|I just caught the second half of this film. It's brilliant!|
It's also important for them to know that moments of 'imperfection' are actually just what make us normal human beings. In our discussions the children and I share lots of stories of when we've been cross, upset, disappointed or ashamed. We talk about all types of failures all the time. Mostly, we talk about how it's very normal to do or feel the 'wrong' thing.
Ideally we don't get upset by little things, but if we do, there's no point feeling bad for feeling bad - because how pointless is that? It's usually far quicker to admit we might have over-reacted and then rationalise our feelings than to feel disgruntled for ages whilst pretending that we're not.
|So, '"Really I'm fine" Cow' is a thing.|
A little while later, when he was calm and happy, I called this lad over to me. I told him I was proud of him, and he suddenly looked serious and sad and said, "Why? I got all upset over nothing. I'm useless."
"What's harder," I asked him, "not being upset, or being very upset and then managing it and being OK again?"
He thought for a moment and said, "I suppose, being very upset and getting over it is harder."
"I think so too!" I said. "Obviously it would be nice if you weren't upset to begin with because then you wouldn't have had to feel bad, but it wasn't that easy, was it? He was deliberately winding you up and, in that situation, I think anyone would be upset. I'm proud of you because, even though you were angry and frustrated, you worked a way through it. That's a massive achievement!"
He chewed his lip, then nodded.
"There's no point me saying, 'don't get upset over things' - because sometimes we just do. It's a normal part of being human. The important thing is not that you don't get upset, but that you can handle it when you do. You were very upset, but you were able to think about it rationally and decide to feel differently. That's really, really hard, but you did it, and now you can go home cheerful and with a sense of achievement. What could be better?!"
So what am I proud of in 2018? Working on this for myself. It's hard! I ask the kids to be able to do it but it's really, really hard to do it myself when I'm too busy feeling outraged or snubbed. It's something to practise, and practise I will. There's way more that can be said on all of this, and this is really just a brief introduction to what will become a lifetime's work for anyone.
I'm not very good at practising what I preach just yet - but I'm OK with that. I'm OK with the effort that's going in, and with the fact that I know what I need to work on. And, after all, being OK with being imperfect is a very, very big part of what I'm trying to do.