By Elia Rocha
Some years back, two new scooters were stolen from the shed in the preschool yard at the Play House West. Teachers shared the bad news with the kids and each child got the chance to talk about how the theft made them feel. Teachers wrote down their thoughts and stapled them onto the shed.
Talking about what happened and writing down their feelings gave the preschoolers an opportunity to take some power back from the theft. Children said things like, “You made everybody sad at my school," and "Please, please get out of our yard. Stay in your yard and get your own stuff."
While it is certainly a caregiver's job to protect children, when something bad does happen, it is just as important to acknowledge it and provide kids with a safe space to explore and process their feelings. For our children, who have had more than their fair share of bad things happen, it is all the more important to help them build the resiliency (the ability to bounce back) that they, and all kids, need.
When I saw the preschoolers' words stapled onto the shed, I remember thinking how powerful a message they were. They said, "We're here, this happened to us, we're a community, and we have a voice."
Various members of the Children Today staff contribute to these blog posts.