Raising preschool children can be rewarding and, at times, challenging. When a child’s teacher asks to speak with a parent in private, and it is not an assessment meeting week, the parent knows that they are about to be faced with a challenge. Such was the case when a young boy named Kai was working on a recycled race car project at his preschool.
Children love being creative, and Kai was no different. He was particularly intrigued with a week-long project where he was building a race car out of recycled materials. Kai was very enthusiastic and began to have some behavioral challenges as a result. His teacher informed Kai’s mother on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday that he was teasing other children about the quality of their race car designs and materials. Kai’s mom was a firm believer in making a fresh start daily, by leaving yesterday in the past and facing each new day with a brighter vision. Each evening she reminded her son that it was his responsibility to restart his behavior each day, by choosing to be kind and respectful of others, because every day is a fresh start. When Kai’s mom arrived to pick him up on Thursday, his teacher informed her that Kai had intentionally broken his friend’s recycled race car. When they came home, Kai’s mom realized that he had brought back the broken car with the intent of fixing it for his friend. She asked why he chose to bring it to the house. He responded, with all the worldly knowledge of a young four-year-old boy, that they had the straws, paint and bottle caps there at home to fix the car. Kai then informed his mother that “Every day is a fresh start and tomorrow is a fresh start for this car!”
Kai’s mom was so impressed with her son’s ability to recognize that the broken car was his responsibility. He worked diligently to repair the car that evening. He never asked for help and proudly presented the repaired, and freshly painted, car to his friend the next morning when his mom dropped him off at school. The children smiled at each other and headed over to the block corner to build a ramp for their amazingly awesome recycled race cars. Mistakes are merely brief nanoseconds in time. Parents create teachable moments when they allow their children to acknowledge those mistakes and take responsibility for them. Adults will be inspired when they see life lessons, taught at home, jumping to that next level through the efforts of their child. It’s imperative for parents to instill in their children the belief that every day is, in fact, a fresh start.
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