Focus On Responding
My Two Rule Philosophy is about feeling good and feeling safe. Implementing this philosophy helps children of all ages to learn:
- Seeing situations from another person’s perspective.
- Becoming aware of how to be safe.
- Becoming aware of what feeling good is like.
- Learning to be responsive instead of reactive.
- Developing compassion for others.
- Learning how to solve problems.
- Taking responsibility for one’s actions.
- Learning to be proactive when facing a problem.
- Developing a sense of self-efficacy.
The bolded text is an important part of the philosophy. It is a foundational piece as we work to help children gain self-control by thinking through situations instead of being reactive. Letting emotions drive our thoughts and behavior is something we can help in learning to control and to think before acting.
As I spoke with principals at the recent annual conference I attended, a common theme was heard. Children were having difficulties with making gains in academic learning loss for global pandemic shutdowns, but not being in a formal school setting was more difficult. Having to help teach skills to second graders who typically would have already gained those skills from the previous two years significantly impacted getting back on track.
Respond, React or Reactive?
As situations in your day transpire, do you react or respond? What is the difference? Do you have time during your day to think about your interactions? While driving down the interstate today, I saw the sign flashing on the bridge. It said, “Stay calm and avoid road rage.” I paused for a minute and thought, is everyone reading this as they go by? Do we have a lot of road rage?
Why do we see so many “reactive” situations? Emotions are driving reactions with reactive responses. We can look at the global pandemic with the shutdowns. Now we can see inflation, with families struggling with food, gas and housing costs for their families. We have lots of stress, fears of uncertainty, and anxiety.
Two Rules is a philosophy we should begin in Kindergarten and continue throughout the school journey. Consistency in helping provide a strong foundation for building the skills children need as they grow in all aspects of their learning journey will always help in gaining a brighter future for them, as well as all of us. Leadership is a vital part of Two Rules, and everyone is a leader in some way.