Ramona

At naptime I read a few pages from chapter books – Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. Last year I came to a section in Ramona the Brave where Ramona is talking about her first grade teacher, who dislikes her and makes it known.  “Ramona dreaded school because she felt Mrs. Griggs did not like her, and she did not enjoy spending the whole day in a room with someone who did not like her, especially when that person was in charge.”

Ouch.

I know that there have been children that get under my skin – it’s a fact of life! But put yourself in the shoes of the child who is ALWAYS getting called out for misbehaving. If redirection and discipline is always done in a negative fashion, what is that child learning everyday? “I always get in trouble at school. My teacher is always mad at me. The other kids know I’m naughty.”

FRONTAL LOBE!!! Yes, you will always have children who need more guidance than others. But think – Jesus loves this child so much that He died for this child. How will you treat a fellow child of God? How would YOU want to be treated?

“Do your best.”

This is one of the standard ‘scripts’ that I use with children when we’re working on behavior/rules/procedures. 

Really, isn’t that all you can ask of anyone? To expect each child to be perfect is unrealistic, and the recipe for an ulcer. Young children are YOUNG, and life is just practice for the next step. These three words can help them know that you aren’t looking for the work of an adult, or even a bigger child -just the best they can do. So often they are proud to show you their best – their best name writing, their best cut-out circle, their best ‘putting-on-my-coat’. Our job is to be nothing but encouraging when they have done their work. “Great job! That was really hard, and you did your best! I’m so proud of you.”