Do you need some help?

A child walks up to you and offers you a banana. What do you do? You should say “Thank You” because in our culture, that body language says, “Here, have this banana.”

Kids can and should ask for help.

It is important that we expect our children to begin using their words to ask for specific help as soon as they learn to communicate with us. All speaking children can directly ask for help. Non-verbal children can use sign-language to ask for assistance. It is easy as parents and teachers to simply assume what our children want when they hand us their sealed snack packet or walk up to us and say, “I’m hungry”. Although, initially, this may be faster, it doesn’t allow them to practice the important skill of directly asking for help when it is needed. We can’t assume that every person our child speaks to now, and on into adulthood, will be able to automatically parse out their unspoken needs.  Passive requests can be both misinterpreted or completely missed.

So, for better or worse, next time your young child walks up to you and hands you an unopened bottle of glue or tells you they are thirsty, please help them rephrase and form a question. Invite them to include a “please” and “thank you” while they’re at it. Gracious words are always welcome.

The happiness project

As many of you already know, we have only one rule in the Pre-K classroom: be safe! This rule encompasses all that we do and say throughout the year. It means being safe with our bodies but it also involves being safe with our words and our friends’ feelings. Today, during morning meeting, some of the students had questions about how we can be safe with our friends’ feelings. We started a discussion about how we can “pass” happiness from person to person by using kind words and actions. Just a smile can change someone’s entire day around.

Mrs. Forst and I decided to demonstrate this by spreading happiness (glitter) on our hands and then passing it to a student through our morning greeting. The student then greeted their neighbor, passing on the happiness to yet another friend. Once everyone in our class was able to share in the happiness, we decided that we wanted to share it with the whole school! Our class walked up and down the hallways greeting any teacher or students they saw, passing on the happiness even further. Our hope is that our little bits of happiness and sparkle will spread throughout the whole school and possibility even into our families and community. Have you passed some happiness today?