Monday, December 29, 2008

Could vs. Should

As I reflect on the progression of my calling, I am reminded of a time, early on in my career, when I actually thought that children “should” behave a certain way and that children “should” be at a certain developmental milestone at a particular time on a particular schedule. I now believe that should, is one of the most destructive words in our vocabulary. It denotes that something is amiss or wrong. I once had thoughts like, she “should” know her alphabet by now - or he “should” be able to tie his shoes by now.


If we, instead, consider that these developmental milestones are simply guidelines, we begin to open up to genuinely honouring each child for their uniqueness and we in turn create and discover ways to reach and teach each individual. If we replace “should” with “could”, we are open to many more possibilities with our wee ones.

She could learn her alphabet if…

He could tie his shoes if…

Could, takes the pressure off and we are then never in a battle between right and wrong – instead everything If we insist on using the word - should, I fear we will also continue to instill that marks in school and judgment from others determines our self-worth. (Ahh, but that is a dialogue for another story and time...)


Thank you to the writings of Louise Hay for inspiring these thoughts in me…