Guidance and Risk: Why I Love Jesus – P2

Image by iwanna from Pixabay

Chasing after Jesus is an educational experience. As with my college studies, there’s much to be learned. 

In the Early Childhood Education field we’re taught to view misbehaviour as ‘Mistaken Behaviour’–that is, inappropriate or dangerous behaviours that are the result of a child’s ignorant choices. They are mistakes and problems that the child needs to be guided through to come to an appropriate solution.

There are three levels of Mistaken Behaviours. They are: 

  • Experimentation: the child is testing the waters. A child’s motivation for this behaviour is usually curiosity.
  • Socially Influenced: the child’s behaviour has been reinforced. It’s a behaviour that has been modelled for them–often by someone of importance in their life.
  • Strong Needs: the child is reacting to some form of physical or emotional pain. The Child is unable to cope with the pain and discomfort of some deep seated unmet need. 

Positive Guidance Strategies can help both the teacher and the child come to an appropriate solution to Mistaken Behaviours. Teachers are encouraged to first assess the situation to evaluate whether a behaviour should be ignored, redirected, a time-out is required (last resort) or holding is required (used seldomly to restrain a child from hurting himself or others).

When left unaddressed these behaviours can continue long into adulthood, and a child with strong needs may not learn to self-regulate and cope with life’s turbulence.

Which brings me to my own early childhood turbulence. As I mentioned in Part 1, teaching styles have changed over the years.

When I entered Kindergarten the Positive Guidance approach wasn’t in place. Infant, back in the 80’s teaching was very Authoritarian. This approach is quite strict; children can be punished for not meeting rules set out by the teacher. This means that there is no collaboration between child and teacher, creating a poor student/teacher relationship and an environment where the child can feel very insecure. Punishment based discipline singles out children, humiliates them and can contribute to low self-esteem. 

I was a shy, timid student as I began my journey. I retreated into my shell headlong from the first day of Kindergarten. When I wouldn’t sing with the rest of the class my teacher would send me out of the circle to my desk. On other occasions I was told to stay inside while the other students were allowed to play outside. 

At that young age I was paralyzed by fear. I neither sang, nor spoke during class. It wasn’t until my parents decided to relocate, and I began attending a new school (in grade five), that I began to speak during class. I went through a lot of emotional turbulence and stress in those first six years of schooling. When I did start to poke my head out of my shell I had been shaped into a very insecure child. I absolutely hated  the spotlight. Things like oral reading we’re painfully stressful for me and the fear of making mistakes was strong. 

My shaky start carried through to my adult years; I found it very difficult to take risks; I struggled in the workplace; New situation caused loads of anxiety; I struggled to socialise; and I felt childlike. 

When I met my husband, Andrew, at age 20,  I was still struggling with my self-esteem and self worth. I chose to be a homemaker until we started our home based ceramics business. However, working from home didn’t open up my world. It kept my world small and isolated. I believe, however, that God used this time to build my self-esteem and self-worth and draw me close to Him.

Before this becomes an exceedingly long story, Andrew and I have gone through many trials in part due to our own childhood turbulences. Shaky foundations can have a snowball effect. 

However, through those many trials I have also been blessed; I came to know and have grown close to God; I’ve had the privilege of knowing many supportive and influential believers; I’ve also learned, through safe environments, how to press on and take more risks. 

One thing I really appreciate about how guidance has advanced in Early Childhood Education is that Educators are taught to strive for an environment where children feel safe to take risks; like expressing themselves; being individual and unique; and they can begin to learn to problem solve and be creative. As ECE’s we are trained to find ways to encourage all aspects of education, including Music and Art, by observing each child’s interests and needs. Then we can plan activities that may encourage them to participate. However, in the end, if a child is unintrested, or is simply a quiet child (as I was) it won’t be forced. 

I know that my heavenly Father has taken into account my own interests and needs as well. He is also incredibly patient. The Lord Jesus has paved a way for me to continue to take risks, and He’s been with me every step of the way through this unfolding journey. I still have some anxieties and insecurities, but I also know who is with me, who goes before me and who’s got my back. This helps me to feel much more secure when heading in a direction beyond my comfort zone. This is also why I love Jesus. In Jesus I’m free to be the one-of-a-kind individual He creates us all to be, and to experience a relationship with Him that is just as original and unique.

We Are Not Alone ❤

 You are all around me—in front and in back—and have put your hand on me.

– Psalm 139:5

10 thoughts on “Guidance and Risk: Why I Love Jesus – P2

  1. A thoughtful post. I can relate to much of what you said. And I love the way your classes have helped you reflect on your own life and your faith. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that Jesus has our backs, and we are free to be our own unique selves with Him. I needed this. Sending hugs your way!


  2. I enjoyed your post very much, Tina. I appreciate your sharing the three reasons children misbehave. I’ve seen all three as an elementary music teacher—sometimes during the same class period!
    Your experience reminds me that every child should be free to learn in their own way. Forcing kids to do it my way or it’s the highway isn’t teaching it’s intimidation.

    God Bless you in your studies.


    1. Thank you so much, David. There is so much to learn as an Educator! I like that we’re learning to work in cooperation with children, parents and co-workers. No one side is the boss. We all have much to learn.

      God Bless you as well.


  3. Hi Tina, I agree that knowing God is with us and for us, that he goes before us and has our back, calms anxiety and insecurity. I also was quiet and shy, happy to stay in the background at school.
    Best wishes in your studies; you are going to be a wonderful teacher.💖👍🦋


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