Posted by: Roseann Murphy | February 6, 2012

At The Gate (an ongoing series)

 “The human capacity to care for others isn’t something trivial or something to be taken for granted. Rather, it is something we should cherish. Compassion is a marvel of human nature, a precious inner resource, and the foundation of our well-being and the harmony of our societies. If we seek happiness for ourselves, we should practice compassion: and if we seek happiness for others, we should also practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

At The Gate (An Ongoing Series)

       The Little River School Gate was a very special place.  It was the place where children said goodbye to their parents in the morning and greeted their parents at the end of the day.  This was a very intimate time.  Oftentimes parents were in a rush, but Magdalena and I always made certain that this moment was special.  The transition from home to school for very young children is a difficult time.  Although a child might look eager and run in with just a wave goodbye, there is always that moment in every child’s life where they wonder if their parent will return.
       All schools enter and exit in different fashions.  At Little River we made every effort to say good morning and remind the child that we are so glad they  arrived and  Mom and Dad will return in the afternoon. We made it a point to avoid morning departures that ended with, “when I pick you up we we will go for candy or a treat.”  The message always implied that the child would have to endure the day with a reward when they return.  Parents may not  realize the implication, but it was there.  We helped the transition by advising the parent to say a hug and a kiss goodbye and they would see them after school.  Children could just enjoy the activities without the worry and anticipation.
      The Gate served many purposes and over the course of the next few weeks we hope to share some of the memories of this intimate time.
– Post by Roseann Murphy
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Magdalena S. Palencia
 “when I pick you up we will go for candy or a treat.”  This sends different messages from the parent to the child. First, it defines school for the child as a punishment or chore that has to be rewarded. Also, it transfers the parents insecurity to the child. If the parent thinks they have to compensate putting a child somewhere with something like candy, then they are essentially apologizing to the child for where they are putting them. This affects a child, because they brought with them the uncomfortable feeling that their parents conveyed with this kind of bargaining when there was no need. This made it very difficult for the child to be present, enjoy and learn from the days experiences. Putting this pressure and expectation on the child, did not allow them to comfortably play, eat or sleep and affected the other children too. 
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