You will do this because I said so.
I am the adult. You will NOT do that to an adult.
You will sit here until I tell you to move.
Why are you doing such bad stuff?
I wonder what the child heard?
I wonder what the child felt?
I wonder if we hear ourselves talking like this?
I wonder if there is a way to remind ourselves about the need for reflection?
I wonder how often parents and educators take time to revisit these moments, and consider more
I wonder what could be said that would help
build a child
to shine a light on the path he/she should go?
I wonder how many of us think about the way we speak to children?
I wonder what would happen if we spoke to children the same way we spoke to our best friend?
I wonder if children already and always know we are in charge?
Don't we tower over them?
Aren't they dependent on us for everything?
I wonder why we respond in a controlling, angry, reactive way?
Especially to behaviors that are developmentally in the norm?
I wonder what would happen,
when a preschooler
shouts at us
sticks a tongue out at us
if we held the thought..
just for a moment...
"this is developmentally in the norm"
I wonder what would happen if we whispered a response to their angry voices, daring to model a calmer presence
I wonder what would happen if we calmly repeated the larger message - "We do not hit. We are safe here" or
scripted some better behaviors for them, such as,
"put your hands on your hips," "take a deep breath"
I wonder what would happen if we simply held the angry child, to keep him/her from hurting others, and retained our calm voice - "I see you are very upset. I'll hold you until you are calm. We'll talk then."
Or - if we are seething, unable to be calm,
I wonder what would happen if we simply told the child that
we need to take a break
and then walked away, for a moment,
daring to model more appropriate ways to deal with frustration and anger?
I wonder if it is easier only in the short run
to bark at the child
and insist that we are in control?
I wonder why we call this discipline?
I wonder what we are teaching?
I wonder what would happen if we dared to apologize to the child for our angry voice?
I wonder what would happen if we asked for a "do over"?
I wonder if there's always going to be tension between
doing what is best for the child
and getting our own adult goals accomplished?
I wonder how to make peace with the tension...and reflect?
I wonder what would happen if parents and educators continually reflected on their discipline techniques and approaches?