A Chance Encounter

I spent Thanksgiving with my three grandkids in Dallas. It was wonderful being part of their energy; each with their own personality, likes and dislikes, moments of cohesiveness in their interactions and at times the discord. They practiced piano and guitar. They went rock climbing and we celebrated my grandson’s seventh birthday. Grandparents’ Day at their school gave me a glimpse into their school day world. It was cold and rained a lot, but they took it in their stride. My eight year old granddaughter had a special project that included a family heirloom recipe and that’s where I came in! What fun to share this cooking experience with her. All three are voracious readers, so gift giving always includes books. All to soon it was time to head back to Los Angeles but we keep in touch by texting, phone and FaceTime. And I am at their beck and call whether to share an exciting moment, to complain about a sibling or friend or ask for my opinion and advice. Tonight’s conversation was a learning experience for me. Truth be told, many of these conversations are. Listening and taking a different perspective runs both ways: from me to grandchild, from grandchild to me. My eleven year old granddaughter wanted to share a class project, something she called The Lollipop  Effect She explained it as “learning about something, the “good” and how to apply it to you.” She was bubbling with excitement that it took her a few times to explain all of this to me. In short she had been watching Dancing With The Stars, with her parents, and was cheering on Bindi Irwin. And she jumped and screamed with joy when Bindi won the mirrorball trophy! When she told her teacher she was going to use Bindi as her Lollipop Effect person, her teacher was so encouraging and said she would send my granddaughter’s report/ letter to Bindi. Sydney (my granddaughter) was thrilled that her teacher might be able to connect her to Bindi and she might get a letter back from her! Sydeny then explained what she learned from Bindi; the Lollipop Effect for her was Bindi’s positive attitude even when the judges’ scores were low. Bindi looked at it as a way to improve her next dance (the good outcome from what could be looked at as a negative response). Here is an authentic growth mindset that my granddaughter could understand and emulate! Bindi looked at these scores, not as failures, but a chance for iteration, an opportunity to try again and act on suggestions for growth. And with a beautiful pronuncement and trembling in her voice, Sydney exclaimed, “Bubbie, Bindi always looked at the good in a situation and that’s what I will also try to do. To look for the good and go from there. To look for the good in a situation, in myself and others. That’s the Lollop Effect for me!”

By a chance encounter with a television show a connection was made. This conversation sparked so much wonder in me. A growth mindset can come from unusual and unexpected situations. My granddaughter’s reflections had me envision a classroom where bringing in the outside world connects children across the globe. Finding the good, wouldn’t be so bad.

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