Want to raise a physically and emotionally healthy child? It doesn't happen by magic. It takes planning, self-awareness, communication and lots of other considered actions.
Let's begin the process now.
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
This verse by Emily Dickinson has a variety of interpretations. As an elementary teacher I wrote it on the blackboard the first day of school. I guess today it would probably be a "white board," the times they are a changing. Human nature on the other hand...
I used this poem to reference and demonstrate treatment of others, intolerance of bullying and kindness in general. If you read no more of this article and simply remember to always be kind you'll be way ahead of the game. But if you desire to raise really happy kids, read on!
Now, as a life coach I often refer to Emily Dickinson's poem in terms of language and the ability to empower through the choice of words and methods in which we communicate with children and our peers.
Youngsters and adolescents face a daily barrage of challenges to their sense of self-worth, well-being and perception of just where they fit into the scheme of things. There are more unhappy and suffering children than adults think... and yours just might be one of them.
Some parents (unfortunately more often Dads) will make little of negative experiences saying "it's just a part of growing up... it'll toughen him or her." While it's true that developing a fairly impervious shell is important... the rest is sheer bu*****t.
Empower Your Child
Whatever the age, and whether you're a parent or grandparent you have the ability and the responsibility to craft an environment in which your child is encouraged to experiment, challenged to take chances and respected for choices they make.
This doesn't mean letting your child run free, doing whatever they feel like and misbehaving without suffering consequences.
It does represent looking for activities and methods of communication that put your child in the driver's seat. Creating challenges, no matter the outcome is healthy for children. It's how they learn to deal with both success and failure.
My elementary students were comprised largely of children at risk. Many suffered from highly dysfunctional home conditions, academic difficulties and a host of emotional ills. I made it a point within the first week of school to identify one strength unique to each child... and then reinforce it.