We give voice to feelings and thoughts
We provide each child with the skills to recognize and express inner thoughts that initially may have been exhibited through his or her behavior. This provides a basis for emotional mastery that is a foundation for success in school and life.
Children have things to say long before they acquire the ability to talk. As children learn to understand their feelings, The HP Way emphasizes the skill of putting these inner thoughts into words.
In an environment where no feeling is deemed insignificant, children are encouraged to ask for help through words, rather than behaving in a way that will make them (and others) unhappy. It creates a foundation for a lifetime of emotional health, constructive problem-solving and satisfying relationships with others.
A teacher relays a story from the classroom:
When Chen was a year old, his parents left him with his grandparents for a year and came to the United States for schooling. Eventually, they brought him here too. Now, at 4 years old, the family was moving again.
At about this time, we were working on the alphabet in school. I did an activity with Chen that involved matching upper- and lower-case letters. After successfully matching much of the alphabet, he moved one of the upper-case letters across the table and said, “The mother has to look for her baby.” He pushed it to the lower case letter that matched. With each letter match after that, he did the same thing, saying, “The mother has to go very far to find her baby.”
The next day Chen said, “Can we play that game where the mom has to travel very, very far to find her baby.” Then he took the nesting dolls off the shelf and brought them to the table He took all the small ones out and put them at one end of the table. He kept the biggest one and said that it was the mommy. He crawled under the table and again said, “This mom has to travel very, very, very far to get her baby.” Then he crawled out from under the table and walked around two tables, finally finding all the babies.
I talked to Ms. Q about this game that he wanted to play. I suggested that the family’s impending move might have reminded Chen of an earlier move that his parents had made, and wondered if Chen was worried about being left behind. Mrs. Q said she could talk to Chen about that earlier move, and worked with her therapist on words she could use that would help Chen with his strong feelings.