Perspectives | November 2007New Page 1

Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak.

Two-year-olds are excellent at saying, "Mine" or "I do it!" Sometimes 2-year-olds are astonished to think anyone would stand in the way of "their" project or toy. Does any of this mentality truly change as we age?

Recently, I was playing with my friend's 2-year-old daughter. She loves to play with her bounty of toys and also loves to have any grown up play with her. However, the moment you try to do anything different than what she wants, she immediately lets you know: "I do it!" This is her way of saying, "Look Kris, I am the boss. You're not the boss!"

I cannot blame my little friend because she is exercising and learning more about her will and what she can and cannot do. I can easily parallel her story to my own life and see where I struggle to let others help me. I automatically assume, "Mine" or "I do it!" In my job with college students, I observe how there are times when they wrestle with these same sentiments of learning to exercise their own will in decision-making.

Your student is probably in a growing process of learning what they can and cannot do. Their projects seem larger and their goals may be loftier than possible. We must learn our place as parents, teachers, and friends of when it is our place to say, "Who can help you?" "Is there anything I can help with?" or "You're right. You can do it!" There is value in holding our tongue a bit longer to hear what a student is processing and learning about. Your student was 2 years old once, but obviously not any longer. They are learning to become an adult. Be encouraged that they are learning to explore new opportunities and learning about what they can and cannot do. Learning comes by success and failure.

May we all be quick to listen and slow to speak. Your prayers matter greatly in the life of your child. Thank you for the privilege to work with your children and may we all become better at learning from one another.

Kristina Findley
Associate Dean of Student Leadership

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