It takes a great deal of creativity when teaching and parenting children. Simple, adult logic just isn’t going to get the job done, and, if you’ve been in this game for any amount of time, you know what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate to the classroom or the dinner table. Out of sheer frustration, I created my alter ego, “Isabella,” a feisty, French, world traveler who flew in one day when Mommy had heard the word “Mommy” one too many times. Unlike Mommy, Isabella addressed the children in a French-ish accent and would even tell them if their actions were “stoopid”. I mean Mommy never wielded that word for fear of bruising their self-confidence. On the other hand, Isabella was free to call it as she saw fit and didn’t feel the need to jump to their rescue or fulfill their constant requests. She often told them, “Get it yourself” [insert French accent]. The crazy thing is the kids absolutely loved her and would ask when Isabella was coming for another visit. She would share her adventures in countries where Mommy has never been, the unique people she met, the food she enjoyed, and where she was going next (sneaky geography and cultural lessons.). She was fun! Unaffected by tantrums, she would actually leave if one occurred. This, in turn, would disappoint the children, and they would ask nicely if Isabella would come back. Now, before you freak out with an assumption of a multiple-personality disorder, relax. Who knew all of my earlier years of acting would pay off? I enjoyed Isabella and learned from her, too. Understanding my children proved to be more competent than I realized. They were willing to listen when having a conversation with Isabella—unlike constant directives from Mommy. Isabella hasn’t visited in a while, and the kids have gotten older, but I smile when I hear them say, “Remember when Isabella . . .. ” She allowed a greater freedom of choice for the kids than Mommy did. I guess, sometimes, we need to go outside of ourselves a bit to embrace our creativity, the spice of choice. When we embrace creativity with our students and children, who knows what intriguing persona might just fly in for a visit?
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com