Once again, I am inspired by the impact of what seem to be natural ways to relate to people - paying genuine compliments, smiling, and kindness. However, when I hear from a parent about the impact of a compliment to his or her child which comes on the heels of peers having said hurtful things, I take special note to remember that hesitating to say something nice could be a missed opportunity to turn the day around for someone who needs it.
The things we say to children have a huge impact on shaping how they think about themselves as individuals and how they see themselves in the world. As parents and adults, the impact of what we say carries a lot of weight, because children look to us for wisdom in the world. They ask us questions about the stars and planets, why we wear our reading glasses lower on our noses, and how planes fly. They think, hope, and believe we have the answers to the questions of the universe - they want to know what we know so that they can understand that there is knowledge to be gained by questioning, observing, reading, listening, and in conversation. Whenever you have the chance, notice a child. Notice the smile on his face. Notice the temporary tattoo on her hand. Notice the beauty of children both inside and out, look at them, and tell them. This is the wisdom they need to hear from us to know that they matter and that they are big enough for an adult to notice.
Post by Sarah Wilhelms