Do you remember when you were young and wanted to show or tell your parents all the new things you had just seen or learned. If you were skating, had a dance performance, made a goal or just wanted to show how you did a cartwheel, showing your parents what you learned, or experienced, was a natural part of growing up. “Watch me mommy or look at this dad!”
I have had such a great experience with this lately. One of our sons has recently discovered the yo-yo. Over and over we have seen his tricks and over and over he is thrilled putting on a show. He is so proud!
I also see daily the need for a child to show us in art class what they learned. Comments from “I did it” or “look what I made” or “do you like my painting?” are often heard from our preschoolers all the way through middle school.
With so many distractions in today’s world, it is easy for us, myself included, to overlook the asking of our children to look at what they are doing and or to listen. Being mindful of this can truly transform a child’s sense of self-worth.
Feeling seen and heard is critical to developing a strong sense of self, developing self-confidence and knowing that you somehow have a secure place in the world. What other ways can we give our children attention besides watching and listening? Showing eye contact by looking directly at your child along with being aware of your body language, bending down to their level, reading on the floor together or sitting at the table together face to face can add to the list of ways you can show you are paying attention. Let’s also include creating conversation and dialogue, showing interest and reflecting back on their efforts along with asking open ended questions. “How did you make that” or “tell me about your performance” or even “how did the book finish!” are all great ways to show you are present and interested.
It’s a busy world out there but let’s not forget our children need us to watch, listen and be there for them.
See you in art class!