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Saturday, June 03, 2006



When I get into emotional territory, I don't tend to think my way out of it - though that would certainly be nice. Instead, I'll just acknowledge to the kid or kids that I am getting emotional. "You can probably hear in my voice that I am a little bit angry..." Sometimes my students don't tune into emotional signals such as tone of voice and facial expression until they've gone too far. It depends on the kid, really. Some are looking for that big emotional response, if there is a power struggle in progress, while others are just oblivious and then get defensive and anxious when they don't understand why their caregiver is angry with them.

They also don't have the ability to infer what action to take based on the feedback given, unless it is very explicit. General statements like "Why do you always have to make a mess?" express emotional displeasure, but my kids wouldn't necessarily put that together with, "I should pick up the toys on the floor" or "I should stay away from that cabinet of expensive figurines when I'm playing". They will make the same mistake again and again until it's pointed out explicitly to them. Even "don't bounce the ball too hard" doesn't do it. You have to say, "You may not bounce the ball higher than my head," and "The game can't go past the doorway, or you'll be too close to where the expensive cabinet is." A lot of emotional scenes are thus avoided.


Interesting piece. I'm working on something related examining how your projected image impacts those you interact with. It should post by 8 pm est. Stop in and let me know what you think.

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