Preschool teachers are amazing human beings. With their seemingly unwavering patience, infinite wisdom, and clear sense of purpose — my kids’ teachers inspire me every single day. They teach me how to be a parent, and they make me want to be a better person — someone who stays in the sandbox a bit longer than usual and leaves the phone in the car and gives long and crushing hugs. So in their honor, here are 10 things I’ve learned from them that apply to all of us, now just the wee ones:
- When frustration hits, before over-analyzing, rule out the basics. Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Are you tired?
- Praise the process, not just the product.
- If you ask someone a yes or no question (i.e., “are you feeling sad right now?) and they don’t respond, the answer is likely “yes.”
- Listen. Listen. Listen.
- Pay attention to your body. If you need to move, move. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you need to talk it out, talk it out. Deep inside, you know what you need.
- A few deep breaths can change anything. Smell the flowers and blow the bubbles.
- Tell people how their actions are impacting you (i.e., “when you ignore my words, I feel like what I’m saying isn’t important.”)
- Don’t just talk about what happens; talk about why it’s happening.
- Wash your hands before you eat and after you pee.
- Everyone is an artist.