I’m sure as you read through the list of Phoenix Cups you are thinking of what traits your own children may have as being high on their list of priorities and needs. You may also be thinking of what other authors have written similar perspectives on personality or the 5 love languages.
When looking at this Phoenix Cup Framework and thinking about individual children, it’s easy to reflect on the children who regularly seek connection with a hug, or being close, or children who ask you to play with them or to watch them do something. Perhaps it’s the children who seek safety through predictable routines or prompts that play will finish in 5 minutes, or the children who seek fun and stimulation and make their way around every activity on offer. Maybe it’s the children who seek freedom through autonomy to do things with independence and creativity, or the children who seek mastery who value being the fastest, or have the biggest and strongest dog, or show great concentration in things that interest them.
Having different perspectives and ways of viewing children helps us to understand them, their behaviours, and their underlying drives. This in turn helps us as educators to respond to children’s needs and presents opportunities for us to progressively teach resilience in situations where they may be driven to meet a need. For example, if a child with a big safety cup is tired on the walk back from an excursion, they can become resilient in keeping on going until we finish the walk back to school and then have their need met; knowing they will get through this and can have what they need once they have achieved the goal.
As I read through the materials I recall verses from the Bible such as: God created each child uniquely, each fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:13-14), children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3), Children are made in His image (Genesis 1:27), Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on the an blessed them (Mark 10:16). Jesus was interested in filling cups so to speak. Not only do safety, mastery and fun reflect some of Emmaus’ cultural strengths, the Phoenix Cups Framework leave a huge amount of room for teaching gospel values such as truth, care, concern, involvement, empathy, sacrifice, humility, restraint, discipline, patience, hope, confidence, joy, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, etc. In other words, we see the framework as one that also opens the flood gates to true Christ-centred teaching and learning.