The Kitchen Table’s Inner Circle

The kitchen table, as I visualize it, is an informal place. Consider the difference compared to the dining room table, which is more formal and may have larger chairs at each end. At the kitchen table, all the chairs are the same size. They are all equal.

Because of this, it is at the kitchen table where genuine dialogue should occur. Where a level playing field exists, children and adults become, in effect, an inner circle. Here, children and adults converse person-to-person, not as adult-to-child or child-to-adult. This makes an enormous difference in their relationships.

A relationship that builds a sense of being heard, understood, and responded to, whether in agreement or not, creates trust and regard.  This kind of equality fosters love between adults and children the way it should be. In truth, this is how it must be if the child is to grow and become more themselves. Growth cannot be assured in relationships where children conform to rules set by the adults in their lives.

We learned and implemented this way of being with children throughout our careers. It was also our way with staff, which ensured quality and competent personnel. The kitchen table model is one that endures. 

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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