Welcome readers! I want to guide you to the previous post – My Hiatis – to better understand what this post is accomplishing. After reading My Hiatis, I encourage full speed ahead for the following challenges -
CHALLENGE – join my fantasy seminar defining expectations written in social skills = rule and “the need for rules”; think; uncontrolled negative behavior; remember; think before you speak; appropriate; share; consequences; discipline problems and smile. Now understand unequivocally that each word defined must be black and white with no grey matter, otherwise how can they be a rule, as rule is defined as fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal. Each definition, therefore must fit every environment, male and female, every religion and culture. The definition must be clear for every child as we attempt to “teach kids to evaluate their own behaviour and to recognize and control their own inappropriate behaviours.” This will mean, for example, the teacher in grade one will have the same definition (expectation) of each rule as the grade two teacher so they are 100% transferable and not at all confusing. If uncontrolled negative behavior to one is speaking out of turn when a book is read, then it must be that way in other classrooms – no excited children spontaneously sharing ideas as a book is read because is this not interrupting (hint – to some). Look at appropriate, or the proper way things should be. If an appropriate behavior to one parent is to stay quiet while putting coats on, which should b morning, noon and night, it should be this way for the other. In this rule, it will then have to be determined what is the proper level of “quiet” for both parents? Does one allow more chatter than the other because really what is the definition of “stay quiet?” And what is the definition of share? How long does one child get the toy; who did get the toy first; is it necessary, in the definition of share that the toy be shared or is it OK that one child play exclusively with a toy? Challenge yourself with the words above to see if you can define them with no personal attachment; no emotional feelings behind the word; with confidence others will define the word EXACTLY the same as you. remember – objective and unequivocal. Challenge your spouse, other co-workers; your children, students and see what they come up with. Ponder whether a group of 10 adults, assessing a class of 15 children, would all come up with the same conclusions and subsequent treatment plan.
These challenges are far easier for me as I have done them with crowds of up to 150 professionals and families, always with the same conclusion – no rule, social skill, feeling, behavior is EVER black and white, there are factors present in, and surrounding all of us that make our judgement different than the next person. Personally, I will judge differently on a day I have a headache and am tired than the day before I am leaving on vacation. Collectively, I test attendees with the expectation to “recognize the feelings of others and respond appropriately” and there is NEVER one answer to a pictured feeling, therefore it is discovered every time that you can never recognize anyones feelings. And therefore can never understand, or recognize why they may be “looking” a particular way.
Simply put – rule following has been “taught” from the beginning of time and continues to be “taught” from 2 to 18 years of age and today we are more engulfed in bullying, self-harm, mental illness and suicide. To teach the rules means our children are still not there, not having yet received the degree in social skills, always searching for the “good” child. It is this, the judgement of feelings and behavior, the insult this process creates, that cause the actions and behaviors we so want to eliminate. Therefore, is it not time to know, not assume, KNOW that our children ARE enough. Start your day welcoming the kind, generous hearts and spirits of our kids, not searching all day for the bully and bully behviors. Seek and ye shall find, therefore seek out all the kindness and you will find only that.
Challenge – think about this simple explanation of what happy is – on the show Chelsey Lately, they were illustrating a new study on happiness from the university college of London explaining “they say that happiness is inside you and it is about expectations, for example if you expect 4 tacos and they gave you only two, you are going to be sad. But if you expect one and they give you two, you are going to be very happy.” So, if you expect the list of grey, subjective rules to be fulfilled there will be great disappointment BUT if you expect nothing and assume everything – you ARE already there – you will be VERY HAPPY!!!