Hi there love bugs, I hope all is well. This topic today that I am writing about today is something that is really important to me and something I think will relate to the majority of you as well. I am not at the stage of life where I have been blessed with children of my own yet, but I do have some kiddos that I get to call mine. So, in some sense, I am able to speak on this topic, just through a different lens. As some of you know, I am a new teacher. This fall I will walk into a classroom with 20+ little humans and start one of the most important years of their lives, first grade. The pressure I feel and the anxiety I have is immense. I imagine that it is a fraction of what new parents feel as they are expecting the arrival of their bundle of joy. Things like, “will I be able to teach them anything?”, “are they going to know how to read?”, “will they be happy?” are racing through my head. And I sit here thinking what is the best way to make sure that they learn, grow, smile, laugh, and have fun? I have turned to scholarly articles, TED Talks, podcasts, and real parents for advice on how to get kids from point A to point B; however, those of you that work with children know there is no direct route.
Today, I want to share a common theme that all of my research and education has touched on. Something that goes beyond the classroom and teachers… It has to do with what is said and done around the dinner table, in the car rides home from sports games, the night before a big recital, the reactions to papers and tests. These are the moments that shape little humans. Our words, our actions, our reactions, and our next steps are what matter. No surprise, right?
I was listening to a podcast and it talked about how ‘our children become what we say to them.’ Now for all the mommies and daddies out there, along with aunts and uncles, babysitters, teachers, grandparents and more, listen because this is important. We have a huge responsibility. One that you all know and think about probably daily…One of our biggest and most amazing privileges in life is raising these kids to be smart, successful, happy, honest, hardworking, loving, and kind individuals. Thats a long list of things to accomplish, and none of it is on a shelf at Target available to purchase. So how do we get there? Through our words, actions, and reactions.
Children are like sponges, they absorb every single ounce of anything that is available to them. So if we give them negativity, self doubt, low self esteem, anger, disappointment, and stress, that is what they will absorb. The amazing thing about this though is it is a two way street. They will also absorb positivity, self love, confidence, patience, excitement, happiness, joy, and perseverance. So what are we giving them? That is my question to you. Think back to a time with your child when they failed, something that they have probably done 100 times before and will do 100 times again, how did you react? What were your words? What actions did you take?
Every action, word, and reaction we have towards a child makes an impact on how THEY perceive the situation. So if they lose a baseball game, even one they should have won, and we react by yelling and getting upset, how does that make them feel? What does that make them think? If they bring home a test that they studied all night for and they didn't do so well on it, and then we punish them, what does that do to their perception of themselves? These are the important moments that shape their perception of the world and themselves. These are the times that we need to over-flood that sponge with positivity. These are the times that we set them up for what we hope and dream of them becoming. Because our kids are what we say to them. They are OUR words in a living and able body.
So how do we want them to grow? I know personally that this is the toughest pill to swallow. Admitting that there have been times where I was the reason they absorbed self doubt or anger. And I'm here to tell you it is okay, because we are not all perfect and that is a teachable moment in and of itself. But luckily, we have a lifetime to teach them. So I’m asking you today to think about how we want to fuel those little minds. Remember, every action, word, and reaction we have towards them makes an impact on how THEY perceive the situation. We have a big responsibility here, but I know we can do it - as teachers, parents, family, friends, and a community. I have faith in the power of positivity, love, and the goodness of this tribe. I know that we all have been that “person,” but I also know that we are sweating alongside each other to be the best we can be, for not only ourselves, but for those little ones we impact as well.
So take this today as a reset. Remind yourself right now, that they are watching, listening, and taking it all in at every moment. And instead of putting on a show for them, transform your life and mindset to shape theirs. It is a win-win for all of us. Too much love is still not enough, so love them and love them hard. Remember what we always say, what we put in is what we get out. Imagine what amazing humans beings we will be raising when we fuel them with love and positivity.
And just because I know some of you need this, believe me, you are doing a kickass job. You are a great parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, teacher, mentor, friend. Just keep loving, it is the secret medicine to heal all wounds. We got this TORQUE tribe!!
All my love,