Here is the second in this series of articles based on conversations with children, and first published in Teach Early Years magazine. In each piece, I’ll focus on one prominent theme. For this one, it’s DISTRACTIONS!
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
- • What lesson would you like grown-ups to learn about how to talk to children?
- “Not to get lost in looking at their phones and then five minutes later say, ‘What?’" G (female)
Yes. This week I’d like to deal with the issue of attention. I’m not sure I understand exactly why it seems to be such a problem for us adults.
How many times have you heard a grown-up explain away, or dismiss, a child’s behaviour on the grounds that they are, “just doing it for attention” and have you ever stopped to think about what underpins that dismissal?
As part of the 'How to Speak Child' initiative, I have been asking children and young people to answer a short questionnaire around their experiences of communicating with adults.
This has taken many forms - some young people have filled out their answers alone and in their own time, I have interviewed some children face to face or on Skype and still others have asked the questions of their peers or siblings.
It’s interesting to ponder what our lives would be like without clocks or watches or timepieces of any kind. Would chaos ensue or would we find an entirely new way of organising ourselves? Perhaps our need for rigid time management would subside – we might evolve into a very different kind of human race.
The map is not the territory; clock measurement is not time itself; a calendar or to-do list is not a life.
It was my nephew’s 17th birthday this week, and this is the first year since he was born that an annual ritual remains unfulfilled.
The day after Sam was born, I laid him on a piece of paper, and drew round his fledgling form. Every year after that, either on or close to his birthday, we repeated this ceremony, needing a larger and larger piece of paper as he grew into the young man who is now old enough to try for a driving licence.