Letting kids cry...?
Part of the work I do is running workshops for kids around team building, trust, communication, emotions, accepting other. It is based more on action than on talking. So we play ,we run, we think, we talk and sometimes tears show up.
Last week was interesting. Two teams of 4th graders were busy putting together 2 really hard puzzls. at some point one of the girls had an idea how to solve it , but no one was willing to listen. She got so frustrated and ran away crying. Her Teacher wanted to run after her and resolve the problem for her. Thankfully, the teacher looked at me and I asked her to step back. And she did. The fact that we both didn't jump in allowed room for her team mates to show what they are made of. It was heart warming. About 35 to 40 seconds after the girl left the circle crying, 2 friends went over to check in on her, another one started to walk to her but eventually came back to the group.
So many lessons in 3 minutes of activity. And we talked on all of them in the few minutes of reflection.
Through her tears the girl was able to tell her friends what upset her, she was also open to hear that if she waited a few seconds they would have followed her idea.
The girl who didn't listen had the chance to hear her team.
The girls who went to check in on the crying girl got the reassurance that they did well.
The rest of the team that was not aware had the chance to pay attention to their team mates.
The other team was able to see that fights slow down the entire group.
The teacher saw that her students are compassionate, resourceful and supportive of each other.
I learned not to panic when someone is crying....
By far this was one of my favorite moments- not because of the tears, but because of the growth!
sometimes- let your kids cry!