You big diaper baby boo-boo!: Turning a problem into an opportunity

As there often is, there was a group of children who thought calling people names was SO FUNNY! But the teachers did not think it was so funny, because some people's feelings were getting hurt, and sometimes the children who were being SO FUNNY couldn't STOP being SO FUNNY and it was distracting them from doing anything else!

So, we had a group in the studio to see what we could do about this problem. The children made pictures about all the names they could think of, like diaper and spikey and poop-head and baby. Some people wanted to be in the story, and decorated pictures of themselves with “names”. Then, using the pictures, I started a story about some kids who called people names, and the children told me some things for the story, too.

This is one of the stories:

I really enjoy diving in to a behavior that can be seen as inappropriate or problematic. After we met and told stories a few times, some people got tired of calling names. The teachers could remind the people who still did it that they could save the names for the next name calling group time. Nancy reports that name calling isn't much of a problem any more. It's hard to know if making the name calling into serious business by turning it into a project made it less subversive and fun, or if by illustrating the names and making them into a story the children simply got it out of their system. It doesn't really matter, I guess, since the result is the same. Plus, I had fun!


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