Thursday, September 17, 2009

Talking about kids

Is it okay to talk about children?

I get this question a lot in classes as there was a period in teaching where it was common to single out the child who was behaving and use them as the "model" child for others to try to be like. The problem with that is that most often the child was a quiet girl who was not very interactive or ever cause any problems. My belief is that you have to understand that there is a wide range of normal and as the adult you need to adapt more and work with children as individuals.

One cardinal rule for parents and teachers is: Don not talk negatively about children in their presence. Generally I have tried to also not say negative things about my children to anyone. not that they are perfect and that I don't have stories that might cast them in a negative light, but why would I want anyone that meets my children to think first of some story that I have told about them that might prove embarrassing now or in the future. In the era of Twitter, where everyone shares everything, I have a challenge for parents. Start with a 5 to 1 policy. You cannot say or write anything that may be viewed as a "problem" until you have shared 5 good things. Catch them being good. That way when you do share those moments where children are not at their best, then people see that as the anomaly rather than the good behavior as the time that stands out. The same rule goes for spouses. Focus on the good stuff.


  1. I LOVE this philosophy!!! After spending a day at school with my kiddos, my face sometimes needs a massage to get it out of the "WOWIE ZOWIE!!! I AM EXCITED ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!" stage. But my slow little people totally respond to my excitement. Yesterday I must have been over the top with one little boy, because another little boy put his face one inch from mine to see if it was real!!! I had to laugh.


  2. Great advice Duane. I'm totally loving your blog!