I’ve never been a person to put much stock in inspirational quotes. As a matter of fact, I have always secretly poked fun at people who put quotes up around their homes. “Don’t write about what you’re going to do, I would think to myself. Just do it.”
Having a baby changes everything, I guess, because now covering my bathroom mirror are quotes, not from famous people, but rather parenting advice from friends and family.
Last week, I was really struggling to get Ariana to settle down to sleep and I said to my baby nurse Pat, “I don’t know what I’ll do tonight when Ariana doesn’t settle down.”
Pat, in her soft spoken way said, “Perhaps you shouldn’t anticipate that things will go wrong. Anticipate that she will be fine, but if she is not try and soothe her.”
Such simple advice but I realized when she said it, it was the advice I needed to hear.
Assume it will go well and if it doesn’t figure out then what to do…
As you see in the picture above, I immediately added her words to my bathroom mirror.
Her words have been so helpful. It really was a matter of changing my mindset from one of assuming things would go poorly to one of assuming things would be fine and intervening when/if they weren’t.
Since I’ve added Pat’s advice on my mirror (and read those words every morning and evening), Ariana has been so much less fussy and I have been able to settle her down to sleep more easily.
I don’t know if she is growing up (she turned three weeks today 🙂 ), or if it’s my mindset, or perhaps a combination of both of these things but things are getting better-at least for now.
So what does this mean for teaching?
Two thoughts I am thinking but am hoping to hear your connections and thoughts as well.
At times when I visit a classroom of kids and I tell them we will be doing Writing Workshop together they groan—I know hard to believe that someone wouldn’t LOVE Writing Workshop!
When this happens, I stop everything and have a little bit of a heart to heart with the kids.
I say, “If you start off thinking that Writing Workshop won’t be fun it probably won’t be. If you start off saying wow, that could be interesting it might very well be.”
This usually calms the kids down and things tend to go much better just from those few words of advice from me. Really, if you think about it my words of advice in this situation are the same words of advice that Pat gave me. Assume it will go well and figure out later if there is a problem. Interesting that I can see it in work but needed to have it pointed out to me in parenting.
When talking with teachers about Writing Workshop, at times when I say that in a Writing Workshop kids choose their own topics I will have a few teachers say, “What if they can’t?”
I always respond by saying, “Let’s assume that the kids can choose their own topics and if they can’t we will brainstorm and figure out ways to help them.”
Once again..the same advice that Pat gave me.
Having a positive rather than a negative mind set has seemed to work with my parenting, as well as working with kids and teachers.
I would love to know your thoughts about this connection.
Until next time,