As part of the How to Speak Child project, I have been collecting interviews with children regarding how adults communicate with them. In each of a series of articles I'm writing for Teach Early Years magazine, I’m focussing on one prominent theme. This article deals with being polite.
My thanks to editor Jacob Stow for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at: https://www.teachwire.net
• How do you like a grown-up to be when they speak to you?
. If they talk to me, I like them to be a bit interesting and a bit nice. That’s how I like it. Polite and kind. L (male)
By far and away the most recurring request from all the children who have answered my questionnaire is for adults to be ‘polite’ and ‘nice’. Those two words out number all others, with ‘kind’ coming in a close third. The rest are way behind.
Last week I wrote about ‘praise’ - this week, I’d like to deal with it’s cousin ‘expectation’.
That voice that comes from inside us, telling us not to even bother trying, because we’re just no good at it; telling us we are and always have been hopeless at maths, spelling, art or whatever - that voice came from somewhere.
I bet that if you relate to that, you also know where and when that voice started for you. You know which teacher told you you couldn’t draw, which test you failed or what event exposed your weakness.
Do you think you received enough praise as a child? Or maybe you received too much? Do you think you praise your children enough? Or too much? Do you see any connection between your own experience regarding praise as a child and how you behave now as an adult?
I read a great many articles concerning our communications with children, and it’s surprising how at any given time, a common theme will rise to the surface. Recently that theme seems to have been praise.
I’m not much of a one for televisual talent competitions, but I watch them now and again (so shoot me!). There always seems to be a lot of talk about confidence from the competitors, and here as in day to day life, it is always viewed as a positive thing. However, I think something vital is being missed.
Following on from last week’s blogpost, I’d like to draw your attention to a speech given by Jack Ma at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.
Jack (also known as Ma Yun) is one of China’s most successful, powerful, wealthy and philanthropic business leaders who lectures widely about how to, in his own words, “help more people to make healthy money, 'sustainable money,' money that is not only good for themselves but also good for the society. That's the transformation we are aiming to make.”