Being a speech therapist has made me incredibly aware of the words I choose to use. Instead of telling children what not to do, for example, I always phrase my statements toward what they should be doing.
“Keep your shoes on at school.”
“Take turns with the glue sticks.”
“Ask him if you can use that dinosaur.”
Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. For example, the curved blocks that are shaped exactly like a pistol? The piece that is 2/3 of the bridge, pictured. Why do they put those in the preschool? So that I can say, over and over, “We do not play guns at school.” If I was going to add a positive, what would it be? “We only play guns at home.” Whaaaat? Um… how about we never play guns. Ever. Unless it’s a squirt gun and we have perfectly innocent intentions. Or we are old enough and mature enough to understand the duality of gun rights.
I digress. Another thing that I constantly find myself saying is, “We always use kind words.” All I want to say is, “No whining! No hitting! Stop grabbing those toys from each other!” But the kids are starting to catch on. A preschooler today literally got “all up in” another preschooler’s face. His face was twisted into a “you wanna piece a me?!” glare. “You ALWAYS be mean to me!” He shouted, the spit landing on her cheeks.
I’m not sure of her innocence, I didn’t see the altercation until it was too late. However, that was no way to treat a lady. I was about four steps away when I turned around and heard the interaction. Before I could cover the distance, one of the students I’ve worked with the entire year beats me to it.
He taps his peer on the shoulder. The indignant preschooler turned and my little buddy told him firmly, “Weah all fwends at school!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.