Part of my job is going into classrooms to do lessons on whatever topic is relevant to what teachers see going on for kids. In a few 4th grade team meetings, teachers have commented on anxieties and worries that really seem to be distracting kids and preventing them from being totally present in school. So I found this really great lesson on WORRY. What are worries, how to cope with worry and what are the effects of worrying. Part of the lesson is making up a top ten list of the classes worries. What are kids worrying about the most. In three classes, the top three worries were: 1) Death 2) Home/Family 3) Money! These are not adults-these are 9 to 10 year kids. Friends, Grades, Personal Appearance (things I would
expect wish they would worry about)-and such had little to no presence on the worry list. The every loved catch phrase-peer pressure-NON EXISTENT in kids brains.
This was so amazing to many of us. It makes me think of many things. One being that there are no censures on kids anymore. We tell our kids everything. Talk to them, key them into all of what is going on. It is too much. I find even with my own kids, words and thoughts get twisted from their actual meaning. Saying to Ella two days before her birthday party that we can’t make a switch to a party at the gym partly because it is a lot money-got turned into telling Grandma that we don’t have enough money to have a party at the gym. Even with the best intentions, I think we have to work at allowing kids to be kids.
Our baby-sitters daughter is nine and she said that she struggles with clothes that are too old, make-up that is too much, and cell phones that are more phone then I will ever own. Why do we want kids to grow up so quickly? Why do we push our adult ways onto kids? Are we so happy? I don’t think so…
It also makes me think that as a society we are constantly blaming schools for our kids failures. But folks, if this small group of 70 kids is any kind of indicator there is a lot more going on in kids lives than school. I think our families are failing kids. And I think society is failing our families.
But on a lighter note…I had a really tough meeting today. Unconfortable topics, elephants in the room being brought to light. At the end of the day, my vice-principal complimented me on how I handled myself. Said I was very professional and even…wait for it…”You are an inspiration.” Really! What a fabulous thing to hear from someone you respect and doesn’t have to tell you those things like your parents are required to do…it says so in the parent handbook. 😉
Except from what I heard from kids today…maybe the handbook has changed.