The following did happen, but the exact words, I can’t remember because…hello I’m 25, I’m not 21 and fresh anymore! All names have been changed to protect my kiddies. Leo* is in red, another classmate is in blue & I have the green text (duh.)
You can’t even get the ball over the net! Haha, You can’t play. Yo, Leo- stop we can’t talk like that, you gotta be nice.
*stops tennis drills* Who just said that? WHO? Oh it was me Ms. Leo you weren’t here on Monday so you didn’t hear the rules, but let me tell you this & understand what I am saying- in this room & when you are with me, you do not speak like that to anyone. In here, we encourage one another, and when you speak, you are nice. Do you understand? Yes. Good. Kia let’s go, two more backhands, ready? Okay FOCUS.
I learned this summer that when you work with kids, especially in that preteen age group, you HAVE to set the ground rules first! The 10-13 age group can be so effin cruel, it has often taken my by surprise what one will say to another. But, you’re the leader, the person who has to hold it down. It took me a few tries to get it right and have confidence in my voice, but I got it.
When I think about this scenario and so many others that I’ve had while coaching, teaching or whenever else I have worked or volunteered with youth, I realize that what I’m telling them applies to me and my relationships. As I am working to develop and maintain strong networks, I use basic advice, rules and manners that I tell children.
- You respect me, I respect you. I may not like you, but respect is of utmost importance. (When coaching, respect the equipment)
- Think before speaking.
- Be nice.
So yeah, I use these 3 simple rules- rules you tell a preschool class, but it has worked out well for me. But, how come it’s adults rarely practice what they preach? I’ve seen the most hurtful & inconsiderate behavior coming from peers & colleagues. How can we expect kids to respect one another when we don’t? Somebody bruk it down for me.