All the World's a Stage
What kind of performance do you give?
The life we live is a performance of sorts. We portray the characters of who we are at home, at work, with friends, with acquaintances... Sometimes our actions are dictated by a script written by others and sometimes we are able to write the script ourselves. We must learn to act with others, but also to face the stage alone. And all the while there is an audience watching the performance; an audience ready to applaud or criticize. But most importantly, in this audience are children. These children are watching what we say, how we act and how we interact with the audience in order to learn for themselves, how to perform.
Acting with respect
We must be sure to treat others with respect, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because children deserve to be taught about respectful interactions. We must be sure to acknowledge our mistakes and react properly to them -which means to fix it, try it again or apologize for it. This will help show kids that not only are mistakes natural but how they should be handled when they happen. We must offer boundaries and behaviours that show respect to ourselves so children will model it and learn how important self is.
As we perform on the stage of life there are watchers in the wings. They aren't there to critique or criticize, they aren't there to take over our role like an understudy. They are there to listen, to learn and they will take your cues as their own.
Book recommendation: Yakkety Yak
This book, one of the Emotional Animal Alphabet books talks about a Yak who stutters, except when he yodels. It has him yodelling some very nice things to others (and we can see how they all respond) until finally he performs on stage and becomes a star.
It is a great book to get the conversation started about how we should interact to people.
"Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners" -- Mark Twain
Not only do children learn a lot from our performances but we can learn a lot from them too - check out my blog Learn to be present, and play to learn more.