When we connect with children in ways that help us understand their way of seeing, feeling, thinking, and knowing ~ we find pathways upon which to meet them. Along these pathways, we nurture relationships of reciprocity where we co-construct what it means to know one another.
It is here that we come to know the children. It is here that we come to know ourselves. It is here that we come to know perspectives beyond our own. It is in this place of being, alongside our children, that we become, as much as we unbecome.
A CONNECTED JOURNEY
For in this place, that we share with others, we begin a journey of listening, feeling, connecting, considering, and reflecting. Through this connected process, we become more connected to our heart through feelings of empathy, compassion, kindness, and love. It is how we become whole.
When we are connected, as whole beings, we are better at understanding. When we walk in a place of understanding, we are able to hear the stories of one another, respect the journeys of the other, and come to appreciate the wisdom each of us holds.
NURTURE THE WHOLE BEING OF ONE ANOTHER
As human beings, we discover how best to nurture the whole being of one another by listening to each other’s voices. In this way, we are able to walk a journey empowering us to transform who we are as human beings. We move from a more disconnected and self-centred existence to one of connection and community ~ a place where we spend time nurturing ourselves, together, as human beings.:
As we walk alongside one another, we discover and appreciate each of our unique places along the journey, empowering us to know more deeply the whole being of one another (and ourselves). Through this process of connection in which we engage together, we bring to the world, and to our children, the best version of ourselves while shining light on the brilliance of those around us.
SEEING CHILDREN THROUGH A NEW LENS
In so far as our relationship with children, we begin to view them through a new lens. Rather than thinking of children in terms of a set of standards or benchmarks that they must meet, we support them best when we understand what it is that makes them unique socially, emotionally, morally, spiritually, and cognitively.
Considering the history, culture, language, ethnicity, gender, neurodiversity, and ability of children are among the many ways of knowing a child. There are hundreds of ways of knowing another human being. Through our encounters with children, we deepen our ways of knowing and understanding them.
As we come to know children in this deep way, we can nurture, and empower them to nurture in themselves, their own growth and development starting with who they are, where they are at, and how they make sense of the world. We celebrate the diversity of our children, ourselves, and our community. Together, we embrace the hope for the present moment. We wait in anticipation for the endless possibilities of a shared future.
MEETING CHILDREN WHERE THEY ARE
When we meet children where they are, we build upon their strengths, interests, creativity, innovative thinking, and who they are as human beings. We come to know their culture, diversity, history, ethnicity, language, gender, abilities, and unique identity. We embrace their social, emotional, physical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual ways of being.
Rather than starting with where we are, what we intend for them, or with a pre-established end in mind, it is critical for us to maintain the opportunities that empower them to meet their endless possibilities.
NOURISH EACH CHILD AS A WHOLE PERSON: A HUMAN BEING WITH RIGHTS
For it is our responsibility and role as parents, educators, and anyone else who spends time alongside children, to nourish each child as a whole person ~ a human being with rights; and open the door to empower them to write their own story, follow their own pathway, and bring to the world the gifts that are theirs to share.
How do you honour and celebrate the voices of children? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Founder ~ Nurtured Inspirations
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