Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What did she say?

One day I was putting the children in my classroom down for nap. I had put a little girl who wouldn't go to sleep unless you sat beside her and patted her to sleep on her cot and told her I'd be right back.  I then went over to another child and laid them down and went to put his blanket on him when I noticed the little girl had gotten off her cot and was standing beside me. I said, "Go sit on your cot and I'll be there in a minute." I then went to put the blanket on the child when I heard, "NO!" I stood all the way up (I had been leaning over the child's cot to help settle him on it) and  looked at her. I then looked at my co-teacher and asked, "Did she just tell me no?" My co-teacher nodded and said, "Yup!" then hid her laughter.
I put the blanket on the other child then took her to her cot and laid her down on it and patted her to sleep.

When she was asleep I got up to help clean up lunch. I was still in shock that she had told me 'no'  and looked at my co-teacher and said, "I can't believe she just told me 'no'. I didn't know whether to get mad at her or how to react to it."
co-teacher- "I know. You should have seen your face." She started laughing again.
me- "Co-teacher she told me 'no'!"
co-teacher nodded and laughed. This made me finally start to laugh because on a certain level, it was funny.

I've worked with people who don't think it's appropriate for a child to tell them 'no' and some have even gotten in the child's face and told them not to tell them 'no'. "You don't tell your teacher 'no," they say. I on the other hand think it's ok for a child to tell an adult 'no.' Not all the time, but in certain situations I think it's ok for a child to tell an adult 'no.' I think it's the most important word in anybody's vocabulary but particularly a child's. Adult's will tell children to do things that are wrong and we all know adults do things to children that are wrong and it's ok to tell them 'no' and I think children need to be taught when it's appropriate to tell an adult 'no.'

Many disagree with me, but it is my opinion that in certain situations it's ok for a child to say 'no.' I think children should be listened to and it bothers me when adults think dealing with children is all about 'I'm the adult and your the child, so you have to do what I say,' because it's not. People who think this is what dealing with children means don't know what it means to deal with children (in my opinion.) Children should be listened to and respected because respect is a two-way street, not a one-way that leads from children to adults.

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