The children I work with are amazing. They are so amazing I often wonder if they know how amazing they are.
During a recent Me Book conference a parent brought up how connected their child was to a student that had left our school. They talked about how meaningful it was to him to feel like a mentor to that child, how he enjoyed reading stories and helping this child along through their everyday activities. Being the youngest of his family, this gave him opportunities to be the “big kid” and feel responsibility toward a younger child. It occurred to me that he not only touched that child in a positive and meaningful way but many others, just by being a friend. And you know, I see this not only in this child but in every child in our classroom community.
Just today I observed a similar interaction between peers. A newer friend approached me asking if I could spell the word LOVE for him. Overhearing this, an older child in our classroom offered to help him. They went to the writing center together and later returned; the child was beaming with pride and a list of words.
We often ask these children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That is a powerful question, a stressful question. In that question we are asking many other questions: What will you do to make the world a better place? What contributions will you make? How will you leave your mark? Perhaps the question we should ask is, “Do you know how amazing you are today?”
Inspired by this reflection I am making it a personal goal to make time for affirmations. Perhaps we should all take time to give out meaningful affirmations. We need to build on those positive moments, let the children know that we saw how helpful they were to that friend, and ask them to reflect on that interaction by asking how it made them feel. If we want to guide these children toward a more peaceful future we need to start with today.
“Kind words may be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa