Young children live by the motto “It’s possible!” They are filled with hope, believing that if things are not right the first time, then it’s only natural to try again and again. If you have watched a baby begin to crawl, and then grow into the stage of walking, you understand that young children are truly possibility addicts. They are designed to learn by doing and it’s the belief of “I can do it” that keeps them going. If you have a little one that tells you, “I can’t” he/she may be feeling overwhelmed. Think through the request. Did you ask for too many steps? For example, if you asked for your child to wash his h/her hands, brush teeth and get ready for bed, you have asked for 3 steps. Go back, break down the steps such as only asking for washing hands. Once completed-comment with a positive comment on the actions, such as ‘good job’. You can then move to the next step and so on. Children want to be successful and almost always they will surprise you with their accomplishments.
Early in the month of January, I was sitting in my office when in walked the most petite, frail, three year old with the largest brown eyes and jet black hair. She was exquisite. Behind her, stood her parents. They were in search of a preschool.
I found out that they had traveled across the world to bring this child to America. Her earlier life had been dismal. My understanding of her background was that she had for the first few years of her life, lived in a hut with dirt floors and she was already trained in sweeping those floors and picking up clutter. Her biological parents had died, suddenly and violently. She had no birth certificate and the best guess on her age was about 3 1/2 years old. Goodness, was this even real? Her story sounded like a novel.
She had arrived in America with her adoptive parents only three days prior to my meeting her and she spoke no English.
I took the parents and the child to a classroom where she could explore and I could observe her in an inviting environment. Here she was in a room with running water, electricity, music playing in the background and child-sized chairs and tables. Our preschool had child-sized bathrooms with sinks at her eye level and water flowing from the water faucet. Certainly there were toys to appeal to every type learner. I so wondered what she was thinking and feeling being in such a magical space.
As if she was reading my mind, she walked over to the sand and water table. It was wintertime and in that tub, we had light powdery snow glitter. I lifted the lid off so she could see what was inside. Her eyes grew large and she began running her fingers through the flakes. Soon she was giggling and tossing the “Snow” into the air. As she giggled, we giggled. It was truly an “anything’s possible” moment.
Oh, and did I mention, our school was full and accepting her into our school would put us one over our class ratio? Yet, in that moment, in watching this child become the teacher, teaching a life lesson on grit, determination to thrive and the world of possibility thinking, I made the decision that one over ratio was indeed possible. It was our joy to watch her grow and to always remember, that anything, with a bit of persistence, nuture, creativity, love, and hope is possible.
Have a great day.
See you tomorrow.