Get off the mic!

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Posted 21 Aug 2010 in image of the child

It was pouring the other day and so instead of sending my sons (almost 8 and 10) to their all-outdoor camp, they came with me to work at a school.  It was in-service week for teachers–school wasn’t in session officially. Playing on the stage in the auditorium, they happened upon a mic and began singing, mc-ing, and having a great, silly time. Just three of us in a big auditorium, the boys were completely uninhibited. Though I had to remind them to keep the volume low, they were respectful of the situation, environment, and equipment. And then I left the room to copy something.

A few minutes later the boys found me at the copier. I could tell something had happened-you could see it in their down-cast eyes and body language. They had been scolded. The boys were scared, humiliated, and felt guilty. For what, I ask? For having fun? For letting loose? For laughing and playing? For being children?

Adults too often assume the worst of children; assume that they aren’t able, can’t handle, shouldn’t be…

What would happen if we gave them the benefit of the doubt?

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