I am sharing the two pictures above because both show big risks I have recently taken in my parenting.
Both times, taking this risk, although nerve wracking, brought my parenting to a new level.
The first picture is of Ariana sleeping without a swaddle.
Initially, I was scared to take this step with Ariana because she was already sleeping so well.
“Why ruin something that is already so good,” I thought to myself.
Interesting I have heard these very same words in schools when I have introduced a new idea to teachers.
My response always is, “Take a risk. Try something new! You could surprise yourself and it could even be better!
It was time for me to take my own advice!
I took the risk and unswaddled my daughter .
She actually slept better that night and stopped making groaning sounds throughout the entire night.
I realized that those sounds were her fighting to get our of the swaddle and now that she was out she could relax more.
Taking this kind of risk wasn’t perfect.
That are still nights that she needs to go to sleep with a swaddle and then I unswaddle her later.
Some nights she sleeps beautifully, while others she is more unsettled.
One thing is for sure: When I took a risk in my parenting Ariana moved to a new place–a more comfortable place.
The second picture is from a trip I recently took to Boston. I drove to Boston and then back home again alone with Ariana.
We stayed in two different homes and Ariana met a lot of new people in a short amount of time.
I was really nervous about this trip and actually considered not going.
Ariana had such a great little life in Hoboken, why ruin a good thing……she loved her crib, her walks through town and her calm peaceful schedule.
As I thought about this trip, all I could think were the hard parts of traveling alone with her…packing the car…feeding her while traveling,, changing her diaper in a rest stop…
Again, I thought, “Why mess up something so good?”
The reason…once again because the unknown could be even better!!!!
So we went..was it hard?
Ariana did get a bit stressed out not being in her routine but she met her cousins and as you can see from the picture above it was love at first sight!!!!!
Everything hard about the visit was worth it as she now has these wonderful relationships with her cousins in Boston!
What do I learn from both of these experiences?
Taking risks can be scary and messy but they always have pay off in some way.
The same goes for our teaching! Taking risks can be scary but always pay off in the end.
I try hard in my teaching to be someone who is always willing to take a risk, to try on a new idea, to take on a new perspective.
I think it’s what keeps me growing as an educator.
Sometimes I wonder, especially with all of the uproar around The Common Core Standards, if we could move quicker towards best practices if everyone (both proponents of the Common Core and folks apposed to it ) took a risk and tried to understand what the other side was saying… ..who knows maybe both would be surprised by what they learned and understood.
I hope this post helps you to embrace risk in your teaching.
Try out that new idea you’ve been wondering about…. Try to understand a colleague who thinks differently than you.
And if you find yourself saying what I said, “Why ruin something that is already so good?” remember by taking a risk you could you could surprise yourself and find that the new idea or perspective helps you teach or parent better than you could have imagined.
As always, I can’t wait to hear what you think.