Yesterday, dropping Jeremiah off.
Jeremiah: "I don't want to go to school"
Kip: "you only have a couple more days,why not?"
Jeremiah: "because I hate my teacher"
Kip: "that is a really strong word, why do you hate her?"
Jeremiah: "because she's mean"
Kip: "we will talk about this after school"
Kip told me about their conversation during his lunch break. We were both upset and worried about him using such a negative word towards his teacher.
That evening when all of us were together I asked Jeremiah why he hated his teacher. He explained how he didn't really hate her. He just didn't like her. He said he was tired in the morning and that's why he had said that.
He told us about how she ignores him sometimes. Or forgets things she promised. Or tells him to be quiet, when he wasn't the one talking. How if one person is acting up, the whole class gets in trouble.
I asked him if he knew the meaning to that word. We talked about the word hate. What it means. And how sometimes we might have a reason for hating someone. Like when someone hurts us, or touches us the wrong way.
We talked about his teacher, and how those reasons were not reasons to hate or dislike her.
We did acknowledge how those situations could make him upset, but were still not reasons to feel this way towards a person.
We had him imagine having to take care of 30 toddlers Audrey's age and how easy it would be to mistake one for the other. Or think one was talking, when really another was talking.
I told him about all the sweet things his teacher had said about him during open house. Like how smart he was, how he was a natural at playing instruments, and how handsome he was.
"that's true. I guess I do like her. I was just having a bad morning."
I have been really focusing on more positive parenting. Listening to him.
Months ago, I probably would have just said, "I don't like that word Jeremiah, please don't say that about your teacher anymore".
I am listening.