Here’s a simple fact: You can’t fool kids. They have the ability to see what is true. If you’re not prepared for class, they know it. If you don’t like hanging with them, they know it. If you don’t have the all the answers, don’t try to pretend that you do, because they’ll see right through you. If you’re frustrated, they will see it and jump all over your frustration making your life miserable. If you can’t accept them for who they are, they will know it and will shun you.
There’s a little guy in the preschool children’s church class who’s four years old. You wouldn’t think a little guy like that could keep things crazy busy all morning but sometimes it does get crazy busy. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a great kid and says funny things that make me laugh. He’s a little reluctant to hang with me, though. It didn’t take long for him to figure out I like things well structured with a tight schedule. His busy, can’t-sit-still-too-long way of doing things and my tight schedule don’t mix very well.
He also knows I’m trying to change him and that my teaching comes with conditions. It’s like he’s a rectanglar peg that I’m trying to pound into my circular hole of teaching.
But he loves my husband, Mike. And my husband really likes this little guy. And this little guy knows it. He’s always asking my husband, “Can I go to your house today? I want to go to your house. Let’s go to your house.”
It helps that Mike’s teaching style usually involves him lying on the floor having the kids crawl all over him. He still manages to get the lesson across, minus the well structured class with the tight schedule. And he never tries to change this little guy’s personality. He may have to occasionally discipline him, but there’s still an acceptance of Mike liking him no matter what the boy does.
You can’t fool kids, especially this one. He knows I’m going to attempt to change him and squeeze his rectangular personality into my round peg. My husband has learned something I’m still trying to figure out…one size teaching doesn’t fit all just like one size learning doesn’t fit all. AND IT’S OKAY FOR THERE TO BE DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING IT. Fortunately, Mike’s way of handling things is just right for him and the preschool class as a whole.
I think both these guys have something to teach this round peg.