmingham, Alabama. I salute you, Ms. Sheronda! You taught me something that day, and I appreciate you and all of our educators who do such a wonderful job every day.
Some of my greatest life lessons have come from children, and I learned another one just yesterday. Our two-year-old granddaughter didn’t want to leave our home after spending the day with us. Once she realized that staying wasn’t an option, we went through our good-bye ritual. We walked her and her big sister to the car, strapped them in, and said our good-byes. Just before the car pulled out, she called her Poppy over. He opened her door, and she said, “Kisses, Poppy.” He gave her kisses. She said, “Hugs, Poppy.” He gave her hugs. She then said, “Now, go back in the house.” Of course, we all laughed out loud. She was in charge, she was calling the shots, and she had moved on.
If the holiday week did not go as you had planned, or if you have unmet expectations regarding other issues—perhaps it is time to just move on. Maybe you don’t celebrate the holidays as others do, and your young child doesn’t understand. Explain the best that you can but then move on. What I know for sure is that children feel much more secure when the adults who care for them are confident in their leadership. There are times to allow your child to discover the world around him, and there are times to move on.
Children are so very resilient and welcome the idea of discovering new things. Adults are the ones who get stuck. We stay with negative thoughts, harbor attitudes of hurt and resentment, or keep playing that scene of failure over and over in our minds. When you or those around you get stuck in negativity, find a creative and positive way to simply move on.
Written by Donna McClintock, COO Children’s Choice Learning Center, Inc.