“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso
Children start out life with unabashed enthusiasm! They’ll try anything over and over and love it. They smile and laugh at the simplest things, get back up when they fall down, create masterpieces out of squiggles on the blank canvas of life.
And, yes, they also cry pretty easily.
“There is nothing more perfect than a young child being authentically themselves, comfortable with their expression, occupied for hours with their curiosity, being in their natural state of exploration of cause & effect.”
Children being authentically themselves no shame, no embarrassment, and no hesitation to express how they feel.
But then something happens.
A child tends to learn over those rough growing up years that laughing or smiling too much will get you laughed at, falling down too many times means you’re stupid, and you better forget the squiggles and learn to paint within the lines.
It’s crucial we are intentionally aware of the words we most consistently use around and direct towards the children we influence. Words of hope, encouragement, greatness, and love are what they need. Unfortunately, children are too often exposed to words of doubt, discouragement, and frustration, words that instill limitations rather than create feelings of empowerment and potential.
This little thought highlights what potentially could happen if our words aren’t so thoughtful.
I ONCE WAS FUN KID
By Les Patterson
I once was a fun kid
But I was told to be good
Be like the others
So that’s what I did
Molded to expectations
And my spark died
Washed out in compliance
So here I impassively sit
Awaiting my what fate dishes out
If only I was still a fun kid…
The words we use will either encourage a child to create a powerful story as they grow, or will serve to diminsh their light. Just as the thoughts and words we most consistently use impacts how we create our own story, it’s also true for the language we most consistently use around and directed towards children.
This is the good news.
We can be more consistent and more intentional in the language we use around the children we influence. Focusing on a few core values can be an effective way to guide our own thinking in order to focus on efforts on making a more lasting impact for good.
Psychologist Sherrie Campbell suggests we focus on 7 core values “to equip our children with the insight that their struggles and failures serve as master teachers that help grow them into stronger, more successful people.”
- Seeing possibilities where others see problems
- Time management
- Accepting responsibility
“It is important we help our children overcome the emotional blocks they face,” Campbell continues, “which breed thoughts of small-mindedness and create self-imposed limitations. We must teach them to set high standards for themselves and to never apologize for striving to live up to those higher standards. Our goal as parents should be to encourage our children to think as big as they can, expect nothing less than the best, to have courage and, most importantly, to be kind.”
Let’s help more kids discover just how great they are!
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to intentionally help a child discover more of their GREATNESS!
Photo by White77 from Pixabay
Check out last week’s Red Edge Live interview with Jenna Riser where we explore the beauty of creating joy!
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