As a teacher, you find yourself saying similar expressions over and over. Some last weeks, others months and some even years. In my many years of teaching there are a few that even made their way into our family life.
One such expression is “direction given, direction followed”. As both a teacher and parent I always hate having to repeat myself. Now, I know that as a teacher some children need directions repeated, but that is not the kind of repeating that drives me crazy. It’s the I’ll get there soon and then they forget what you asked them to do. Or the I’m too busy doing x, y or z to listen to the direction you gave me. Or the I’m going to question this direction because I don’t want to do that now… or ever. So over the years I came up with the expression “direction given, direction followed”. The intention of this quote was I’m not stating it again. I’ve told you what you need to do… so do it!
Another quote that I find myself saying a lot is “You are capable of this” “I don’t need to help you, you can do it yourself” “Prove yourself wrong” or some variation on this. At school I deal with this a lot more than at home, but it does come up at home too. So often children are afraid to take chances, afraid to fail. They think that if they ask for help you will do it for them. That you will make it “all workout” and then they won’t have to try, won’t have to fail. Children need to know that you are there for them, but that you won’t do things for them. I will talk you through the steps, but you will do it. I will help with things that you’ve never experienced or are hesitant to do, with good cause. My oldest son is hesitant in the kitchen because he is afraid to get burned. I’m not going to force him to move a pan that maybe heavy for him, but I’m not going to let him not try to cook and feed into his fear. Children need to see that you have faith they can do it, then they will try.
The last one,that I’ll talk about in this post, is my quote from this past school year… it’s not that kind of important. This quote I use to avoid drama. There are so many situations with children and adults where they see a situation and fuel it bigger than it needs to be. You need to step back and see… is this really worth my energy? It is really worth the emotional level that I’m giving it? Is it worth giving that person/event/situation the kind of attention that I am, or should I say “it’s not that kind of important” and walk away?
I feel that these quotes were not just a tool for me, but for the children I interact with. At school the quote “you are capable” hits hard with so many kids. I hear them saying it to each other. I hear it as self-talk when times get hard. In my home “It’s not that kind of important” is said by all four of us. We are pretty much all type A people and can get worked up over things that are necessarily worth getting worked up over. So figuring out what is not that kind of important helps keep the drama down.
What kinds of quotes do you use in your life? Has something that someone else has said influenced you and your emotions? Let me hear your favorite things to say over and over!