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.
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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