Friday, July 27, 2007

controlling the weather

While teachers can have a lifelong effect on the way students think, psychologist Haim Ginott has focused on a more immediate aspect of impact: the creation of a positive or negative physical and emotional environment that can determine the quality of a child's life.

"I've come to a frightening conclusion," he said. "I am the decisive element in the classroom. My personal approach creates the climate. My daily mood makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. It is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized."

Yet as profound as this observation is for professional educators, it's even more so for parents. A parent's power to create the daily climate and lasting environment in which a child grows is so awesome it must be used consciously and responsibly.

Since our daily moods make the weather, we should try to shield our children from the thunder and lightning of our frustrations and anger. Instead of the dark clouds of cynicism, fear and depression, we should discipline our own emotions and give them the light and warmth of love, hope and good cheer. Conscious efforts to be positive, enthusiastic, and supportive can have a huge impact not only on the emotional well-being of our children, but on their ability to experience the joys and pains of childhood in healthy and constructive ways.

- Michael Josephson

Ahhhh, wasn't that nice of a self-help guru to tell us "Don't worry, be happy". Where have I heard that before? Ummmm. Bobby McFerrin? Don't think about the whistle, don't think about the whistle. And if you have no idea what this last bit is about, count yourself lucky. As for those that do, I probably owe you an apology for getting that song stuck in your head. I think it rode around in mine for about 5 years after that song came out.

So- be a ray of sunshine for your children. Keep the "thunder and lightning" caged up and tucked away back in those secret vaults that you only visit once per year to remind yourself what the contents are and that they are still there.

Great idea. You'll know if I'm able to fully embrace this thought when I return to being look_an_atheist or maybe I could be Sunbeam of Happiness instead of Fiery. Then I can have "You are my sunshine" stuck in my head.

put on a happy face


King Aardvark said...

I hope you're happy. You've ruined my brain for the rest of the afternoon.

Anyway, I've heard so much about how to behave around your children, most of it conflicting, that I don't know what to think. I've heard that you should act natural so that children will understand how to act normally in their relationships. I've heard and seen all sorts of strict disciplinary structures, and also the always happy types. All I know from experience is that the superstrict disciplinarian systems results in maladjusted passive-aggressive behaviour, but other than that, it seems like a crapshoot.

Fiery said...

King Aardvark, as I live and breathe, you're ALIVE!!!!! And still blogging! Your blog has been so....static. :(

I had to re-read my post to see which part fried your brain. Too many possibilities. ;-) Perhaps some whip cream to go with the tapioca I turned your brain into?

I've always tried to deal with my kids honestly. Even to the point of saying, "Look guys I'm having a really bad day and just need some time alone. I love you both very much, it's just hard to be me today." Or "Guess what? Mommy's ears are completely full and can't handle any more noise. Let's take a break and have some alone time so I don't wig out and lose my mind."

They're very understanding. They even talk about their own alone times and the need for privacy, space, quiet time.

I don't think I could honestly pull off Suzy Sunshine. I am a lousy liar when it comes to masking my personal reactions. One thing I'm not is an "emotion" liar. People pretty much know where they stand with me.

I completely agree on the super-strict. Usually leads to kids breaking loose and going wild when the opportunity presents and then acting all innocent or denying it.

Thanks for stopping back!!!!

Gramomster said...

OOooohhh, you!
The whistle is in my head!
You are my Sunshine would be better...

"Right little effin' ray of sunshine, aren't you?"

What is that from?!

Fiery said...

oh, I love movie trivia, but that one's beyond me. Dang! >:-|

As for the whistle...
mwhahahahahaha. Now on to infect the rest of the world.