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No Parroting Allowed!

Learning Emergence by Asking Questions

Emergence Group Babies

"Parenting with Patience"

Questions for the Week of September 18, 2006

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When asked, "how do you best learn?" most people usually respond with either a technique, like, "in a classroom," or by naming their favorite sense, like, "I learn best visually." Unfortunately, this implies most people define "learning" as the ability to parrot the correct answer.

What is wrong with this? We believe that "parroting the correct answer" creates parrots, not students; dullards, not Einsteins. So how can we create more Einsteins? By asking questions which are intended to provoke the student's own questions. More important, we see this as the best way with which to reawaken in students the love of learning.

This week's topic is, "Parenting with Patience." Would you like to actually awaken your love of learning about this topic? You can, simply by reading the teacher's questions and then, by asking yourself, "what questions did these words just provoke in me?"

"On Parenting With Patience"

Teacher's Questions (asked by Colleen)

  • Describe a time when your mother was patient with you? Describe a time when she was impatient with you? How about your father? What was it like? Think back as far as you can, what was it like being so needy?
  • What happens to a parent when he/she loses his/her patience with a child? Is it an injury? Is it a learned behavior? Is the amount of patience one has with their child influenced by personality type?
  • Is there a common injury around children whining that sets people off? Could it be that we are recalling the sound of our own whining during a time when we didn't get our own needs met and it stirs a feeling of aloneness and disconnectedness and anger in us? Is the idea that we may not be able to meet our child's needs enough to send us into shock? What about the burden of responsibility knowing that you may be the only one who can satisfy your baby's needs?
  • Do we forget what it's like to be so needy? Does seeing that neediness in another remind us of how needy we used to be and repel us? Is it too hard to connect with someone who is so purely in layer 7? Can picturing myself as the child who is frustrated and needy help me be more compassionate?
  • Does the level of irritation or patience that a parent feels towards a child depend on the parent's/child's personality? Do parents have more compassion/ patience for one child over another? Does it depend on the personality type "stage" that they're in?
  • How much patience do you have for children? For adults?

Possible Student Response Questions (asked by Gary)

[1] Does the sound of a crying child put you into shock?

[2] Is impatience with a child an expression of an inability to see the beauty in the neediness of a child? Is impatience a block?

[3] In modern Western culture, time is defined by man-made constructs; clocks, work schedules, calendars, etc., rather than by natural ones such as the cycles of the sun and moon, weather, and seasons. Does our impatience with children reflect a profound disconnect with our natural, biological rhythms? Would we be more patient if we weren't dancing to the beat of industrialized society?

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