Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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I spent some time on the phone this morning with the mother of a first grader who’s finishing his first year. Mom’s ballistic. He’s not made any academic progress at all. He’s got some minor learning difficulties, but mom is saying things like “lazy” and “they” need to give him special help. If we stop for a minute and look through her son’s eyes, we see a delightful, full of energy, likes to be the center of attention little boy. He likes school, but by early afternoon, he’s into meltdown from the stress of it. From his perspective, he’s struggling with some major issues, and he needs his mom’s help. Take a moment to think about these questions from the Texas Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse:

• Do my parents really listen to me with their undivided attention?

• Do they take time to be with me, to play games with me?

• Are they sensitive to my feelings?

• Do they say “I’m sorry” when they know they have been wrong about something?

• Do they treat me with the same respect with which they want to be treated?

• Do my parents offer encouragement and praise?

• Do they put labels on me by saying I’m shy or lazy?

• Do they let me know how special and unique I am because of who I am and not because of what I can do?

• Do my parents set a good example?

• Do they allow me to make mistakes without criticism so I can learn from them?

• Do my parent take out their ”bad day” on me?

• Do they continuously nag and say “no”?

• If my parents were not my parents, would I want them for a friend?

Children aren’t perfect. Parents aren’t perfect. But we can all learn to be better. From 17-year-old Sean comes, “Everyone has goodness inside of them. Sometimes another person can spark it. Sort of like a chain reaction.”

So many times we don’t allow children to have the same qualities we value in adults. What is seen as a “high energy” adult is seen as a “hyperactive” child and we give him drugs. “Multi-tasking” in adults is seen as “attention deficit” in a child and we give him drugs. “Lazy” in a child is perceived as “mellow” in an adult. “Creative” in adults is “not following directions” in a child.

As the advocates for our children, our job is to frame the qualities in our child as being just the way they are supposed to be, indeed they are the things that will help our child serve her purpose in the world. Those little nuisance things like having to brush our teeth, eat right, learn the sounds of letters, and do algebra we can cope with. The truly great stuff like good interpersonal skills, the ability to make music, or the drive to find a cure for cancer comes out of the confidence of knowing that our parents are on our sides.