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"Stupid Dan"

Shakin Bones Time… Every morning Arick, a four-year-old child, would greet me with “Hi, “Stupid Dan”. To me an early childhood specialist with degrees. Every morning I greeted Arick with, “I have been waiting for you Arick” and “By the way you have part of my name right again, Dan”. There was a part of me that wanted him to know that perhaps I was not “stupid” but the real reason is, this was not a moral issue but a developmental issue. He wasn’t being mean, he wasn’t unkind, he wasn’t being disrespectful but instead he wanted and needed attention and acknowledgment. So many people might have said, “That was not very nice, and that hurts my feelings”. That moves his morning greeting to a moral issue w


hich he is not capable of, at this stage of development, to recognize. One time a student heard his greeting and said, “That's not very nice, can you think of another way to greet Dan?” So Arick lowered his voice and whispered, “Good Morning, Stupid Dan”.

Arick’s good morning ritual lasted three weeks. Once he felt included, recognized and acknowledged he no longer needed to call me “Stupid Dan”. So many children say and do things that are often viewed as a moral issue. Lets respond and keep it at a developmental perspective.