Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The One With A Staple Story #sol15

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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This week I read an article about praising students. It talked about how often we say to kids, 
"I like how you..."
"I like the way you..."

And I realized that I totally do that. The article suggested we not make it seem like we're giving approval and instead just say, 
"You can..." 
"You're the kind of student who..."

And then I picked up Little Bean from daycare and was told about how Little Bean sometimes touches his head during the day, almost seemingly without knowing he does it. 

About a month ago, he ran upstairs at my parents' house, around the corner and right into the railing with his head. He had to have three staples put in. He had them out a week later. I've never had stitches or staples (yes, I'm knocking on everything wood I can get my hands on right now...) so I had no idea what to expect or how to help him through it. I could only be a mom and tell him how strong he is, how brave he is, and how proud of him I am. 

I asked him if his head was bothering him and he said no.

He held out a book that he colored and learned to read all by himself, pointing to the words as he read them aloud to me. When he was finished, he held it even closer to my face, his little finger aimed directly at the staple that held the pages together.

"See that?" he said.
"Yeah, that's a staple," I clarified.
"That was in my head," he said seriously.

My sweet boy was clearly thinking about what he went through. The staple is a tiny piece of metal holding papers together but when I imagine it punched into my baby's head, it seems huge and sharp

I could have said,
"I like how you were brave."
"I like the way you didn't even cry when they took them out."

But I thought about what words I might use and the idea that he's the only one in our family to ever have stitches, and I suddenly knew which words I wanted.

"You know all about having stitches." I told him. "That's a good story you can tell. Only you can tell that story. I've never had staples, Dad has never had staples. But you know what it's like."
"Did you ever run at Gramma's house?" he asked me and then started to talk about his story. 

And as easy as that, my words, my acknowledgement, my praise gave way to his voice. I know they're only words but look at the power they have when put together in a certain way, at just the right moment, and uttered with love and respect. 

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