Celebrating Children for Everything They Are
Posted on November 20 2017
Come 14th November, and schools bring out their best ideas to celebrate Children’s Day! But like all other days that we celebrate (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Women’s Day), why limit our appreciation to just one day? We often overlook that children too are sensitive enough to feel hurt or under-appreciated, just like us adults.
Think back to the most recent time when you were complemented or praised for something you did or said? It could be a very simple thing, but didn’t those words of praise make you feel warm inside? Well, all human beings want to be loved and appreciated for who they are. It’s important to be mindful to love and appreciate your own self first, before expecting it from others. This self-forming habit should be instilled early on in a human being, from childhood.
Very often, in the constant stress of our daily lives, we unintentionally focus on “what’s going wrong” a.k.a the “negatives.” And without realizing, we pass this vibe on to our little ones at home or at school. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher (or both!), it’s vital to be conscious of what you say to them and how you make them feel. Children are children for only a limited period, and before you know it, they’ll be all grown up. Would it not be nice to try and do everything you can, to empower them to live their lives with confidence? You may ask though, “Does this really necessitate an entire blog for this topic? Isn’t it natural for us to show our kids we love them?” Yes and yes!
The important point is for us adults to remember and remind ourselves from time to time that children are worth celebrating – whether they are naughty or shy or bold or scared or differently abled, all of them need to know we love them for who they are!
Why should we celebrate children?
They have innocent & pure energy
A famous book has a quote: “When we are children, we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” It says everything in these 3 lines, doesn’t it? Celebrate the innocence that kids have. Of course, today’s kids are a lot of smarter or bolder than kids of previous generations, but there’s still a pureness about them that can warm our hearts.
Their emotions are honest & unfiltered
In a child’s life, “pretense” is limited to his/her make-believe games or friends. Rarely will you find a child shrewd enough to “feign” his or her emotions. As adults, we learn and find it easier to put on a poker face or a brave front, even though our feelings don’t come close to what we’re showing on our face. As kids, they rarely can conceal their emotions. Anger is anger, excitement is excitement, joy is joy.
They bring a different perspective to the table
Adults tend to (or like to) complicate things that can actually be resolved in a simple manner. If you place a situation (that would baffle or irritate you) in front of your little one and ask them how they would resolve it, chances are that they will offer you a reply that’s objective and honest, something that may not come that easily to us when we problem solve. Give your kids small opportunities to solve a problem that’s causing you some confusion. Make them feel important, by trusting their decision-making or problem-solving skills and watch them grow into confident human beings.
They will grow up too soon
We can’t emphasize this enough! Today, you may be tearing your hair over your 5-year-old refusing to eat her food or because you’re picking up her toys for the nth time in the day. Before you know, these little mischief makers will be going off to 6th grade, spending more time with their friends, traveling on their own, and generally no longer “needing” you. Cherish every moment even if they’re moments of frustration, anger or sadness. All emotions are needed to form a healthily functioning human being.
How can we celebrate children?
As a parent, you most likely know this! But let’s quickly go over some tips we think are helpful in letting children know that we appreciate them.
Compliment & praise them
“Praise, encouragement and kind words are an essential part of our everyday communication with our children across all ages," according to Dr. Cheryl Rode, director of clinical operations at the San Diego Center for Children. She further says: “Children develop their sense of self through their communications with others, especially their parents.”
Yes, your kid may be bratty or difficult or have other not-so-favourable traits, and discipline is certainly necessary for such moments. But don’t forget to appreciate the little things they do. Your child picks up after himself, or makes her own bed, or washes his hands without you having to prompt him. These are small things for us, but big achievements for them. But be careful as to not over-praise them or praise them on every single thing they do, because then your little one may get a sense of self-importance or an attitude that is not rightly earned. This brings us to our next point...
Balance out the praise with feedback
Too much of anything is not good. This principle applies to praise too. Remember to strike a good, healthy balance so that kids learn to accept hardships or crisis, cope with disappointments and seek solutions to overcome obstacles. Don’t shower them with harsh words when they do something wrong or inappropriate. Approach it maturely with positive constructive feedback, which they can use to improve themselves.
Prioritize household or other chores
The majority of parents today struggle with multitasking between daily household chores and their professional responsibilities. It’s never easy; for some, especially single parents, it’s truly challenging! If there’s a task that can be done tomorrow or pushed for the weekend, do it. Spend that time with your child if possible, without stressing over “what could be.” Let go of the perfect or ideal situation or outcome, because let’s face it, the day you become a parent, that dream can go out of the window!
Unplug to plug in with your little one
Disconnect from your phone and laptop to connect with your kids. Technology need not take over our lives if we take control of it first! This way, you will be setting a nice example for children as well, who can learn by watching you keep aside your gadgets for some quality moments with loved ones.
Be mindful of the little moments
We don’t always need the big moments to make our lives significant. Simple, fleeting moments like your child falling asleep on your lap while watching TV, or holding their hand while crossing the road are the experiences that should make us feel grateful and happy. Be mindful, be grateful.
Sometimes, a hug is all it takes to show your little ones how much they mean to you. Your day may be hectic, your home may be chaotic, or your life may be in disarray. But if you have a child at home, definitely make time to celebrate the awesomeness they bring to your lives!
Author: Sneha Bhat
About: Sneha is an independent writer and book editor who loves good food, good design and a fantastic cup of tea. When she's not telling stories, she enjoys yoga and reading.