on children

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"children are brutally honest."

that is what my professor said, when asked why she chose to work with children.

the young ones, they have nothing to be dishonest about. they should have no reason to fret.

they have no fear in giving compliments, and compliments they sure give. in my case, "miss olivia, I like…" your hair (that they love to play with) and your nail polish and your ring (oh, someone new discovers my ring every time I work) and your skirt and your shirt and your jacket ("I have elbow patches on one of my jackets, too!") and your shoes ("are those ballet shoes?") and you - especially you.

they love you when you roll out of bed and your hair is a mess and your clothes have dirt. they love when your clothes have dirt, because it means you were probably playing outside with them. they love you when it's raining, even if they wish it was sunny outside. they love you even if the classroom is messy and even if you're sick. children will tell you they like something about you, that they love you, when you are looking or feeling your worst.

as my almost-three-year-old niece would say,
"I like that."

They ask you honest questions. On tuesday, a child squinted at me for a moment, and then slowly asked:
"why do you always eat yogurt when you come here?"
to which I responded, "yogurt is one of my favorite foods, it is good for you and has lots of protein."
he stared at me for a moment and then said,
"I like it too but I haven't had it in a while because my mom never asks me if I want it so she doesn't buy it!"

there is a boldness to children. a bold curiosity that I want to embody.

I feel that we lose that boldness as we get older - we lose our organic, curious selves, worried about what others will think if we are outwardly kind or too inquisitive.

and so when working with children, I attempt to take on their curiosity. I ask questions,
"why do you think you have cherry blossom petals stuck in your hair?"
and I tell them boldly
"I love the necklace you made for your mom. that is such a nice idea. she will really appreciate that you made something for her."
"oh, I love the Harry Potter scar that your sister drew on your forehead!"

give honest compliments. ask questions. don't be afraid.

be bold.

1 comment:

  1. They are such precious beings aren't they. There is so much we can learn from them but it is sad that we have to. We once had those innocent minds but now we are wrapped up in selfishness and envy and insecurities that the true nature of our being is lost.

    Thank you for such a thought provoking post