Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Little Dicey

The Montessori system is big on letting kids figure things out for themselves. Kids are a lot more capable than most adults are willing to believe.

So when Nathan made a paper die the other day and insisted on not putting it in his backpack after school like I had requested, and instead wanted to bat it around, I warned him it might get ruined and let him at it.

Then, one of the boys in his class decided it would be fun to snatch Nathan's die and run away with it. Nathan wasn't fast enough to catch up to him. So instead of continuing the chase, Nathan ran to the playground to distract himself from his misfortunes and hide his tears. Moments later, the boy lost interest and left Nathan's die sitting on the grass. After a while, Nathan noticed this and went to retrieve his die, but not before the other little boy also noticed and took interest in keeping the die away again. As the boys raced for it, the other boy reached it first, Nathan ended up on top of him and both were on top of the die.

Nathan saw the die he had worked hard to make, smushed on the grass and he burst into tears.

Another boy who had been playing alongside with them picked up the die and tried to re-form it for Nathan.

On the way home, we talked about what had happened at the school. After a long discussion, Nathan decided that the first boy was no longer his friend and I suggested that maybe Nathan could give him a second chance when he was ready.

Interestingly, this boy happened to be the same boy who, a couple weeks ago, had given Nathan some Pokemon cards for free so Nathan could start his own collection (more on this soon).

Witnessing the entire turn of events, I could have easily stepped in and put an end to it before Nathan's die got crushed. As hard as it was to watch the boy out-run Nathan, and eventually watch as his hard work got ruined, I felt it was important to let him have the opportunity to solve his own problems. Because there will come a time when I won't be there to step in, when the "object" is bigger than a paper die, and when his decision to forgive is more important. And when that time comes, I want him to be ready to do it himself.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're spot on with letting Nathan work it out for himself. They are hard lessons, but we all need to learn them. It's so great that you two get to have discussions like this.



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