Sometimes you remember things more vividly than makes sense. Certain conversations imprint more deeply. I have this kind of vivid memory of speaking with my friend Cathy one Fall several years ago when we were out visiting her sweet home in Robert's Creek. My oldest was around 7, my youngest 4. She was talking about what her child was bringing home from school and she said, "a couple days ago Kai brought home a new word from his Waldorf teacher ... the word 'yet'. "
She went on to talk about how the teacher shared how powerful this word was and he and the children started playing around with using it .
"I can't read ... yet."
"I can't spell ... yet."
"I can't swim ... yet."
"I can't bike up that hill ...yet."
I just loved the simplicity of this and have a soft spot for teachers empowering children like Kai's teacher had.
I have found this little word over the years to be so helpful in my relationship with myself, in my parenting, and in my teaching and coaching.
I find it takes the BIG HAIRY DEAL out of our "I can'ts" and our childrens', and puts them in a larger, more honest perspective.
"I'm not getting this guitar song ........... yet."
"I don't know what to do about _______ ... yet."
"I can't figure out this &*$#@ computer thingie ............................. yet."
It's a word that says a lot. And I like what it says and how it feels.
It acknowledges that we are life-long learners and things are always changing.
There's a time for everything.
It says, 'it's ok to be where I am' .. ('coz I am) (-: , that 'yeah it is a bit of a bummer I'm not 'there' yet and ... I can enjoy this totally normal process of learning, unfolding and growing.'
'Yet' creates a feeling of possibility and openness ... for me lately I notice it hangs around in the background and comes in like a kind whisper from an encouraging friend. Many of my "yets" these days are internal and come with a bit of space ...........................................................................after the "Aarggg, I can't."
With young children of course the best way to teach them anything is through our own modelling ... just allow it to work on you ... (-:
Parents and teachers I think that you'll find it creates a more compassionate space to teach from when you pair 'yet' with your inside thought 'can't' observations about the children in your care too ...
"She can't read ... (yet.)"
"He can't control himself in class ... (yet)."
By the way, if you saying it aloud after their "I can't" statement isn't landing well - you will know when the timing isn't right - then just say it in your mind (with as much love as you can muster up) for them.
PS - The pudding is when you see it in your child - the other day I heard my daughter add 'yet' to the end of a sentence and I could feel her mood shift and see her body stance relax ...
PPS - The two other words are coming ... can you guess what they are? xo