Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What were you thinking?

There were two times today that I completely lost it and got all lecturey with the kids. The first time, they told me they "needed more paint" for a project, which then led through a wandering conversation to the fact that the reason was that the paint had spilled all over the box and nearby paper and was also on the floor, hands, and pants. Over the course of several yells, I informed them that they had skipped the most important points--that the paint had spilled and that there was a mess that needed addressing--and gone right to the fun part--that they needed more paint.

The second time was bath time, which for some reason is always either all sunshine and lollipops or all yelling. Tonight was not great. When a child informed me that we were all out of kid soap, I angrily remembered that I had put a new bottle in there two days--or one bath--ago. So they managed to use an entire bottle of kid soap in a single bath! I was livid as they explained the things they had tried to do, such as getting all the soap out of the bath sponge so that they could put "fresh" soap into it.

What they learned
Consider what people need to know when you bring a problem to them, and make sure you include the most important details first. Also, for crying out loud, only use a tiny bit of shampoo.

What I learned

Kids don't know things that you haven't taught them. I feel like I come back to this idea over and over again, but it remains true. It's obvious to me that if you see spilled paint, you deal with the spill before you seek out more paint. And if your shower is completely filled with bubbles, you don't need any more soap. But I have the benefit of a lot more years than them, and I need to remember that it's always my job to teach them, not their job to pick it up along the way.

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