-I love watching my son grow and learn. It's an exciting time in my husband's and my life as we watch him reach new milestones all the time. As I learn all the new and exciting things he will be learning, it makes me proud but makes me a bit nervous as well. What if he doesn't reach a milestone by a certain timeframe? What if he is delayed? What if he skips milestones? What if? What if? These things go through a parent's mind so often that it's a wonder how we can even function properly. I think we tend to get caught up in a timeframe and it's easy to forget that each child is an individual. Each child will learn at their own pace. With this being said, yes some kids do have delays, but that doesn't mean they or their parents have failed or are not going to succeed later on in life. We should keep in mind that if our children just aren't reaching the next step, there is always help available and that it's okay to seek help when needed. Parents, myself included, can tend to get caught up in the stress of our own expectations for our children and when they don't meet certain goals by a certain time or if we set too big of goals for our children and get upset when they don't reach them, we are missing out on a lot of the little things our children do when we worry so much about their development. Patience, understanding, building a loving relationship, and giving our children the tools they need to grow is what matters most for our children. As we all know, children do not come with instructions, we do the best we can and have their best interest at heart.
As my family mourns the loss of the Broncos in the Superbowl it struck me how influential parents passions are on their children. Our children pick up on things we love and things we dislike. I think this is one of the most important things we can pass on to our children. Our passions become our children's passions. Whether we are rooting for a sports team or working in the garden those experiences and memories become foundations for our children. Children may not remember all those lessons we teach, but they will remember how much mom loved working in the garden and the big pumpkins we grew one year or how much fun we had rooting for the Broncos. Families need to find things they enjoy doing together.
It is also important to allow children to find their own passions. While I grew up as a Bronco fan and my family has rooted for the Broncos long before I was born, one of my children chooses to root for the Raiders (yes the Raiders). While it is difficult for me I understand that each child must find their own path. What I hope he remembers is the loving disagreements we've had during football season!
As educators, we try to pass on our love of learning and teaching. We hope children grab on to those passions and become life long learners. We hope children remember those small moments in class when they made a special connection, learned something for the first time, accomplish a goal, made a new friend or felt a sense of pride because as teachers those are the parts of our day we cherish. We try to find something special about each child in our class and make that special connection.
I encourage you to find a special connection with the children and adults in your life.