In the Classroom: The Roadrunners
No right or wrong answers
Every morning, Roadrunners are invited to answer questions at drop off. Questions are opportunities for parent and child to discuss learning in the classroom. No answer is right or wrong; questions are simply a chance for children to have their opinions heard.
It may be tempting as adults to correct a child's response when they seem like “mistakes.” But by not correcting them, we respect them as the experts on their own feelings.
If a child says “I don’t know” we might feel the need to provide a response. But, by encouraging their own words, we affirm that it’s ok to not always know the answers.
We recognize the importance of encouraging ALL of children’s feelings. It can be challenging to see a child we love crying and not think about how to help them stop. But when we jump to, “don’t cry” or “you’re ok,” we invalidate their feelings of frustration, anger, or sadness. Instead, in the Roadrunners we might say, “you are so disappointed. It can be hard to not get what you want.”
There is a book we find useful called Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. It’s a reminder that our goal should not be to keep children compliant, or even happy all the time. Instead, we aim to support children’s confidence in their opinions, emotions, and personality, which support their development as critically-thinking, moral, powerful people.