The Micah Show

Apr 5, 2015

It is apparent to me, we don’t see ourselves the way other people do. Our choices, our attitudes, and our behaviors – all look differently when we play them out in our own heads.

This weekend, Micah requested a room transformation. After some thought, my wife and I agreed, deciding this would be a good time to purge and clean, given the start of his college adventure in a few short months. As he dug through tons of mini-time-capsule treasures, he found a note he had typed on an old typewriter: “speacial ticket to the micah show.” Smiling, he looked at us and emphatically stated, “I was one interesting kid!” Our response was instant. “You have no idea.”

Luckily, I have had a front row seat to The Micah Show for the past eighteen years and have seen every scene from this adventurous narrative. Of course, when I recount specific incidents about past behaviors to Micah, he usually smiles and looks a bit perplexed. I know it is because Micah has never seen himself the way others see him. I find this to be the case with most people. Ever seen yourself on video or heard your voice on a recording? “Is that really what I look/sound like?”

This lesson is two-fold. One: Be open to feedback. We can learn a lot about our own behaviors if we spend time listening to the perspective of others. ‘nough said on that one. Two: Be patient when giving feedback to others. Timing is everything and if we give our opinion at the wrong time, individuals will often get defensive. However, when we drop little pieces of information at neutral times, we stand a better chance for the information to make it through.

Micah’s room is now dark red. Did I mention that was his choice? I was hoping for a nice soothing butter or mint color. I did my best to persuade, but to no avail. This could have easily turned into yet another power struggle, until my wife pointed out to me, the obvious: It is only paint. And thus, the crisis was averted and The Micah Story continues.

Beyond Poor Choices

I know I’m stating the obvious, but changing behavior can be difficult.  Want to start off on the right foot when faced with this challenge?  A critical first step in dealing with inappropriate behaviors is determining which are the result of poor...

Generalizing to Extremes

As I lay awake last night staring at the ceiling, it was clear to me that my original idea for this week’s post would have to wait.  Given the incident that occurred at yesterday’s presidential rally, I believe there is a bigger issue to address. I’ve been...

The Concerning Colorful Spectrum of Language

Though actions may speak louder than words, we best not underestimate how language modeling shapes the behavior of the children we are collectively raising.  I guess it’s a hazard of my profession, but I regularly see and hear the world through the eyes and ears of...

Teacher Dads

Dads, today I celebrate you as teachers.  In fact, I believe it is one of your most important roles.  Fathers are always teaching, continually by example, and most of the time without even knowing they are doing so.  In this regard, I have seen some masterful work.  I...

Predictable Routines Needed

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” This quote from Mark Twain seems appropriate given the changes occurring in homes as another school year ends. Parents, we’re lucky. Our kids have had nine months of consistency thanks to the hard work of teachers. We...

One Chapter at a Time

Relieved. Happy. Discouraged.  Exhausted. These were some of the adjectives teachers mentioned when asked how they were feeling about the school year ending.  Although the responses varied, all teachers agreed - they were ready to have some closure with their...

Surrogate Teacher Moms

“Do you have any kids?” I once asked a teacher friend. “Absolutely,” she said. “I have a classroom full of them.” I laughed and walked away, but that thought stuck with me. Let’s face it - some of the best mothers in our lives weren’t our mothers, in the biological...

Get Physical

I’ve done a great deal of yard work over the past few weeks and have been reminded of an important behavior strategy. It’s one I don’t talk about nearly enough, given its effectiveness. Of course, with most people’s busy schedule it’s also hard to come by. The...

Look for the Foundation

Did you know that behaviors have a build-up effect over time?  Most teachers do.  And although there is an ebb and flow pattern to the behaviors of students, we see them all at the tail end of the school year – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Fortunately, we have...

Coming Together

So I’ve been thinking about this post all week.  Though the original inspiration hit me in the middle of the eclipse last Monday, it was driven home again yesterday.  (Being a spiritual man, I believe sometimes God circles back around and gives me reminders – to make...