Supporting the Understanding and Development of Ownership
Published on Monday, May 6th, 2019
Fred Rogers, the host of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, testified before the Senate in 1969 discussing the need for the continued support of public broadcasting. Towards the end of his testimony, Rogers quotes the words to his song, What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel? His statements before the Senate describing the need for educational and developmentally appropriate programming in which children can learn that feelings are mentionable and manageable earned Public Broadcasting $20,000,000 in funds for continued work.
The last stanza of Rogers’ song describes the ability to control one’s emotions and behavior choices.
I can stop when I want to Can stop when I wish I can stop, stop, stop at any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman
And a boy can be someday a man.
Throughout the month of May, the children of Stepping Stone School will focus on the character trait of Ownership as a part of our Communities of Character™ curriculum. Children will learn that they are in control of their feelings as Fred Rogers so powerfully states.
Here are some ways, we can work together to support children’s understanding and development of Ownership:
- Identify and discuss feelings. When we help very young children identify a feeling by stating, “I can tell you are feeling frustrated…” it allows the child to release that feeling and start figuring out how to resolve the problem. As they grow, they will be able to identify their own feelings and with support to learn how to calm down and find a solution.
- Connect the Dots. Help children see how their choices have supported a given outcome. “You stepped in a puddle, now your shoes are wet.” Or “You kept practicing and you got the ball in the basket.” Helping children to see the cause and effect of their choices helps them to recognize what they need to do to reach a desired outcome in the future.
- Read Books about Ownership and Personal Responsibility. Books like Mercer Mayer’s I Just Forgot and Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola provide opportunities for children to identify what the character should have done in a given situation in order to demonstrate ownership for their actions.
Providing children with the words to identify their feelings and the understanding of how their actions determine an outcome, allows children to develop a sense of ownership for their actions and behavior
For the words to the full song: http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/music/songs/what_do_you_do.html