Thursday, July 2, 2015

Speaking positive words

Manners are constantly challenged by everyday actions, social media comments, Vines, vulgar's everywhere!  In my classroom, there is no room for put-downs.  "Please" and "thank you" are words taught and used. Tier 2 academic vocabulary outweighs tier 1 everyday common words, slang included.  It is extremely difficult to enforce these ALL the time, but I'd like to think that I try to set up the atmosphere that is safe for the students to speak out without the fear of chastisement.  Middle school is a tough place.  My certain demographic for the last couple of years have shown me that these kids are really sensitive under all that tough exterior.

Our own kids are showing some qualities of spoiled brats, so we need to pause (#grandparentswillbegrandparents).  They recently received 'unbirthday presents,' and first reactions were not mannerous.  We did not like what we saw.

In raising two boys, we've tried to envision how we want them to be as grown men.

Here's our experiment: Invert negatives into positives.

  1. Use the word "hate" less.  Jesse: "I hate these headphones!" --> "I like the other headphones better."
  2. Nix "annoying."  --> Be specific.  "It's too loud."
  3. Change "boring." --> What IS fun?  "I like doing the math page instead of the writing page."
  4. Don't get so angry when you lose a game.  --> "Maybe I'll use Eye Brawl next time."  (Jesse was about to throw something at his brother for beating him at Skylanders.  I had him take a breath, and he came up with that on his own!  Yay.)
  5. Get "anger" out of the control room.  'Inside Out' was SUCH A GREAT MOVIE!  We are constantly revisiting our emotions, and now that the boys have a visual, they can communicate their feelings so much better.  

They even created another emotion, Awesomeness:

This parenting advice article made me nod my head to myself.  #6: "Don't catch every fall" is a philosophy that we've used since the boys were babies.  But they do need guidance.  The boys are lucky (or unlucky mwaha) that summer is learning time.  Learning to be positive.  Learning to be nice.  Learning to be gentlemen.  Bury "boys will be boys."