A first grader makes a new choice!

A first grader was hunched over in the corner, extremely upset, during class, on and off. He felt that his buddy “hated him” because his buddy was playing with other students and had other friends now.  His buddy even checked in on him but the student hid his face.  While I reminded his buddy that checking in on him was very compassionate and kind, his friend obviously was not in a space to talk nor was it his job to keep him happy.  This has happened before.  I later checked in on the upset student.  This is when he broke down and shared his feelings.  I shared space with him and then made a decision.  This can be a tough concept for a first grader but I took a risk.  This story I tell often and it helps students change negative patterns.  After the two students problem solved, and it was clear his buddy was his friend but had other friends too, I shared this story:

Person A and B have just been name-called by person C.  (Drawing it out/acting it out can help too).  Person B says “Wow, they must be having a terrible day,” and goes off and plays.  Person A says, “He hates me, he is right, I have no friends,” and proceeds to have the worst day of his life.   At this moment I asked my student who was responsible for their feelings?  He immediately points to A and B.  He jumped up and said “ok,” and went off to play.  Sometimes my 5th graders don’t quite understand the concept but this first grader got a light in his eye, understood this concept and turned it around.  Focusing on “I like me” and jumping into a fun activity was the new direction/pattern.

My kids constantly surprise me.

About the author

Kim Hiles (Dancing Feather) was born in Pennsylvania in the 1960s. Her mother was from Germany and met her father while stationed there. The family moved several times before settling in a town called Millis, Massachusetts.

Kim developed severe anxiety and depression as a child and struggled to find her way. Growing up, Kim was told by her grandmother that she wrote beautiful letters and had a way with words. Later in life, this memory would be a catalyst for sitting down and writing her memoir.

Continuing to say yes to life, Kim talks about her struggles of addiction, anxiety, depression and relationship issues, to name a few. She considers it her life mission to help empower others and uses her memoir as a way to offer guidance in living a more authentic life, following your dreams.

She has overcome much adversity and enjoys walking with others as they find their way. Kim has also co-written a young adult fantasy with her husband Will, called Little Wonders. Their pen name is K.W. Hiles.

Kim is a successful Educator, Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, Behavior Specialist, Mediator (Restorative Practices), 3rd degree Reiki Practitioner, and blogs regularly. In addition Kim offers online classes at Shamanic Passages Institute

Kim is considered highly sensitive and intuitive. Utilizing her gifts, her mission is to channel inspiration and healing and help spread some light. Empowering others to create the life of their dreams is the ultimate goal.

Kim is happily married (21+ years) and lives with her husband, son and their animal companions.

"I had a teacher who told us to go out that week and see how many Mercedes cars we noticed. When I came back I told her I had seen a lot! She asked me if I had seen any junk cars. I told her I didn’t remember seeing any. The next week she reversed it and asked us to go out and see how many junk cars we noticed. Of course we noticed a lot but didn’t remember seeing any Mercedes cars. Where is your focus? Is it on the problem or on the solution and more importantly, where would you like it to be?" -- Kim Hiles

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