It’s that time of year – the time to reflect on the many blessings we’ve been given in life. As a parent, I can think of no greater blessing than my children and grandchildren; watching and supporting their growth brings me so much joy, and I cherish the time I get to spend with them around the holidays. Going into the New Year, as you are bonding with your child, grandchild, nephew, niece or godchild, I urge you to take a step back and think about how impressionable they are.
As adults, we often share laughs about the funny habits or inappropriate sayings our children pick up from us. But at the core of these humorous moments is the fact that children are incredibly sensitive to our actions. They see everything, they hear everything, and they are taking everything we say to them to heart.
Adults often lose sight of the powerful effect that simple actions can have on children. The video above, which was produced by our friends at the Atlanta Speech School, shows how we can shape children’s futures – for better or worse – just by the way we talk to and interact with them. By talking with children (not at them) starting at an early age, engaging and listening to them, we can have a significant impact on their language and literacy skills later in life. At Primrose, we call this concept “serve-and-return,” and it’s embedded into our curriculum, providing an environment where teachers and staff are purposefully engaging with students, encouraging responses and ultimately fostering creativity.
Children long to be heard. They have thoughts and feelings and need a safe place to express themselves. I ask fellow parents, grandparents, teachers and caregivers to join me this New Years in pledging to not silence our children; we must encourage them to share their ideas freely with us, and we must give them a voice.
Please take a moment to watch the Atlanta Speech School’s video and share it with family and friends. The message of supporting the growth and development of the next generation cannot be shared enough.
I wish you a blessed holiday season and the happiest of all New Years!