In today’s quick blog post, I want to share some thoughts about pausing and how pausing before I react helps me both as a parent and a teacher.
I just finished reading the book, Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.
It’s the story of one American mother and what she discovered about the wisdom of French parenting.
The book was interesting in both good and bad ways. (That’s for another blog post!)
One tidbit that Pamela learned from her French friends was how to get babies to as they call it ‘do their nights.’
They talk about the importance of the pause.
Rather than running to the crying child or ignoring him/her altogether, supposedly all French parents pause before reacting.
The pause helps them to see if their baby needs help or if he/she will be able to get themselves back to sleep.
Interestingly, that was the exact advice my American friend gave me when I was trying to help Ariana sleep through the night. 🙂
Pausing also helped me to get Ariana to play in her crib by herself in the morning. At first, she would wake up crying but when I paused she would settle down and happily play
This seemingly simple idea of a pause had huge payoffs as a parent. Ariana was sleeping through the night at a young age and still plays in her crib for 45 minutes in the morning.
Let’s be clear though. It is not perfect. Ariana does need my help sometimes. She has nights that she is teething. She has bad dreams. At times, I am not sure what’s wrong but she needs me.
The pause is not perfect but it has made a difference.
What this book and my American friend reminded me of is that when we pause we teach our kids to become more self-directed.
I know that Ariana feels more confident when she can do things herself, whether it’s playing with her toy or getting herself back to sleep. It’s tempting to react immediately but the pay off for not doing so is huge.
I must admit I like it as well.
I get a good night sleep (most nights) and most mornings I have some time to drink coffee and answer emails.
The pause is good for both parent and child.
This pause is paramount in our teaching as well.
When we pause rather than jump in and help our students we are a empowering them to realize just how much they can do on their own.
And just as Ariana would rather do things herself, it’s the same for our students.
Yes, the pause is good for our students but it makes our job as teachers easier.
I remind myself often that if I’m working too hard as a teacher there is something remiss in my teaching . My kids should be working just as hard as I am (if not harder)
I would love to hear how pausing has helped either your parenting or teaching.
Until next time,