3/24/21: Planting Words Of Strength With Children

So much time is spent in this space, educating abt traumas, stressors, past experiences that have impacted us. We are all on this mission to get folks to think more globally abt: What happened TO that person?….instead of: What’s wrong w that person?
When we look at common traumas & stressors, there are so many life events that are common – bc being a human comes w challenges: sickness of loves ones, loss of loved ones, breakups/divorces, loss of friendships, etc.
But the beyond the big events – there are things that are said or done TO us, that stick w us, from the time they happen. I’m sure you can remember a mean name a friend or classmate called you, that made you question things like your worth/value/looks/intelligence. Maybe the proverbial – “picked last in gym class all the time” still sticks w you…made you feel lesser than the others.
It’s amazing how these things can happen a single time, yrs ago, & yet the words & actions can stick w us.
But here’s the thing: so too can the positive “one-offs” that are shared w us as little kids. And it can come from randoms, or ppl as close as fam, & those words & actions can cement positive foundations of confidence.
Having a little time off this wk, I was able to think back to some things I hadn’t in a long time. One such question was: what gave me the strength to fight thru that 2.5 yrs of hell? What fortified me to want to start an initiative to help others. Sure we each have certain “fabric” we’re born w, but what else helps?
Two particular comments came to me that have stuck w me. And they weren’t major at ALL. But that I still remember them, shows the impact they’ve had. They’re even hyperbolic…but even then, they’ve helped me.
1) Was a comment a 5th grade teacher made in the hallway passing by me. She wasn’t even my teacher! Ms. Altman passed me & said: “Keep smiling that bright big smile. That smile will have the power to change the world one day.”
2) Was a comment I’ve heard from my grandma & mom numerous times when they haven’t been able to fix something (wires on a cable box, a latch on a piece of jewelry): “There’s nothing he can’t do.”

Now both of these lines are extremes. They’re generalities. As a human, I question the validity of them all the time, in being self-critical. But they laid foundations of confidence that have stuck w me for a lifetime. We ALL have the power to do that for kids. We can compliment them on what we see in them that appears special & unique. Maybe you’ll be helping to lay the foundation that helps them push through all the challenges they face in life.

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