Posts Tagged ‘ responding ’

Valuing or Devaluing – The Choice IS Ours

Jun 21st, 2010 | By

In any relationship, all parties have choices involving whether to value or devalue others. When we consider Emerson’s thought that “the ancestor of every action is a thought”, we realize that it is our thoughts that determine our actions and our words . . . and that we do have a choice about what we think. Conventional wisdom tells us that actions are stronger than words. Yet we also know that words can be delivered “out of sync” with the actions that accompany or follow.  In addition, it is commonly known from research and practical experience that undesirable behavior can be stopped by negative comments, but changed in a lasting way only with positive ones . . . delivered frequently. There was a study many years ago (source unknown) that involved tallies of comments between parents and their children in their homes for a period of time. Results indicated that parents comments were more negative than positive – a ratio of 13 negative to every positive comment. The data gathering then shifted to a school setting, with tallies of commentary between teachers and students in a typical classroom revealed a 3:1 ration of negative-to-positive. Much better than in the home [...]



Tim’s Moment of Brilliance

Feb 27th, 2010 | By

A number of years ago, I worked in a school with an Early Childhood Special Education Program. Tim, one of the students in the class, was a very quiet and happy boy. He didn’t have a lot to say but had an ever-present smile, so we called him “Mr. Smiley”. As a speech pathologist, I worked with Tim on a variety of skills, including the classification/sorting skills of inclusion & exclusion. Tim progressed in his speech & language skills through the years and appeared to be ready to “graduate” in 1st grade, so I decided to give him an exclusion task just to see how well he could group, sort and explain his reasoning. I chose 4 pictures: a duck, a turkey, a bear, and a penguin . . . thinking that he would pick the bear because the rest of the animals were birds. A very valuable lesson awaited me when Tim made his choice for what didn’t belong. I asked the question, “Which one doesn’t belong with the others?” Tim thought a moment and replied “the penguin!” as he smiled broadly. Since I had a preconceived thought about what the correct answer should be (the bear), I was [...]