You Know What It's Like

Unbelievable! Everyday happenings!

Archive for the tag “preschoolers”

“Man Charged With Sexual Assault of Young Girl”

I know this is a harsh title but it is how my day began today.

“What? No not this, not this family!”  Dumbfounded, that really is all you can feel when you read that a man who you know, in fact you know the whole family has committed the unthinkable!

I first meant this family about four and a half years ago.  The sudden parents of eight kids ranging from six months to about 15 years. A young couple who discovered that they couldn’t have children of their own had decided to adopt a whole family, an almost unheard of feat. The adoption was unusual because of the number of children, because it crossed state lines, and because all of the children have some “damage” from their past,  both physical and mental difficulties.

It was through an educational situation that I was introduced to this family.  They wanted there youngest to have a good preschool experience.  That coupled with the fact that my agency has a lot of connections to help families with a plethora of needs is how we ended up having a close relationship with them.  We supported them through their year-long adoption process, various health problems, and assessments, lost jobs and financial difficulties.  We celebrated their final paper signing, four years of birthdays, educational and emotional milestones with them.

This man this “father” not just accused of sexual assault, but also admitting to it. The details are not known yet.  Was it one of his own, a neighbor, someone from their church?  I don’t know.  The paper stated that “after the act he apologized to the girl and then they prayed about it so it wouldn’t happen again.” But obviously it did “happen again”.  How could it happen once, let alone again?

I understand that you can’t possibly pick out the depraved, simply by their looks, and yet,” not this, and not this family”.  That is all that I kept thinking this has sickened me so.  These children who needed stability, love and a second chance left with what, an even worse view of the world, even more mistrust of the people who should love them, protect them?  Why, why, why?

How can someone take the innocence of a child in this way? Could there be any greater sin? Could there be any sicker individual? Why couldn’t we have seen something? Done something? My eyes have wept many tears of sorrow in the past few days and my heart is heavy with sadness…

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

The Story of Feelings

The name of this blog is actually the name of a book by Laurie Berkner.  It is a children’s book that talks about feelings and gives children a description of what they may be feeling, when I cry I am sad and crying makes me feel better.  Laughing makes me feel better, when I am happy, yelling when I am angry is okay and makes me feel better.

I am fortunate to work with preschoolers on a daily basis!  I know some of you will find it hard to believe that I truly adore these three to five-year olds so much.  There is probably not an age that is nearly this honest, this inquisitive,  or this innocent in so many ways.  Trust me I have meant a few kiddos who seem to be a bit too precocious for their wee years, yet even in that, it is usually due to exposure out of their control and I feel that still spotlights their innocence in the matter.

The Story of Feelings is a book that we use in our classroom along with a cd that has an awesome calming song that soothes even our toughest three-foot clients.  Today while singing along to this with the children it spurned me on to think of how disingenuous we become as adults about our true feelings.  It is funny because when we are children we are taught the importance of honesty.  If you lie you are probably a bad child, you will have some unpleasant consequences, maybe you will even go to a bad place. But, little Johnny or Suzie, “honesty is the best policy”. Really?  Of course, we don’t want our children to be anything but truthful. Really?

“Young children can be blatantly honest. With statements and questions such as these. ” They are reallllly old!” “You can’t sing!” “They look like this >.< (furrows eyebrows)  and so I don’t want to play with them!” “Your skin is black.” “They are a boy/girl and I don’t want to play with them!””You’ve got a big butt!””They are a boy so they have a penis, right?” “I don’t like you.” “You look wrong.” You have this or that or you don’t have this or that.  So many honest comments.

In time,  kids discover that you can’t really be honest about things, least of all your feelings.  Of course we all need to teach our children the social graces of when it is okay to say things or ask things. But it isn’t long before we teach them to stifle how they feel as well.  Have you ever seen someone punish their child and then tell them  not to cry about it? Wow!

In our classroom we discuss feelings a lot.  A daily question is “how are you feeling today?” Well how do you answer that question?  Nine times out of ten you say “fine”. That is the prescribed answer isn’t it?  That is what we say and that is what people hope to hear because then they can say they are fine too and move on with their day. We all do it, our children hear it.  They learn it.  So our children become conditioned to answer in the same manner. “I am fine.”

This is so ingrained that I don’t know how much we can change, but I do think that I am going to make a conscious effort to think before I answer this question the next time I am asked it.  Well at the very least maybe I can come up with a different adjective that means fine. It sound like this, “Hi, how are you?” ” Satisfactory, thank you.”

Okay my writing is digressing, my teenage daughters are discussing their day and well, I don’t want to miss out.  Maybe I will ask them how they are and see what they answer!   Also I will try to link the “feeling song” before I post this.

You Know What It’s Like – Jane

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