Kids These Days!
As I walked into the third grade math classroom, there was a child that struck me as, well, different.... from the bottom of her toes to the top of her head. Her gold-colored flashy shoes made me curious. I stared at her hair for probably a little too long before I finally decided that it wasn't her natural hair color. She further confirmed my suspicion about what type of child she was when she turned her head to reveal that half of it was shaved. When she opened her mouth, all my doubt had dissipated...yep, this child was not doubt the product of a millennial, or at least a product of that type of thinking.
Now I know you're probably thinking, I've seen your profile pic, you kind of look like a millennial yourself. Well yes, I suppose I am in the literal sense. But that's not what this post is about. It's also not about bashing millennials. This is about proving that your children will feature your own qualities in themselves, whether you want them to or not. They are a product of what is put into them, and what better way to see that then through the extreme example of a millennial third grader?!
Now as I spent more time observing in this classroom, I discovered that this girl was very kind-hearted. But I could tell that her attitudes toward certain things where a little different than the typical third grader.
On a particular day, my host teacher had work stations set up. There were about five different tables, each set up with a different activity and a different group of students. I was asked to stick with a group and so I chose to follow Ms. Millennial (M) around for the day. With my coffee thermos still in hand, I pulled up an extra seat near her group.
M- (wide-eyed) "Is that coffee?!
E- "Yes...Do you drink coffee?"
M- "Well sometimes my mom gives it to me if I need to get going in the morning. Ugh, don't tempt me with that. I'm so tired."
E- "Are you having a rough morning?"
M- (in a mopy voice) "Ugh, yes, I'm having such a rough morning. Nothing's going right....(Some more complaining)."
Another student- "M, You're always having a rough morning!"
It was not so much what she said that reminded me of the views of this up and coming generation, but rather the way she said it.
There was also another instance during the day when I asked her to please put her name on an assignment before she turned it in. She sat there, quiet, for a couple of minutes and then got excited like she had an "Aha" moment. "I'm going to draw a chicken saying, "Hello" instead, it just feels right," she said. This little girl had me laughing for days, but it also made me realize just how much of their surroundings children absorb. And the surroundings for society as a whole has changed drastically during the past few years. But that doesn't mean that you can't control the surroundings at home. You have the power to influence those who are around you, especially your children. You have the power to lift up and the power to destroy. It really is a privilege to be able to have a realm of influence over children. So be a little more careful with your words, a little more strict with television, and a little more proactive when it comes to showing them that you love them. Just as with anything else, you get out what you put in. Of course, we can't control everything that passes by our children's eyes. But children that surround us actually tell us a lot about ourselves.
Calm, but Strict
During my journey of observing at an elementary school, I discovered a great variety of teachers. I found that in each classroom, the students would both feed off of and replicate the teacher's energy for that day. Believe it or not,one of the calmest environments that I witnessed in this school occurred in a Kindergarten classroom. Yeah, I was shocked too! But the students really took after their teacher. This teacher was so calm and even spoke in a low voice. I was astounded! How did she maintain such great order if she was so soft-spoken?! And then it happened.
One of the little boys in the classroom started messing around while she was teaching. She very sternly told him to stop what he was doing and that she wasn't going to ask him again. Her remark was so abrupt that it reminded me of one of those small yappy dogs that barks just to make a threat and then goes back to having fun once their presence has been established. After she spoke to that boy, she went right on teaching, as if a disruption had never even occurred. I was absolutely amazed. Never before had I seen such a complete balance of love and compassion and a sternness as well. But her class followed suit.
They're watching you, and they're also rooting for you. Don't ever think that you're too late to teach your child something new or that you're too late to work with them to eradicate a behavior trait that you don't particularly like. It may be tough in the beginning, but you'll both get past it. And if you focus on the end result, you may even get there faster. And remember to pray for your children. Pray that they'll be open to change if that's what's needed and pray for yourself. Pray that God will grant you the wisdom to get done what needs to get done!