I have been thinking a lot recently about the importance of encouragement in our lives. We have just started the school year at the kinder and we have several children going through the process of adaptation. They are in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by people they do not know and following an unknown routine. Everything can seem very overwhelming and this is a specific example of a situation when encouragement becomes crucial to success.
As an adult looking back at the most difficult obstacles I have faced, I can honestly say that the one thing that made everything a little easier were the people around me who believed in me or who simply said that that time would pass and there were better things ahead.
Sometimes we cannot be positive in the face of adversity but others around us can and they help us to have a new perspective or at least help to take a little of the weight off our shoulders. So why I am mentioning all of this?
If as adults we have a genuine need to surround ourselves with positive people, how much more important is it for our children who are still developing their self-esteem? When they are going through any kind of change or difficult situation that is when they need the adults in their lives to be positive.
For example when they start at a kinder, they are looking to their parents and family for reassurance about this new place. This does not change the fact that the process may still be difficult but it helps the child to enter into the process with a new perspective.
There are now many studies written about the importance of praising children especially during their early years. Children are constantly changing so there is a constant stream of new achievements to talk to them about. Sometimes we are so focused on modifying undesirable behaviour, that we completely forget to praise and encourage them.
All the members of staff in my kinder firmly believe in the importance of creating a positive and nurturing environment, in order to see the children develop as much as possible. One of the best parts of being a teacher, is seeing a child’s expression when they finally master something for the first time and they look to you to see how happy you are too.
It is hard to watch children struggle with something but it is so rewarding to see them push through until they have achieved something. To do that, they need people around them believing in them. And is that not how we all live our lives? We all face obstacles but with a support group around us it makes it so much easier to make it through and carry on to achieve bigger and better things.