Music and lyrics have always been a wonderful way to deliver a message. Songs can make us feel a myriad of emotions, take us back in time to other remembered experiences, and make us think. When I think of children, the song by Whitney Houston immediately comes to mind as her lyrics speak the truth about those little spiritual beings who need nurturing and positive direction to grow to their full potential.
“I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride…..”Good advice for any adult raising a child today. Children under the age of 5 or 6 base their beliefs about themselves and their world on what is being told to them and shown to them by the adults around them. They internalize everything they hear and see, and do not have the capacity at that age to distinguish truth from fantasy. Whatever we tell them about themselves, they believe. A simple statement like” Let me tie your shoes, I can do it faster.” can be translated in the child’s mind as “I am not good enough”, and thus starts the belief of “I am not good enough” which can continue into adulthood and impact that child’s life in a limiting way. I am not suggesting that this is an intentional act on the part of the adult, but as adults we should be aware that our words have power.
If you ever look into the eyes of a child, you will see that they look at the world with wonder, anticipation and adventure. If you listen to them, sometimes they are wise beyond their years. They innately know and tell the truth. Listen to their hopes and dreams. You might be surprised that a 3 year old can tell you all about the bugs in the garden, how they help the earth, and that when he grows up, he wants to be a bug scientist. By the age of 5, the “bug scientist” has been replaced by “entomologist” and he can’t get enough bug books to satisfy his curiosity. When we give a child our attention, time and respect, we are teaching them that their hopes and dreams have merit. We facilitate an attitude of “I can do it!” and an environment where anything is possible if they believe in the power of their dreams.
Children need to feel good about themselves no matter what their family circumstances might be. In today’s world it is not uncommon to find single parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, step parents, adoptive parents, foster parents all raising children. When a child feels loved, valued, and a sense of belonging, there is a level of comfort and confidence in their life which fulfills the basic human need of safety. If that feeling of safety is compromised, the world becomes an unsafe place, a place not to be trusted, not to be counted on. It is imperative that we show our children that they are protected, they matter, they have value; their contribution to the family and the community is noteworthy and their accomplishments celebrated. Give them a vision of the future that they can be proud of and look forward to. After all, the future is in their hands. They are the co-creators of tomorrow.
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