Week of 5/15

“Children don’t say I had a hard day can we talk? They say, will you play with me?”

-Lawrence Cohen, PH.D

This week the class enjoyed painting at the easel on the courtyard, building castles with magnatiles, and creating with clay. The water on the play yards has been turned back on. Everyone was excited to explore with water by pouring, scooping, and combining the water with sand.  We continue to look for signs that Spring has arrived by looking for plant growth and insects. We planted cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, and strawberries.

Forced sharing Vs. Turn-taking:

The concept of forced sharing can be seen as admirable, but in reality, it can often be unrealistic and have negative consequences, especially when individuals’ work, efforts, and feelings are not taken into consideration. For example, envision a scenario where John is in the middle of composing an important email at work, and suddenly his boss enters and says, “John, you have to give your laptop to Jane now. Her laptop broke, and she needs to get her work done too.” This interruption can be extremely frustrating and disappointing for John. He was invested in his task and now cannot finish his work. Consequently, he might harbor negative feelings toward his boss and coworker, as they seemingly prioritize Jane’s needs over his own work, effort, consent, and feelings.

However, re-imagining this scenario in a more realistic and considerate way can lead to better outcomes. For instance, if John’s boss approached him in a respectful manner, saying, “Hey John, I apologize for the interruption, but Jane’s laptop crashed. We’re currently working on fixing it, but would you mind letting her work on your laptop for a bit when you’re available or can take a break?” This revised approach takes John’s ongoing task and feelings into account, and seeks his consent and cooperation. It acknowledges the importance of his work and provides a more considerate alternative.

This perspective is also relevant when it comes to children’s interactions. Instead of enforcing sharing, it can be beneficial to equip children with the tools to express their needs and negotiate turn-taking. Encouraging phrases such as “Can I have a turn when you’re finished?” or “You can have a turn when I’m done” promotes communication, cooperation, and respect for each other’s boundaries. Additionally, allowing children to experience moments of disappointment or waiting can foster important skills like resilience, patience, problem-solving, and coping abilities.

In summary, recognizing and respecting children’s’ work, efforts, consent, and feelings is vital in promoting positive interactions and collaboration during child’s play. Employing a more considerate approach to resource sharing can lead to better outcomes and a supportive environment where individual needs are acknowledged.

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