In working with children enrolled in the YMCA Brother/Sister Program, STRIDE and now the students at school, we as educators/advocates/coaches experience a wide variety of emotions, sometimes all in one day.
Over the years, I have learned so much from these kids, and as adults, our needs really aren’t that different from theirs.
💜 Forgiveness. Watching two children play together minutes after some unkind exchanges reminds me that forgiveness is powerful and is often easier on the heart than holding a grudge.
💜 Empathy. We have no idea what people go through day to day; this goes for children and adults alike. Giving people grace and patience can be the exact gift they are in need of.
💜 Honesty. Making mistakes makes us human. Being honest about those mistakes makes us admirable. Own it, move on and try again.
💜 Kindness. Give the compliment, share the smile, include the stranger. Your words can completely turn a person’s day around.
💜 Trusting. Know that you can trust others, and prove that you can be trusted. Keep your promises; keep their secrets.
💜 Gratefulness. This is not just regarding “things;” it’s people, too. Don’t take people for granted; let them know what they mean to you.
Don’t just hear them; listen.
In conversations with my own children, I find myself correcting their grammar and reminding them to use their manners. Only when I stopped just hearing them, and really listening, did I realize that I have missed out on many learning opportunities. I was so wrapped up in being the “teacher,” that I forgot how important it is to be the student. An important lesson learned from the learners to themselves.