I take my two eldest children to school in the mornings, and if we have all slept well, (Ok, if I have slept well) we talk. “Tell me something I don’t know about you” is my usual question, and after the “I don’t know”‘s I find out something about school, about what they think of something or someone… you get the idea.
One morning my daughter’s response to “tell me something I don’t know about you” was to inform me that she had started dancing lessons at school. She didn’t know what type of dancing it was, it wasn’t ballet and it wasn’t tap or Irish. There was Rap music and Pop music involved, so we agreed that it must be Hip Hop, but she had seen Hip Hop on TV and wasn’t entirely convinced that was what she was learning. She described the teacher as “cranky” and told me that nobody actually enjoyed the class at all. When I asked why, she told me that the woman teaching “made everyone dance”, it wasn’t fun, more like working. And the worst part was, if someone in the class wasn’t really trying to get it right, she made everyone do it again. I suggested to her that encouraging and praising people who get it right and helping those who weren’t quite with the moves might work better, and she agreed. “I wish you could teach at my school Mama” she said. It was a lovely thing to say, but disappointing to hear that she was so disappointed in how she was being treated.
A week later, in the car on the way to school I asked “You had dance class again yesterday, how was it?”. My daughter said “We didn’t have a class yesterday, the teacher’s car broke down and she couldn’t come into school.” I laughed out loud. “Why are you laughing?” she asked. I told her that I just imagined everyone in her class at some point during the week or even the day before the class was thinking about the class, and thinking about the teacher and wishing or hoping that they wouldn’t have the class the following day. I said “Imagine if everyone in your class’s thoughts about not having the class got together and travelled to the teacher, and hit her car and made the car break! That’s why she couldn’t come in to teach you!!” More laughter.
I then said “If you tried it on purpose next week, you know it wouldn’t work?” “What do you mean, mama?” she asked. “Well,” I said “if you got all your friends from your class together and told them my idea of how their thoughts broke your teachers car, and if you all agreed that you don’t want to do a dance class and asked them if they could do it again, they wouldn’t be able to.” “Why not?” I answered “because your friends would keep telling themselves that it wasn’t real, and that they do not have the power to do this, it’s just silly and it won’t work.”
Am I right?