You know what’s fun? Doing what others say you can’t do. I think that’s a quote, and if not, it should be.
Being an Early Childhood Ed Major, I heard over and over again….positive! you must be encouraging and positive with little people! I even had a professor who insisted for every criticism or correction you gave a child, you were to cushion the blow with 3 positive interactions. I pictured it like this:
Jimmy! Stop eating that glue! (correction)
Would you be interested in tape? Tape is super fun, too! (redirection)
I adore your shirt, is that Gap? (positive#1)
I love the way you are not eating your glue stick! Keep it up! (positive #2)
Is that Metallica you’re humming? I love that song! (positive #3)
For children, I think it’s an awesome concept. Everyone knows, if you are only going to get chewed on by an adult everytime you move, or eat your art supplies….you may start to decide that living a life of crime is a good idea. Why not? Might as well, right? So, I comply with this 3 to 1 rule when I teach preschool, or deal with my own kids, or husband, or mailman.
However, I’m starting to wonder if all this positive is good and works for 40-year-old me in the same way it works for kids. Only because, encouragement these days doesn’t seem to fuel me. Actually, once I got past about 3rd grade, the positives have been known to irritate and bug.
You are fabulous just the way you are!
Don’t tell me that. These words are plain crazy. It’s totally normal to want to always be making yourself more than you are. And I will if I wanna! See? I’m kind of a stinker, and not the normal kind of girl who wants to hear inspiring words from her friends.
I was reminded of how much I love my friend Magen when I lamented to her….”Littlest is so creative. Going to school will suck all of it out him, don’t you think?” and her reply…”Ya, probably”. To which I then spent the next 10 minutes explaining to her that obviously that would NOT happen. I’m a backwards kind of girl.
Except when traveling, because I tend to get carsick.
I remember my high school guidance counselor looking me dead in the eye….”sweetheart, you just aren’t college material” I laughed awkwardly, because what else could my 17-year-old self do? I waited for the punchline. When he started talking about beauty school and learning a vocation, I stopped laughing. He wasn’t joking. I walked out of his small, cramped office boiling hot and in tears.
He predicted my ACT score wouldn’t be high enough, but it was. I never pretended to be a serious, scholarly student, and looking back, I’m sure I fit nicely into the stereotype of ditzy blonde. (My sincere shock in geography class at learning about Australia being its own continent and everything went a long way to perpetuate this image)
I didn’t give off the air of valedictorian. Not even close. But deciding to go to college was a good decision for me. I’ve told this story a few times, and I always get cries of outrage from my listener. I used to join in, but I don’t anymore, because even though I would be upset if my child were told this from a trusted authority figure, I’ve come to see what the “you aren’t college material” sentence did for me.
I double majored in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University. I DID it. And those words were always kept close to me, and I pulled them out often….to examine them, kinda like you would if you saw a dead animal on the side of the road. Ewwww! What’s that? Yuck. And it was always followed by, whew! so glad I got a chance to prove that prediction wrong.
Because, truly, whether you go to college, or you don’t…no one deserves to hear that you shouldn’t even try.
What made me think of all this? I’ve been told there’s no way I can make money blogging. I might as well just give up that little dream NOW.
I marvelled at what this does to me. It makes me recall all the times I’ve made stuff happen, mostly because I was told I couldn’t. I could have gotten mad, and put ex lax in the naysayers coffee….but instead, I smiled like a Cheshire cat. Oh really? I can’t make money blogging? I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but by golly….I’ll figure it out.
As long as it has nothing to do with Algebra, I’ll figure it out.
Mr. Know it all by Kelly Clarkson