“It is easier to raise strong children than restore broken adults.”
As a young child, I came across an ad that said something to this effect. And while I didn’t fully understand what it meant at that time, something about it just spoke to my spirit.
I work with children of different ages, races, beliefs, social standing and abilities. Whether in developed or
developing countries, one thing remains constant: children who are supported by nurturing and responsive adults thrive. Loris Malaguzzi, the father of the Reggio Emilia approach to education, says how adults see children will influence the way they interact with them. If they see children as weak, they'll treat them as such, and the learning experiences they’ll prepare will cater to that image. But if they see children as competent, they'll support them to rise higher. Malaguzzi adds that observing children and reflecting on daily experiences with them powerfully clues teachers in on how best to support and teach children with intentionality.
While we may not all be called to a teaching profession, we may find ourselves playing the role of a teacher to a child that may be our own, our friend's, our neighbor's, or a stranger's. May those times be filled with opportunities that let the child see himself through the lens of a champion so he could grow up to be one.
Developing your child’s self-esteem
You raise me up
What every child needs
Your image of a child: where teaching begins
Jean Alingod-Guittap is a mother, educator and journalist. She loves working alongside local and multinational companies, I/NGOs, national and local governments, illustrators, publishers, and schools to support children. She has done so in the Philippines, Singapore and Cambodia.