An instance where bending the rules is okay, and this woman handled the situation quite well, translated…
Continuing on the discussion from last week of “Whether or not we can stop blaming the child for doing something wrong, and see the motives of the child’s misbehaviors”, I’d recalled an experience I had, giving a lecture in Hualien.
Because of my work, I had many opportunities, to head into the schools to lecture on gender education, and when I talk to a group of elementary-age students, in order to encourage children to speak out, I’d prepared small gifts to give to the students who spoke up. And, this was, a very good tactic for the children in the elementary years, no matter what school it was that I’d gone, the children’s hands go up in the air, and stay up, in order to encourage them to speak out their own opinions, I would, normally hope the children who’d received the small gifts already, to leave the chances to answer for other children as well. Of course, sometimes, the kids would keep their hands raised and answer the questions just the same, and I’d not minded that much, after all, my aim was to, encourage them to voice out their opinions, then, focus on the key points, or find out what they’re confused on.
not my picture…
That time, I’d gone to a school with just over a hundred students total, and the kids were very active in answering the questions, even though I kept repeating, “Do give your other classmates a chance”, those who’d already answered still kept their hands raised. After my lecture, a teacher took a child to see me, I’d remembered him, he was, once of the active question asking students. The teacher told me, “this child had something to tell the teacher. But because the teacher told the rules clearly, that those who’d asked a question, should save the opportunity for someone else, he’d received three gifts already, and in order to abide by the rules, I’d had him come and return the extra gifts back to you.”
Seeing how the child bit his lip out of embarrassment, wiggling his body, I’d almost blurted out, “It’s okay, I just wanted to encourage them, to voice their opinions more!”
Thankfully, however, I’d gotten those extra two seconds to think, and during those two extra seconds, I’d, understood the teacher’s motive: teaching the child to obey by the rules was her job, and since I’d already set up the rule of “after you’d answered, you shouldn’t answer again”, if I’d told the child, “it’s okay”, then, I would have, undermined his instructor’s lesson to him, and, it could mislead the child into thinking “those rules aren’t for real”.
And so, I’d told the child, “It’s true! I’d said, to give other students a chance, because I really don’t know if everybody understands what I’m talking about, and, if more students talked to me, then, I’d get a better idea.” He’d become, more wiggly then, and I’d added, “but, I want to thank you, for being so attentive to my speech, and I need to thank you even more, for coming to me and telling me the truth; and, in order to thank you for being honest, I want to return the post-it notes to you as a gift, is that okay?”
not my photo…
Back then, I was, quite worried about the reaction of the teacher, I’d turned around and looked at her, saw her, smiling back, and that was when, I’d let out, a sigh of relief. She’d told the child, “You need to say thank you to the teacher!”, he’d blurted out happily, “Thank you, teacher!”, then, the instructor led him back to his class.
I felt, that the child’s back was hopping up and down with excitement (although it wasn’t actually, and yet, I’d given a high-five to the instructor mentally!
So, this, is the importance of teaching children to abide by the rules, and, the rules shouldn’t get bent easily, because if you bend the rules with children, then, they will learn to find the holes, but, in this case, the lecturer managed it well, she’d still rewarded the child, for being honest, and, this teaches the child that being honest has its rewards and, hopefully, that would be enough to motivate this kid, to be honest in whatever it is he does.
Story of the Kitchen