Big World, Little Bird

in Self Improvement2 months ago

Next week, our daughter starts preschool, which is a big change for her, as she was at the same daycare for four years and has friends from there, but now that we have moved, she will be the only one attending this school, making her a little nervous. She isn't very brave around strangers and while putting on brave face, we can tell that she is going to initially struggle a bit. This is part of growing up though.

Yesterday, my wife dropped by the school to leave a doctors certificate for Smallsteps' allergies, as lunch and snacks are provided at school and formal certification is required to ensure she will be provided for. My wife also met her teacher 1-on-1 for the first time and was glad that it was this particular teacher out of the three classes, as at first impression, she seems the most switched on and interested.

She also found out the group that she will be in -

She'll be a hummingbird.

Which I think fits for her well, considering she hums and sings a lot and, is pretty tiny. However, she was really keen to be a Toucan, one of the other possibilities. I also did a little reading about hummingbirds so as to get her comfortable with the idea and pique her interest, and discovered that the bee hummingbird is the smallest of all the birds and is 5 centimeters long and weighs less than 2 grams.

That is like a line of low-quality cocaine!

They also have the highest "mass-specific metabolic rate" of any warm-blooded animal, meaning it burns energy very fast. I hope Smallsteps has this trait too - unlike her father.


Most people don't remember these early experiences in life I think, but I believe they can have quite profound effects on children further down the track, depending on what happens.

I remember my first day of Kindergarten, because it was the first time I was called the N-word - and the first time I had ever heard the word, which is apparently strange for most four year old kids where I grew up -as this was said to me literally 10 seconds after I walked in the gate. I also remember the first day of School, where within 30 seconds of entering, I had a soccer ball kicked into my face. And, the first day of High School, were a minute after entering, a pretty girl called me over to her and we flirted for the next three years.

Some things thankfully change.

But, each of these events did impact on my future, changing me, holding me back in some ways, propelling me in others. For better or worse, they happened and as such, it was up to me to create whatever comes beyond that. Do I become a victim, or a survivor? Do I go out of my way to fit in, or find my own way to be me? Do I suffer, or do I thrive?

As much as I want Smallsteps to have a good life, I also know that a "good life" doesn't mean an easy life. One of the main things that brings us the sense of self-worth, is our ability to face and overcome, as well as the "dust ourselves off" moments after failing. Coming back from failure is empowering. If we don't face adequate challenge, we do not improve our skills, nor do we find the state of flow. If we do not improve, we do not progress, we stagnate and we feel very much like we are in a time loop, banging our head against the wall on a daily basis, wanting a different tomorrow.

We become victims of circumstance, passengers without agency. And, when we get this sense of our own inability, we can become lethargic and lose our confidence in ourselves, which shines through to others, creating a cyclical environment where we can spiral downwards. And once in that loop, it is very hard to break free and move in another direction. And while these might sounds like the troubles of adults, I think that the patterns are created in childhood and once painted in a certain color, even if self-painted, it becomes ingrained with a "this is who I am" mentality, even though it is actually a, this is what I currently do situation.

It is a big, bad world out there and if we are unable to learn to cope with the normally low-grade difficulties and discomforts in childhood, it gets worse over time, as the environment becomes more challenging and we degrade, widening the gap between what we need to do and what we can do. I think that this is part of the reason a lot of people may feel helpless, because what they can do isn't enough for what they need to do, or at least, what they think that they need.

Next week is going to be interesting, as I remember the first day taking Smallsteps to daycare and how for the first few weeks, she just didn't want to go, but whilst there, she took hold of the reigns and built her "away from home" personality - her public persona. It is an important process and I wonder if young children will have any lasting effects in their future due to things like Corona restrictions, where they have been more in the home, but with their parents still working.

This is all a normal part of the process of life and in order to be okay in the big world, a little bird has to learn how to fly and then, survive by themselves. This includes, learning how to use the tools and build the relationships that help them survive with others too. This requires giving them freedom to explore and freedom to fail, not hover over them like a hummingbird a flower.

As much as I would like to protect her.

[ Gen1: Hive ]


Imagining a hummingbird on cocaine. I feel like it would either go straight up, or explode in a burst of feathers like this guy.


With all the pitches over the last 100 years, I wonder if there is another like that?

Growing up in this world today seems to be so much more difficult than when I was a kid. As a parent the most important thing we can do is protect our children and that can be so difficult. We want to know that our children can fend for themselves and that can only happen when we are not present.
I can remember like it was yesterday when we dropped our first child off at school. He was not at all afraid, but we were, it brought tears to our eyes.

Having taught for 30 plus years, I realized just how important it is for a student to be under the guidance of a person that truly cares about the welfare of the students under their instruction.

Compassion is as important as the ability to instruct.
A student doesn't care about how much you know until they know how much you care.
During my years of teaching I witnessed teachers who were bullies. There behavior towards students that didn't fit into their mold was reprehensible.
I taught students that were considered behavior problems and after a time I realized that the real problem was the teacher.

It sounds like your little bird landed in the right classroom.


As a parent the most important thing we can do is protect our children and that can be so difficult.

Yesterday, we were driving past the school and there is a new apartment block opposite, where there are some "shady" elements with drug addicts and sellers etc. This is a relatively good area too. I said to my wife that it kind of concerns me, as while Finland is super safe in comparison to the US, it is changing here too, as more and more people seem to subscribe to the dropout society.

Having taught for 30 plus years, I realized just how important it is for a student to be under the guidance of a person that truly cares about the welfare of the students under their instruction.

It makes such a difference. My day taught from 16-78 years of age and he was someone who actually cared. Decades later, people still occasionally reach out to me to say what a positive impact on their lives he made.

Compassion is as important as the ability to instruct.

I was going to write a post on this a bit, as in Australia now, there is such a shortage of teachers that they are looking to give large cash incentives. That is great, but if not managed well, it ends up like doctors with no bedside manner, except these are people who spend 30 hours a week with our kids and teach them things.

I taught students that were considered behavior problems and after a time I realized that the real problem was the teacher.

So often is the case. It is a branch of neglect, like bad parenting.

BTW, I have always wanted to get a picture of a hummingbird, but afaik, they don't live in Finland. :)

We are having the same problems with a lack of qualified teachers here in the states. Teacher's salaries have risen more in the past few years than ever before. That is a double edged sword, are people getting into this profession for the money or because being a teacher is their calling.
The dropout society is becoming a plague. Help wanted signs are everywhere, from McDonalds to skilled labors. People seem content to just sit around, happily taking the checks provided by the government.

It is insane how many people have chosen to drop from the workforce and these gaps are going to cost them down the track.

People seem content to just sit around, happily taking the checks provided by the government.

They always end eventually.

Sometimes we wish we could just switch places with our children or young ones and go through the challenges of growing up for them but we have to let them learn, grow and be strong right?
As she gets older, she'll understand more of these things & how to tackle them by then, she'll be one strong super girl.
Say hi to her for me. 🤗😊

If I switched places with her, knowing what I know now - I'd be a terror!! :D

But yes, she has to learn for herself :)

Yeah, and she will very intelligently. Thanks so kindly sir.

Is it a private or state school? If state, I have never seen such health certificate to be given a school. If a student had special conditions, parents would talk to the teacher.

While registering, do people there donate(so called) or fund schools for example buying cleaning materials, photocopy papers?

It could be a privately-owned preschool or one owned by the municipality. No parents donate anything to any schools or nurseries here. Even the privately-owned ones are funded from the municipal budgets. The fees are heavily subsidised. The costs per child per month are in the neighborhood of €1000 but what the parents pay varies between about €280 and 0 depending on their income.

There is political will to provide this for each child because having a larger proportion of mothers in the work force is economically advantageous. The unemployed also have the right to early education provided for their children. The children also have breakfast, lunch and an a snack in the afternoon.

Thanks for answering :)

My pleasure. :)

Markku answered :)

But this is a public school. There aren't many private schools here and the ones that are, are generally language based, so there are a couple English Schools and a French one.

We have English based high schools as well as German, French, Italian.

You, sir, are a great parent! 👏

Not sure about that!

Oh... I'm a parent so... I know full well how hard it is to let go and let them fly. ;)

I believe it's time for her to start experiencing things from different people and how to relate with such people as well though it won't be easy at first but she will definitely adapt soon.

She'll adapt - it is all good for her. Even bad experiences (as I am sure there will be also) are growth opportunities.

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