|Posted on February 1, 2016 at 1:55 PM|
I was thrilled to read the article, "Talking about race in ballet class" by Jessica F. Hinton, January 25, 2016, in The Washington Post. Her beautifully written article is about helping her three and five year old black daughters understand and deal with racism. Her wise insights and description of the actions she took to develop her girls' understanding and freedom to voice upsets are helpful to parents of any race on many issues. She suggests continued conversations about..."feelings in discussing books, social interactions, TV shows, and almost everything else."
The essence of the article is that young children have difficulties expressing uncomfortable emotions. It is up to parents and teacher to..."create spaces for children to feel and talk out loud about their feelings and to really listen to what they have to say."
As I read her article, I was silently acknowledging how important this advice is for building and reinforcing a child's ability to Say What's Wrong and Make It Right. When guiding the children through the Five-Step Process, they are reminded to speak their unhappiness about the problem and listen to what the other person is feeling. Listening and acknowledging emotions is the heart of the program and leads to a win-win solution.