Be Present

Be Present (and so will they)

(My version of “Build it and They Will Come”)

There is a little boy in our school who is a runner and a hider.  He runs away from his Grade 1 class regularly.  He leaves the classroom when something is wrong: usually when he has been disciplined.   We, at the office are usually called to go find “Robert” (not his real name).  He has shown us his many hiding spaces, so he usually isn’t too difficult to find.  I will often get down on the floor with Robert, sit next to where he is hiding, and just talk with him in a calm, kind voice.  He needs to be listened to.  He needs to know that we care about him.  Once I have connected with him on this level, then we are able to go for a walk, talk some more, and then make our way back to his classroom.

Yesterday was a bit different.   Yesterday’s incident made me think a great deal about this little guy, even more than usual. Without going into details about what happened yesterday, I’ve thought a lot about how to help students like these: to keep them with us – both physically and emotionally.  The work our school has done with Colleen Drobot, on attachment, has emphasized the importance of the children’s emotional well-being, nurturing relationships with them and those will, in turn, be difference-makers when working with children like this.  This way of thinking could be applied to all relationships in our lives: personally and professionally.

If you are a teacher, a parent, a spouse, an employee, an employer, focus on the now and try to…

  •  Listen to them (with an open mind)
  •  Look at them in their eyes, with kind eyes and sincerity (not just a glance, but really look) and see what those eyes are saying.
  •  Share with them
  •  Laugh with them
  •  Find joy in them
  •  Talk with them (with a gentle voice)
  •  Play with them
  •  Feel with them
  •  Sympathize with them
  •  Empathize with them
  •  Cry with them (or for the challenges over which they have no control)
  •  Hold them (when they need to be held)
  •  Cherish them
  •  Care about them
  •  Understand them (or try to)
  •  Prize them (not praise)
  •  Encourage them
  •  Inspire them

This infographic sums it up for me…

If everyone tried to be present in the now and really focus on the above, putting the relationships with others at the center, instead of the “rules” or what they “should” do, just imagine what a difference we could make in our life and the lives of others.  Our personal and professional lives would be much more rewarding and would involve a lot less frustration (in us and others).

Do you have anything to add to this list?

About Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.
This entry was posted in Connections / Relationships, Lessons Learned, Poverty, Reflection, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Be Present

  1. This is an excellent post! Thank you. I have been teaching my girlfriend, who is Filipino, Korean words because she would like to learn and understand Korean better, but the lack of understanding and patience in me gets in the way a lot of times. Sometimes I focus on where she “should” be and how much she “should” be practicing, instead of looking at where she is at now. So I believe being patient with people is very important. It’s also very true that kindness raises well-being and lowers stress! Thank you for the post!

    • T. Henriksen says:

      thelightinyou,

      It sounds like you have learned an important lesson. It is so important to be patient and understanding, especially with those we care for. Good for you for trying to focus more on where your girlfriend is now, and not where you think she “should” be. It’s also important to look at how far she has come.

      I’m glad you found my post helpful. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to reflect and comment.

  2. Tara burvill says:

    Beautiful, love it, The old saying is true you catch more bees with honey not vinegar. Thank you for your post

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Hi Tara,

      Yah, so true! You can definitely catch more bees with honey instead of vinegar! This is true in every aspect of life. An important reminder.
      Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  3. Rehab Ragab says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. Although I teach teenagers, who like to think they are not kids anymore, I believe that what you said applies to them as well.

    • T. Henriksen says:

      Rehab,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Yes, you make a good point, I, too, believe that these thoughts can also be applied to working with teenagers. In fact, I think that we should axt this way when working with, dealing with, and even living with, people. We all like to be treated this way. If we all took the time to really be present, imagine the impact we all would have.

  4. The top ten list was a great idea. This is a good post!

  5. Pingback: It's All About Learning

  6. Pingback: Learning From My Kids | It's All About Learning

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