Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miss Brooke Teaches Those Boys

Today, the fact that our youngest child is clearly the Alpha became a little more obvious. We've known it since she was 2. There's no denying it. Way back then, she could walk up to Russell who was 4 and say, "I want that swing" (that he was using) and he would silently hop off and give it to her. She's always done this. I've alternated between patting her brothers on the back for being so kind to their little sister and telling them that it's okay to stand up for themselves. Brooke will convince them to do things her way no matter what though.

Several months ago, a box full of educational character building tools arrived in the mail. I had signed up for it on a freebies website. I've been meaning to open it and put it to use all this time. However, it's been on the top of a bookshelf in a hallway instead. Yesterday, Brooke got it down and fell in love with it. She played school in her bedroom most of the evening using the colorful posters and white board. Then, this morning the game took a new turn.

Lane and Tatton were fighting over video games as they're likely to be found doing on a rainy Saturday morning. Miss Brooke (as she insisted we call her) arrived on the scene. She taped up her "visual aids" and used a drumstick for a pointer. It sounded something like this for the next couple of HOURS:

Brooke: "Lane, what are some ways that you can manage conflict?"

Lane (mumbling): "Umm- I dunno."

Brooke: "Tatton, don't you think that looking for a compromise might be a good start?"

Tatton: "Yeah."

Brooke: "Lane, what does compromise mean? Give me an example."

Lane: "To like make a deal."

Brooke: "Good, but that wasn't an example. Now class, I'm going to list some ways that we can manage conflict:"

(pointing with her drumstick)

"First, stay cool. Talk it over. Focus on the problem. Look for a compromise. Know when to walk away. Be a leader. Be a friend. Be reasonable. Be responsible. Practice real courage and put your ego aside. Mom, what's an ego?"

It was seriously cute. I was both laughing (in my head) at how seriously she was taking all of this and sort of shocked and amazed at how good she was at it. She really blew my "Boys knock it off!" out of the water! I also want to say to the boys that I'm very proud of them for what good sports they were and how long they let their sister "play school" with them when I'm sure they had other things they would rather be doing than being lectured by a 7 year old. The only less than nice thing they even said was when Brooke handed Russell a "detention slip" for not following "direkshons" and he said, "Oh! Come on! I have to follow your directions and you don't even know how to spell it right?!"


  1. Love it! Sam "homeschools" Syd from time to time and it is amazing what they can learn from someone their own size :)

  2. That is awesome! I think I know what she is going to be when she grows up!

  3. That makes me laugh so hard! She rocks, look out world, hopefully she becomes president some day, I know some people who could really use a talking to.

  4. Hysterical. I don't know what you feed your kids, but maybe that has something to do with it. I don't think any of mine even know what "conflict management" is! And your boys are definitely long suffering! (And I have to say, Russell's complaint was totally justified.)