I chose to write this instead of mopping my floor.

“I always say, when the voice and the vision on the inside become more profound, clear, and loud than the opinions on the outside, you’ve mastered your life!”….Dr. John DeMartini

I have been a mentor and teacher to children for over ten years. Over and over I am reminded how vulnerable children are in the world of adult business.What adults say to children matter more than we realize in our rush to get things done. I wonder if some adults have grown up clinging to misconceptions about themselves that were planted as tiny seeds when they were young. Now, these seeds have grown into massive weeds that slowly strangle them from within. These adults have no vision and allow outside opinions to master their life. Is this what we want for our children? Or do we want our children to grow up with direction, confidence, and peacefulness within?

Teachers know this is true. Children will often blurt out whatever is making them feel the most insecure. Within minutes of  first meeting a child who has failed a grade, they will be sure to tell you how old they are and what grade they failed. This has happened to me numerous times and always makes my heart ache. How awful that at such a young age this child defines himself as a failure. Unless, a caring adult intervenes, he will grow up holding this belief. If he thinks he is a failure on the inside, how will this influence his behaviors on the outside?Please don’t leave it up to teachers to mend this mistake. Teachers are overwhelmed. It is a societies responsibility to heal it’s children.

How do we teach our children to have a positive image on the inside? Every teacher learns the importance of modeling. First, I would say take a good look at yourself. Are you positive, confident, disciplined, knowledge and goal seeking? If the answer is no then get to work. Children are carefully watching. Next, compliments are like flowers, give them away and see faces brighten. I learned this from my friend Elena. Years ago when we first met, we spent a lot of time out an about with our little ones.Elena complimented complete strangers even if they had a scowl on their face. I was constantly amazed at her ability to make people smile. Finally, we must teach children that while all the pictures of perfect bodies and all the material gadgets may appear as though they will make you happy, happiness comes from within. If we teach our children about the multiple intelligences and give them tools like discipline to practice skills that they find difficult, they will taste success. One of the greatest rewards I had teaching was seeing children gain confidence in their ability to succeed.

This holiday season may be unique because of our economy. There is a lot more we can do for ourselves and our children then purchase stuff that will bring us temporary happiness. If we are parents or teachers we can give gifts that will last a lifetime…time, encouragement, praise, stories. If there aren’t any children in your life then there are a lot of foster children or school children who need a grown up to tell them they are smart, kind, worthy human beings. The wonderful thing is, once you start helping a child, you will find you have also helped yourself.


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The Picture Book Review

Reviews of Children's Board Books, Picture Books, Activity Books, and Graphic Novels

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