I am inspired by the C.S Lewis quote, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”
I absolutely love this quote and believe it to be 100% true.
Working with children is one of the greatest privileges I could ever imagine having. I see working with children as an opportunity to love, nurture, inspire and help shape their future lives.
Each time I come into contact with a child I want it to be a positive experience for them. In order to help this happen there are 3 things I endeavor to do.
It’s not always possible to do all 3 things every time and for every child, particularly when working with larger groups of kids. But I do it as often as I can, for as many children as I can.
Here are the 3 things...
1) I find something good to say to a child.
Whenever I come into contact with a child, I am always on the lookout for something I can compliment them on. It could be about a cool shirt they are wearing or a ribbon in their hair. Or it could be about something they have done. Whatever it is, I want to tell them something I like about them at least once during our time together.
2) I find something out about the child.
Whenever I come into contact with a child, I like to learn something about them. It could be something they like, somewhere they are going, or have been. It could be about a favourite pet, sports or superhero. It doesn’t matter what it is. I just want one thing that I can talk to them about the next time we meet.
3) I find something good to say about the child.
Whenever I spend time with a child, I am always on the lookout for something positive about the child I can mention to their parents if/when I see them. It could be how they interacted with another child, something interesting they said, or something they did for the first time.
It can be a challenge, particularly if the child has been misbehaving. But if I can find at least one positive thing to pass onto the parents it can do several things. Firstly, it shows the parents I care about their child. It also shows the parents I care about my work. Finally, it helps to build trust. Trust is a hugely important commodity when it comes to working with children. No trust = No future.
So, that’s what I do...
It would take an encyclopedia to fully explain why I do what I do. In short though, I do these things to show that I genuinely care.
As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
I want to have a positive influence on the lives of the children and parents I come into contact with. I am certain it’s the genuine care I demonstrate that will make it possible.
© Ian McIntosh 2018