Learned Behaviors

The puzzle is too hard, the piece wont fit. What does the four year old do? “AHHHHHHHHH I can’t do it! Too hard!”

 

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I walk over, look and see how there are two pieces that if turned the right way, the whole work would be complete and this activity could be finished! One of the concepts we have at the program I am employed at (and I stand by) is children are to finish the work they choose, and to not leave tasks unfinished.  He screams more and gives me a pout.  I ask him

“Can you please use your manners”

“I cant do it. I need help”

“I see you are stuck, but I have a job of my own, can you try it until I can come and see?” He nods and tearfully turns back to his work.  I finish my job and come back to him, nothing has been changed, modified or tried. 

“I see you haven’t tried anything.  I cannot help you until you try”

“I CANT! AHHHHHHHHH”

“I cannot help you when you are not using good manners” At this I walk away and help another child who is working quietly and with good manners.  In a few minutes he dies down to blubbering, still shouting occasionally.  Then he stops, quietly walks over to me and taps me on the shoulder.

“Hi! I see you have used your good manners.  What can I help you with?”

“I cant figure out the piece, can you come help me please?”

At this point he has turned to a positive well mannered behavior so I respond

“Yes, since you asked so nicely I can come and sit with you” So I follow him back to his table and watch.  He putters around and is waiting for my answer.  I give him a tip, without giving the answer

“I see that you need to remove a few pieces, then try a different way” At this he takes out the two troublesome pieces, and rearranges.  He finally gets to the last piece, its going to fit, he wiggles it in and ta-da! He cheers, he celebrates and is happy! He looks at me:

“Thank you!”

“All I did was give you a tip, you did the work” Smile.  “how do you feel?”

“I feel great”

One of the hardest points we have as role models (parent, grandparent, teacher, guardian) is to not jump in when a child with a problem screams and acts out, but to guide them to ask for help in a nice way and to respond in such.  When you help a child to learn that good manners are helpful and screaming upset moments (no matter how faked, or real) are not accetpable, you are guiding a childs behavior and hopefully setting them up for a stronger foot hold in society.  So remember:

~Reward good manners

~Ignore or tell a child that bad manners will not get a response or help

~Let a child get upset, by not acknowledging, you take away the power of the negative

~Always remind a child afterwards of the good they accomplished, not by pushing “GOOD BOY” but “You did it! You have(accomplished work, describe briefly) and how do you feel?”

 

To The Hereo’s Of Father Day

A Father’s Day blessing to the true heroes out there. To the fathers to be who wait patiently while their wives struggle with infertility or loss. To the fathers who lost their children due to unfair custody, women who stole/kidnapped or women who are uncaring/uncooperative. To the step fathers who stood in, unconditionally loving and caring. To the widower who mourns his lost love yet still wakes each day with his children in mind, always taking the next step forward. To the true heroes of Father’s Day, you are not forgotten.

Bieber Fever Still?

As a preschool teacher I love watching children express their sense of fashion and creativity in how they dress.  It can be amusing, invigorating or just plain awesome.  But today I saw a shirt that threw me off.  Yes, I hate seeing a cult society in what hip has to be copied, but getting a four year old a shirt that says ‘ Future Mrs. Bieber” made me wonder, why? What is the point of this? Justin Beiber is a one time wonder from youtube who was seen, published and pushed to be a popular and iconic hit.  And yes, you find all sorts of shirts for older women, cups, and posters that celebrate “future mrs ……”.

But what does it mean when a four year old wears a shirt assuming that in fifteen years she is going to be arm candy for a one hit wonder? Its not cute, its not funny, its just kind of sad.  Let them try out shorts and skirts, sneakers and sandals, tanks and dresses… but giving them an assumed position, its just degrading.  Your child is worth more.

The Rumor Mill

One thing that still astounds me is seeing a rumor transform into a horrible monster of a false truth. It’s like the adult version of the telephone game, but with far worse consequences. The first time I saw the bad effects I was 19, working at a summer camp, and listening to the guys talk about girls with bad reputations. Suddenly one pops up and says I shouldn’t say much, because they heard I slept with five different guys last year! I was shocked… I hadn’t even dated them but apparently the social group was convinced that I had done the nasty and was quite a girl because of it! Another rumor that popped up due to an angry friend (who I didn’t even realize was angry) was telling all my friends I was trying to steal her husband, thankfully most of my friends knew that was untrue and tried to quash the untruth.

The latest batch that has hit me with many repercussions, is now to the point of making me sigh. So I had a fellow employee I was working with, and at the time I had a few clients who were making things difficult. I was instructed by my boss to make notes and observations so that not only could I cover my ass if something happened, but I could get issues off my chest. One of the days when things got overly heated between us, she stormed out with my book of notes. I was confused why she stole it, considering if had years of observations of kids, and almost nothing pertaining to her. In fact, my boss went over it, and agreed there was only one sentence that was my opinion about something that she had done. That’s it, in all the pages and pages, one sentence. But now, a few of the other employees are looking at me funny, because the rumor mill has turned it into the fact that I was making a ‘burn book’. I didn’t find this out myself, my boss told me that this is what they were complaining about, they wanted to see this book and wanted to know why I wasn’t fired because obviously I was writing about everyone in horrible ways! I had to laugh, because not only was it far from the truth, it was everyone else who had begun hating, complaining and trying to get me fired for items and incidents that didn’t happen!

Oh rumor mill, just keep turning.

Going

I have no clue

What I am striding for

Life is confusing

Lost it’s core

You’re supposed to strive

To fight for your goals

What about your life?

What about your woes?

I feel lost, completely unhinged

Life has taken it, life is tinged.

My History Repeating Itself

why

I was having a great chat on the phone with an old friend past Wednesday night. It was when I was going over my past terrible drama with work, and discussing past history, that I realized history had repeated itself. This time, again, I was taking the blame for a situation that really didnt affect the world around us, but I was drug through the mudd and called dumb as such. Lets go back.

“Common, its almost lunch time!” My friend called to me as we crossed the road to the high school across the street. Of course, the high school had the vending machines. We were going across to get chips for her. As her best friend it was my job to get the chips for her. The money I had was actually for swimming that afternoon, but she told me that if I sneak in with the rest of the group, then I wont be noticed, or have to pay. Therefore, my loonie was better spent on her, as I was her Best friend. After punching the buttons into the machine, she selected what she was getting, and we rushed back across the quiet street of our town. As we strolled back in the hallway, suddenly our third grade teacher stepped into the hallway… dah dah DAHAHAHAHAH…

“What are you girls doing?”

“Uh.”

“Well…”

“We havent even said grace yet and you are out of the building?” suddenly, my friend pipes up…

“Its not my fault, she makes me spend her dollar-”

“What dollar?”

“Her swimming dollar on snacks”… well after that lets just say it got bad. So I got blamed for convincing her to come with me to buy snacks… The situation being I was told I had to go and spend my dollar to buy her snacks (which she said was for me, I never got to eat them) that I ate and was sneaking into the pool without paying. So my punishment? In school suspension for a week. I remember afterwards how if I went near the other girls in the school I was ignored for trying to tell on her. After my week of in school suspension, the other girls would come near me and mock me for trying to tattle tale, or they would blow dandelions in my face as a sign of being below their status. What did this teach me? That I cannot trust others for their intentions.

This year I got pinned by an investigation by a co-worker that quit, then called a complaint that resulted in me being blamed and ignored by other girls who she had under her arm for the past three months!! Now I am under supervision, unable to close or open shop (which is fantastic in some ways), all because some girl couldn’t talk through her issues, come forward with what she thought was wrong, or even talk to me? Point being? I cannot trust others for their intentions. Twenty years later and people are still untrustable.

Drinking and Geeking

The Drunken Moogle

The other day I was introduced to a site that makes nerds and drunks finally come together! Yes, I like my alcohol, not really persay as in throwing all my inabitions to the wind, but its so fun to try something new and fantastical that is associated with our favorite games/movies/shows!

As I stroll through, it really amuses me how much thought was put together with this site! Sometimes there are stories behind how its made, why its made, there are great pictures to show how its done, and videos! The part that really made me giggle was how there were drinking games associated with some of the shows, yeah… I guess some of our nerds are really bottling it down ;)

So if your up for a laugh, a chuckle or an inspired by game drink, check out http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com. Enjoy! and

 

Pulling it all Together!

My good friend went on a trip and brought me back a book on how to knit amigurumi (usually crotcheted), but made for people with my skills! See, I’m one of the few knitters that HATE HATE HATE double pointed knitting needles. Its not that I don’t like the needles, or know how to use them, its that when I do knit with them, I end up getting tracks, or gaps, between where the needles connect.  Now, I have been told how to fix this, but with how I knit, its just not working! Since I am a creative individual I have found various patterns for everything that involved two needles and sewing (which I have become an amazing expert on!) except for socks, but hey, one day I will try!

So I get this amazing book all about two needles and sewing, and I am thrilled! I decide this weekend that I will try one of the patterns out.  So its all good, I make all the pieces, top, bottom, two parts for each claw, and eight short legs.  As I look at my mess of pieces I feel silly, wouldn’t it be easier to just cut fabric and sew it together to make this? Why not try it with double pointed knitting needles? Is this even going to fit together and look right? I put my fears and anxieties aside, and after an hour of fighting with it, I did it!!! and I’m not even too crabby about it :P

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Sorry to see you go, Dont let the Door hit you on the Way Out

I had the unfortunate turn around of seeing a coworker leave after it started to turn ugly. Now, I believe that any situation can be dealt with, and possibly turned around with the right problem solving skills. I have tried twice now to try and give these skills to other co-workers who have left angrily, upset about what they believe are horrible conditions, situations, and unbelievable stories. Instead of dealing with the situation, or confronting it, they end up ignoring it, acting and behaving inappropriately, and ending up fired, or leaving with such anger that they believe it was all everyone else fault. But lets look at what they could have done to confront the situation?

1) Write down all the issues, problems and situations that have bothered you, and why!

2) For each of the above written points, write down three ways to solve, fix, or change the situation for the better, not just for you but for everyone. Make sure these are plausible, effective, and for good effort, explain why this solution will work.

3) Now that you have some solutions, go to the person in charge, or the person(s) you need to confront. Ask them if they can sit with you, that the time is correct and effective, if needed bring in an unbiased mediator. Then sit, say you have some issues, and get at it. If needed, leave your notes with that person for them to think it over, and please ask them for a reply within a certain plausible amount of time.

4) Listen to their solutions, reasons, and answers. Actually take time to listen. Do NOT shut them down because they seem to be ignorant, or you feel you are not being taken seriously. They have listened to you, take time to listen to them.

5) If all parties are willing to come to an agreement, then work towards it! Find a goal, set the plan, and implement!

Unfortunately, sometimes not all parties can agree, sometimes the situation cannot be resolved and it is best to walk away, but try to do so without burning bridges or flying out with all demons loosed. To my co-worker that is leaving and doing so, I leave this message:

I am sorry that you felt you could not come to me with your concerns. I am sorry that you are so angry that you cannot see me as a friend. I am sorry you are leaving, instead of trying to work out this situation. Good luck with the next turn your path in life will take.

It’s a Bird! It’s a plane! No, its ‘Super’ Ocarina!

I have fallen for the ocarina.  Its a neat little chambered instruments, that because of its rigidity comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, tunes, and colors.  It can be an amazing what finds you can dig up, of ocarinas that are decades old, homemade decadents, or even artistic pieces.  But sometimes, you find a twist in something that really makes you shake your head.

Now, a lot of the ocarina love comes from a Zelda game called Ocarina of Time, where a young boy uses a magical ocarina to change times, summon his horse, call his friend, or warp to certain points of the map.  Its amazing! So a lot of the gamers, collectors and nerds starting finding Zelda ocarinas IRL (in real life) so they too could be as magical as Link and Zelda.  More love comes from flute players who are in love with the basics of flute history, with its cousin the Xun and various other instruments as such (over twenty varieties if you wish to start with the basics, possibly hundreds of different types after that!)

Now, there are few great sellers in this western hemisphere who can cater to your ocarina collecting needs, my favorite being http://www.songbirdocarina.com . This site is smaller and has more unique items that are affordable, my favorite being the double harmonic that is so challenging but greatly fun to learn!

Now, there is another site that is more towards the market needs, and towards what they think the consumer will charge for.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have ordered from their site, like their Zelda rupee ocarina and their teacarina! But one thing that shocks me, is their superhero ocarina.  http://www.stlocarina.com/suoc.html with their caption ‘awaken your inner hero’. You can choose from five ocarinas that have a cover of Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, or Iron Man.  But what have they to do with the ocarina, or a flute? Nothing.  Zip. So why does this supplier have the idea to market super heroes on this tradition instrument that in the past decades has never been commercialized? They are trying to hit a new generation that has been taken by storm by the hero’s of today. Sounds like a great idea, but at the same time, this traditional loving musician doesn’t understand it.   I may be one of the view too, as most of these super hero ocarinas are out of stock, screaming that this ploy is working.  I wonder if in years to come it will be more popular to have a Thor ocarina, than to understand where it all started?