Two things my family is working on is asking each other more questions and embracing.. don’t know mind or beginners mind. By embracing don’t know mind we shed our perceptions and biases of what we think should be. It is very similar to letting go of expectations–as the 12 step programs say.
Using questioning with the 4-6 year old age group has been difficult for me to embrace. I have noticed a remarkable improvement in kiddo’s behavior since I embraced it. I’m used to giving choices and being open to children’s suggestions with the elementary school age group and not preschool. I’ve had to let go of the idea that I’m The Adult and my kiddo should just do what I say. It also brings up uncomfortable feelings about cultural differences. I must say my thoughts have fluctuated between thinking– Yes, ma’am and Yes, Sir seem a little rigid—but at the same time it makes sense to me. I particularly like asking a question and if the answer is no telling kiddo, “The answer is Yes ma’am”.<—this is me embracing the paradox of it all>
Also, not every family gives children choices. So, what happens when I give a student choices and it overwhelms them. This is a particularly sticky question I’ve been asked as a ‘White Teacher‘. And, I haven’t found an answer I am completely comfortable with yet. I think I would look to veteran teachers around me to help me with children uncomfortable with making choices.
Through some reflection my husband and I noticed that we weren’t even asking each other questions regularly. I also realized that I wasn’t asking him questions because I thought I already knew what his answer would be.<Silly, silly thoughts.>
Some of my other thoughts on questions are that I need to question myself more. So far I compiled these 5 questions <I can’t remember where I found them>
5 mindful expressions/ questions< I’m sure they are similar to ones in 5 Questions that help us wake up.
1. I don’t know.
2. I was wrong.
3. I made a mistake.
4. It happens.
5. How can I help?
As I’ve been trying to keep the house and other things cleaner recently, I find this as an area where I cannot control my tone of voice. It’s hard not to get exasperated when kiddo brings in a large bucket with the bottom coated in mud. Now as I write this I see that she is only following my example of having a little glass jar with moss growing in it to show her what an ecosystem is. It’s very similar to these jars but I reused an old spaghetti sauce jar. I realize the reason I gave up trying to have a neat house is that it causes me great aggravation to have to continually pick up things, instead I’m really trying to see the clutter as a reminder that people I love live here and I do appreciate their presence.