Don’t you just love hearing the words, “You are important?” Take a moment to say them out loud…
I AM Important
It’s like the sweet taste of nectar for a bee…it’s heaven for a human being here on Earth…
I am important is by far, the most empowering phrase a child can hear, know, feel and believe.
This week (and many weeks this summer), I am running a camp to build self-esteem in young children with my partner, Stephanie Liberty. We strive to teach kids to believe in themselves, speak their truth, and understand that we are all connected. Each year, we learn something new by running these camps and we hear that kids and parents love our camps too! (We LOVE that)
Every year, a theme seems to naturally arise… The running theme this week is,
“You are important.”
A few days ago, we were talking with the girls about feelings and the importance of feeling your feelings, one child said, “Sometimes, adults tell us we don’t feel what we feel though.” Ouch! Just hearing those words made me cringe. When was the last time your child, or a child you care for said, “I’m scared or I feel sad…” and you responded with, “Oh, you’re alright.“
The truth is, we often do unintentionally ignore their pleas to share their feelings. Especially, if we are busy in that moment when they are desperately trying to tell us their very important story…
How many times have we told our children, “Just a minute hun, I just need to finish this up,” and then before you know it, an hour has passed. How often, as teachers, have we had children come up to us in the morning or after lunch (or any random time of day) and start to share a story they just can’t keep in? Several, for me. If I think back far enough, I can remember this happening to me as a kid too! It’s hard to remember the actual incidence or what I was talking about at those moments, but I can remember the pain of feeling invisible or unimportant like it’s happening right now in this moment, and I bet you can too.
Now, I know we certainly cannot always stop everything that we are doing and listen to EVERY story that our kids have to share, but maybe we could inventory how often we are stopping and looking right at them and totally focusing on them while they share what is important to them?
Likely, not enough. I am guilty of this myself. However, running this camp this week has truly opened my eyes. Maybe, we can make a little pledge to each other, that we will…
Never again tell a child that their feelings are not real.
Never again will we say, “Oh you’re fine.” Instead, we will take a moment to ask them about their feelings and help them to deal with those feelings in a healthy way so they know just how important they are.
Today, while teaching the girls how to use an “I Statement” to discuss their feelings, it became apparent to me that when children feel unheard, they not only feel invisible, but they feel totally unimportant, and that makes me sad to even write.
This has made me take a step back and analyze my interactions with my students, my son, and come to think of it, every one I come in contact with!
No-one likes to feel invisible. No-one deserves to be over looked. We don’t necessarily set out to do this, but when we get caught up in ‘doing‘ too much, we lose sight of who we ‘are‘ (Hint: we are Human Beings, not human doings).
Take a moment now to close your eyes and imagine how good it feels when you feel seen and heard. How amazing it is to feel important. Then, when you open your eyes, open your eyes to a new perspective and make it your goal to make every person you come in contact with, just for today, feel important, especially your kids!
Ya never know…you just might like it so much that you keep this practice up daily.
By the way, thanks for reading this…
You ARE important to me!
Lots of Love,
Check out my upcoming classes on the 7 Essentials for Creating Strong Foundations in Children & Adults