I love this picture from my childhood. Me and my siblings anxiously awaiting digging into our Halloween candy and smiling for just one more photo for our always-eager-to-capture-every-memory mother. We are each so different. Living and growing in the same family, but different. Special, strong, wonderful in our own ways.
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking we need to control children, that we need to teach him, fill in their “blank slate” so that they are “successful” and “happy.” How interesting it is that we as adults think we have this figured out. After all, we adults are often the unhappy ones, the unfulfilled ones, the corrupt ones. It seems children are born knowing how to be happy, knowing what they want to pursue and engage in in life, and slowly but surely we make them forget.
What if we embraced children for what they are instead of being so worried about what they will become? What if we focused on their strengths and embraced and encouraged these instead of focusing on “fixing” our perceived weaknesses in them?
We could think: “Wow that child struggles sitting still during story time. He’ll have serious issues in kindergarten” or we could think instead: “What energy he has! He certainly is curious about what is going on around him and seems interested in figuring out how things work.”
What if we realized everyone has something to offer? We need to see that everyone has a light to make the world a little brighter. We just spend so much time making the light look the way we want it to, that we end putting so many of them out, dimming lights that could have been nurtured and made brighter.
Let kids be kids. Embrace them. Love them. And let’s never forget to learn from them too.