Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Simplest Scissor Safety Tip Ever

Flowers are Pretty
I have always enjoyed watching young children discover flowers. In our family, dandelions have always been a first opportunity for them to touch and learn about flowers. As toddlers, my children would pluck the yellow heads off the plant and pull the yellow petals apart. Usually when they were doing that, I would pick them by the stems and make a small bouquet to offer.

I suppose that is how they learned to hold a flower by the stem.

At home, my children loved the power of scissors. As we learned our way around the tool, I found myself (like many parents I assume) worried when they walked with the tool in hand. "Where were they going?" you ask. Well, usually if they were walking with scissors it was because they had been working on a project and wanted to cut something. They left the table, walked to our art cart, got the scissors and turned to head back to their working spot. 

Independent Workers
I fast realized that my children are so confident in knowing what they want and sure that they can do it themselves that I would have to come up with some safety rules. I wouldn't always be able to be sitting with them and offering to fetch the scissors on their behalf, nor should I.

A Reasonable and Easy Safety Rule
The problem I faced was how to explain to a child the best way to hold scissors. As I demonstrated to hold the scissors by the blade, I looked at my hand. I saw how the scissors looked like a small bouquet of flowers and I knew I had it. I explained:

The safe way to hold scissors (when you are not cutting) is like this. 

Pretend the scissors are a flower. 

Here is the stem, here is the flower.

This rule was what came from using positive language combined with our experience of picking flowers. 

"Positive language?" you ask. In essence, you say what you want from your child instead of what you don't want. For example:

Instead of saying "No running!" you say "Use your walking feet!"

and now

"Hold the scissors like a flower."

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