“That boy is so rude when he tells me what to do. I told him to stop it.”
When a parent or child communicates a strong belief, a label, or a name-calling in relation to another person; I find myself thinking about a Kaleidoscope. How a simple tube with colors can be tilted to one side and reveal a completely different picture. A different perspective.
As adults, we tend to label actions and movements with judgment terms – rude, aggressive, lazy, bossy, shy…and yet while we are seeing the situation from one angle the image could be turned and the child on the other side has a completely different perspective.
When Brian told me about his classmate being rude and how he responded. I supported him to first take a look at his own body posture, facial expression, and tension in his muscles. We explored what his body state communicated through his “Kaleidoscope.” Then we explored what his classmate’s body movement and posture looked like. Brian laughed as he shook off his stiff shoulders and communicated that he and his friend had the same tight muscle posture.
We then explored the two perspectives. What did they each want? Did they each find a way to get it? Both questions were easy to identify and Brian realized that the labeling of this friend as “rude” created more tension and disconnect. We decided to use inclusive terms instead, i.e. telling the clasmate what he “COULD DO” vs. saying “NO or Don’t.” The new image in the Kaleidoscope was of two boys trying to navigate a new friendship, two boys being assertive, and engaging not RUDE.
Do you or your children use kaleidoscope play? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to support inclusion, connection and communication. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.