What a sweet moment. What a sweet game. I hope they remember it always. These two little cutie pies invented and new game that meant more than they will ever realize.
The "I Fall Down But I'm O.K." game. As a avid Dr. Becky Bailey fan I consistently seek to "focus on what I want more of." At the onset of this game it was obvious that they simply wanted me to notice that they had "fallen down."
It began with a genuine fall of one of our little ones...then the others followed suite upon recognizing the attention I had given to the one truly injured. That was A O.K. with me! Once I realized the attention needing communication they were giving, I devised a plan to focus them on what they wanted more of as well...."I'm O.K.!"
See those happy faces! This was after they carefully placed themselves on the steps to once again receive my notice of injury, and subsequent question, "Are you o.k.?" "I O.K.!" they would shout, leap to their feet and giggle away.
It could have gone much differently. I wanted them to be the ones to tell themselves, and me, if they were o.k. or not. My goal here was not to issue a directive, but to notice, listen, and respond if needed.
It went like this...
The child would begin to "fall down" and look at me. I would then say, "Are you o.k.?" The child would think for just a moment and respond, "I o.k.!" hop up and I would give then a BIG high five and say, "GREAT!" "You did it!" " You are o.k.!" "See how STRONG you are!" "I knew you could do it!" They would respond, "I STRONG!" "I did it!" "I o.k." Sometimes they wanted more than one high five or a big hug then they would run off to do it again. Why did I choose to notice? Why did I choose to ask if they were o.k. instead of saying, "Ohhhh...you're o.k., get up, you're fine."
I wanted to acknowledge that yes, they had fallen...yes, I notice you...yes, I am concerned about you and love you...yes, I am going to let you self-assess to answer if you are o.k. or not. I wanted their focus to be on the strength they possessed to get back up. I wanted their focus to be that they are STRONG no matter if they fall down or not.
Why was this and is this important to development?
Since I focused on the act of them getting up and being o.k., and followed that up with, "You are STRONG!" "You did it!" "I knew you could do it!" "You did it, you fell down, but you got back up and you are o.k.!" And then followed that up with connection of high fives and hugs they became focused on the same...the ACT OF GETTING BACK UP...the feeling of being STRONG!
This is real life training. This is where what we speak into their little hearts and minds becomes the mantra for what they will be saying to themselves in coming years. They WILL fall down, life will knock them down, circumstances will try to keep them down, but if they have been trained that their focus is always on getting back up...that no matter what happened or happens that THEY ARE STRONG...THEY WILL BE STRONG...THEY WILL GET BACK UP!
How many of us want resilient children, resilient teens, resilient adults? We all do! How many of us want our first reaction in time of trial or "falling down" to be, "I am strong..I can do this...I am o.k." This is even in the Bible "Let the weak say, 'I am strong!'" It doesn't say, "Let the weak say, 'I can't...I'm weak!'" God said in His word that we are to say, "WE ARE STRONG!" (Joel 3:10) Why? Our words over our children hold powerful results just like our words over ourselves. If we want our children to believe they are strong, we must embolden them with genuine examples of us noticing and proclaiming their strength.
I pray that later in life when one of my children fall down, that the first thing they think is, "I AM STRONG, I CAN DO THIS...I AM O.K." and maybe, hopefully, all these little teachable moments add up to a lifetime of focus on GETTING BACK UP AGAIN.
I wish you well, and I hope you get to play today.
As a childcare owner and operator, homeschool momma, preschool teacher, blogger, and all around wearer of too many hats...moments like the one pictured here make me cringe. Not only due to the fact that I am uncertain what one of my own children may pass to those in my care, and vice versa, but the forced time CLOSED that those like myself have no choice but to take when one of our own children has an illness, fever, or symptoms that meet the State sanctioned closing protocol.
Since I have a hubby that can work from home, I can, at times, shift care of my little girly to him in a sequestered part of our home to prevent spread. However, there are still times when he, nor my back-ups can heed my call for help on a moment's notice.
Giddy Doesn't Even Begin To Describe!!
This is EXACTLY how I felt on the day I had a phone meeting with the amazing folks behind EnrollSmart.net. I was literally closed on that day due to a sudden 3 a.m. 102.5 fever of my little one. My hubby was out of town, my back-ups were unavailable and I had no choice but to close. I HATE closing my childcare/preschool. It puts families scrambling to call their back-ups at ungodly hours of the morning, or face missing work themselves. And we ALL know, with babies and toddlers, sick days are inevitable. But, having to plan for the sick days of your childcare provider is...well...a hassle at best, and at worst - very costly for all those involved.
Those days ARE OVER!!! Just one of the MAJOR benefits of EnrollSmart.net is the ability, for free, (YES I SAID FREE!!!) to post a standing "temporary" position to be able to pre-connect with available people looking for employment on either a full-time, part-time, temp, and/or every now and then type position in the Early Childhood Education industry.
THIS IS HUGE!!!
This means NO MORE forced close days! NO MORE calling weary families at 3 a.m. and apologizing for having to close! NO MORE loosing business due to too many sick days!!! Can I get an AMEN!?!
Yes, I realize it sounds like I must be a paid endorser, spouse, or employee of EnrollSmart.net. I AM NOT! I was simply at the right place (closed and feeling terribly sorry for my families) at the right time (when the caring folks at EnrollSmart.net called me!). It was absolutely NOT happenstance. Oh yes...and did I mention...IT'S FREE to ALL PROVIDERS!! (Insert happy dance here!)
It Is SOOOOO Much More Than A Meet And Greet...
The Enroll Smart Jobs Community
If you are looking to work in a child daycare center, join
the Enroll Smart Jobs Community. As a member our Jobs Community, childcare
centers can view your profile and then connect with you when they are in need of
staff to fill their full time, part time and substitute positions.
This Is Also A MAJOR Benefit For The Families You Serve
The feature I am most excited about, however, is just a small part of what this race car is capable of. It's major features are:
** How Our Family Smart Account Works Family creates a Smart Account that they own and can attach to as many as five schools or daycares for each of their children. The idea is that the account will stay with the family. **
Very interesting, eh?! It's SOOOO easy to test drive EnrollSmart.net. It will help you streamline your medical records, notify you of allergies, contact EMS in the event of an emergency, and keep the vital records of the children in your care UP TO DATE!
I am very excited about the possibilities presented here. I know ALL my families are looking forward to NO MORE CLOSED DAYS! Testify!!!
I wish you well...and I hope you get to play today.
Children are great teachers when we are listening with our hearts wide open.
My little Ally is a screamer. I’m not talking a little screaming…I mean I thought her colicky baby phase was tough! Whew…this is enough to make a grown man cry and it’s no exaggeration…ask her Daddy! She is passionate about EVERY emotion she feels, love, anger, compassion, generosity, pain, sadness…she swings for the fence.
She is 3.
There IS a certain amount of this that is expected for this age group. It is their appropriate level of maturity, just like the 2’s but with more gusto! However, she seems to excel in this as an art form and there are days as a preschool teacher, daycare provider, homeschool momma that it is
As an avid believer in Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline method (which, by the way, is all wrapped with L.O.V.E.) and one that has had excellent success utilizing this tool in real-life-no-time-for-do-overs application, I know it works. However…for my little Ally…it has not been working. So it seemed. So…I have been struggling with some pretty big mommy guilt that I am failing with the very reason for doing what I love to do, which is getting to spend so much time with my own children.
I have been praying, and praying, and praying for direction, answers, PATIENCE (yes…I know Grandma always said to never pray for this one!!), guidance, searching books, the Bible, my own attitudes for any clue that may give way to an answer. I have been praying my husband’s favorite prayer, “God, can you just give me the answer on a sticky note, preferably attached to my forehead, so I don’t miss it?”
I have been re-reading my Conscious Discipline books, deeply diving into my Bible, and brushing up on my skills. I keep getting the answer…love…love…love…love…love. L.O.V.E. This has applied
to SO many areas of my life lately. I have tried so many methods. I am well trained in appropriate
Early Childhood Education and practices…YES…this child is WELL loved, adored, cherished, and amazing…but, I am talking about responding in love with a child that is kicking, screaming, writhing around just waiting for her head to pop off kind of crazy for hours; and me, quietly, patiently, tenderly responding in love when I am hanging on to my last itty bitty bit of sanity myself.
How does Annie Lennox apply??
I woke up several mornings in a row with, “Feels like I’m Walking on Broken Glass,” by Annie Lennox playing in loop in my mind. WEIRD!! This is a song I am certain I haven’t heard since my high school days, but God plopped this one on my heart. I knew this was part of MY learning and I would get it if I listened with MY HEART WIDE OPEN!
When a child, or anyone else for that matter, is hurting, it doesn’t take much to rip open wounds and expose raw nerves…like walking on broken glass. It can happen when everything is going great and there is seemingly no reason for an outburst...”The sun’s still shining in the big blue sky, “
because to one who is hurting outside circumstances are irrelevant. All of their senses are immersed in pain.
This is where the love comes in… furthermore, it has to be weapons-of-mass-destruction-grade kind of love that BLOWS the hurt out of the water. It has to be extremely deliberate and premeditated, conscious acts of love. To heal hurt, recover relationships, and restore bonds, it MUST BE extraordinary acts of love.
In real life application of God’s most current lesson taught to me by not only the children I teach but, my very own little one, I have learned there is no substitute for quality time spent.
Caution...Work in Progress...
I think we should all be required to wear this as a necklace around our necks :)
So….you are wondering…what has changed? What are you REALLY doing to help her?? It looks like this:
*Putting her first in line, first at meals, first for potty
*Asking her…not just allowing her to help me ALL the time, even when it will take me 5 times too long to complete a
*Asking her…not just allowing her to sit in my lap first for
story times, coloring times, painting times.
*Asking her what she would like to do each day BEFORE the day begins.
*Having meaningful conversations with her to find out what she is
*Making time and taking time even when I don’t have the time to
just sit and hold her.
Do you see the theme here? It means putting DOWN my preconceived ideas about what I think she should want, or what one might consider fair, or asking her to wait for me to be available (which communicates she is only important when it’s convenient for me), laying aside my ideas, my
plans, my to-do list, my priorities, and REALLY TRULY seeing her needs…
This is what God does for us and asks of us as well…we may see others around us that seemingly receive more, better miracles, more answered prayers, more provisions… Look at it with the eyes of a loving parent of a hurting child crying out for attention. To consistently and persistently put others needs before my own. Love lays down self... (Matthew 22:33-40) for the love of others. I could choose to ignore the one (physically or figuratively) screaming, kicking, acting out their hurt and leave them feeling abandoned and alone to fix a problem they may not have the skill, or maturity, or tools to fix themselves, or I can choose the kind of self-abandoned love that pours out attention and affection, that heals wounds, fixes broken hearts, protects, endures, and soothes… after all...we are all just a "Work In Progress."
A popular Facebook post says, "Real circumstances reveal fake people." This is so sad and a revealing of pain and hurt. The truth? Real circumstances reveal areas of need...areas where we are a "work in progress" and "caution, handle with prayer."
This also means my laundry isn’t done, my house is a mess, my work isn’t complete…but the ones that matter to me most...that God has placed into my life for the PURPOSE of loving, KNOW they are loved and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today.
I learn so much from watching children play...from teaching them to love, have concern for others, to share, to dream, to create...
I am abundently blessed to be able to do what I do. It is an amazing journey...not easy, but AMAZING!
I wanted to share today's "lesson" with you. Three of the little boys in my care were playing "superhero." This is a favorite game of theirs. Someone is the hero, the villian, the victim. Its always the same scenerio. Sometimes the tempers will flare and someone will actually get offended, but for the most part, its simply fun "practice" for the problems in their lives that they are working out in a play setting.
Today, the "hero" heard the cry of the victim and rushed over to say, "Don't worry little one (something I call them), I will SAVE THE DAY!!!" This was just precious. At 3 he was certain he could "save the day."
What innocent, precious confidence. I absolutely love his resolve and tenderness toward another. How refreshing that our children are already hard-wired to lend a hand, to save another in distress. At what point do some loose this selflessness? It is very sad indeed, but true. As adults we all too often decide who is worthy of our help, our time, our resolve. As innocent children we simply respond to need. I see this everyday in their "play."
May we always seek to "save the day" for someone in distress. It often times only takes the act of acknowledgement that someone is in need. Others times it will be committment of resources...but it will always be worth it.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com