Lately, I have been pondering on how we have created an inauthentic childhood. We tell children to hold an emoji to tell us how they feel. We tell them they have to be friends with every child in the classroom, “We are all friends.” We even describe their feelings for them, I see that you are frustrated.” We constantly limit what they can and cannot do, even when it goes against their instincts and choices. “Tree cookies need to stay in the block area.” “Wear your coat because it is cold outside.” We fill them with fears that stunt their risk-taking when we say to them, “Be careful, you may fall.” We tell them to sit down and not move when they need to move their bodies.
An educator tells a child, "We don't hit our friends." The child responds, "He is not my friend." This is a true story that happened as I observed students during a clinical practicum class. For some reason, in early childhood education programs, many educators habitually use the word “friends” when they talk to children. "Let's hold hands, friends" or "time to sit together, friends." They also spend time reminding children that everyone in the program is a friend. What’s the problem with forcing the concept of friendship on children? I think that the simple vignette offered at the beginning of this blog is the answer.
Welcome to the blog! The place where I play with words, play with questions, and often go down the rabbit hole.
I invite you to read and ask questions, be inspired, and discover your thoughts and ideas.