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Monday, June 15, 2009

Growing Up: Rising to the Occasion

My youngest daughter's class is a challenge. There are only 8 girls, out of 24 kids, and the class dynamic among the girls is.... complex.

Whenever I ask my daughter what is bothering her, it almost never has to do with me or my cancer. It almost always has to do with something that is going on with the girls in her class.

She has been particularly bothered by certain divisive behavior exhibited by specific girls in her class. Recently, she has taken a more active role in organizing class activities.

Last night, she organized an Erev Banot (a "girl's night out"). During the first half of the evening, she ran several mischakei chevra (interactive games). Several games were "just for fun," but one or two of them had a serious social message.

At one point, I thought she might want to do something a little differently. When I called her over, she calmly told me that she wanted to do things a certain way. I realized that this was her show, and I should just sit back and try to be invisible (not at all and easy task for me).

The last game she played with the girls required all the girls to cooperate with each other. I thought it was a clever choice, considering her goals for the evening. It was fascinating to listen in on the game.

Ironically, one of the girls who can be a bit standoffish, when she is not at the center of attention, came very late. My daughter immediately included her in the game, but the girl was hanging back. However, because the nature of the game required cooperation, almost immediately I heard the other girls saying "you have to join with us or we cannot do it."

After the final game, my daughter summed up the evening beautifully, explaining that in life, as well as in the class, the best way to achieve our goals is by working together.



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

9 comments:

muse said...

Your daughter sounds amazingly mature and special.

ps This is the first blog I've visited in weeks because of my traveling and I'm here because you're up.

tnspr569 said...

What a display of maturity and intelligence! You must be very proud!

adena said...

Wow! Someone has done some great parenting!

Sarah said...

I am truly wow'd by her. She has natural leadership, and knows how to channel it for the good of others. That is just so very special. Maybe she can come here next and help us with some dynamics we struggle with between my older two and our nanny. :-) I'd love to know what games she used. I have no problem taking advice from a 10 (11?) year old!

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Nachas! Pure nachas! Ken yirbu kamoha b'yisrael.

SquarePeg613 said...

Wow, wow, wow!

Heidi said...

I just found you through Underdogs...

What an insightful and thoughtful girl you have. It looks like she has an amazing mom as well. :)

RivkA with a capital A said...

Thank you all for sharing in my nachat (joy)!!!


Muse -- partners in crime!

tnspr569 -- I am!!!

Adena -- I sure hope so! (some days are better than others!)

Sarah -- It is an Israeli game that uses the baltot found in most Israeli homes and schools. At the start of the game, the leader distributes 4 ptakim (pieces of note-paper) to each participant. The particpants need stand inside one tile and to be surrounded by four pieces of paper on each border of the tile. Only one participants can stand on any given tile, but they can share a border (i.e. one piece of paper can serve as a border for two tiles/people).

The leader then reads a story and when she arrives at a previously determined word, she collects one piece of paper from each of the participants. The participants then need to rearrange themselves so that each participant still has a piece of paper on each border.

This is NOT a game of elimination. For the group to succeed, they all need to work together to make sure that everyone is surrounded by the pieces of paper.

I think she learned the game at her youth group.

Ye'he Sh'mey amen!!

Square Peg -- yeah!!

Heidi -- cool! thanks for visiting my blog!! And for the compliments!! I just checked out your blog and website. Wow! I look forward to reading more! I hope you will visit again too!

Karen said...

You must be so proud of your daughter. What a brilliant way to involve everyone equally.