Having worked with kids, having friends with kids, being an auntie, and now having a child of my own, I think a lot about what my actions and words are communicating to the little people in my life. Are my words and actions communicating what I want to communicate?
One thing I want to communicate is how to make healthy boundaries. How to respect themselves and others, and that it is their responsibility to do so. But they also need to learn how to do that. To learn what it means to love and be loved.
Having friends and family afar, I have thought a lot about how I relate to the children who I know and love [through videos, pictures, and stories] but who know me no better than a stranger on the street–okay, some know me a bit better than that. When kids are so young, it’s just too much to comprehend the significance of someone who isn’t in their daily life. My excitement when seeing these babes may not be shared. I may want to smother them with hugs and kisses, but they may need to feel me out for a bit. Hugs and kisses is one place we can start teaching kiddos boundaries. While we may require that they greet everyone with a smile and “hello,” I want to give them the choice of whether or not to give a hug. Though this is a seemingly small boundary, the implications could be monumental. This article beautifully addresses what we are communicating by our expectations of our little ones.
I can’t wait to see all my favorite kiddos this Christmas. Hopefully I get some hugs and snuggles.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you get to enjoy the little ones in your life.