The Importance of Celebrating ‘Who We Are’
Every child is different, just as we are all different. It is the magic of our diversity that makes the world what it is – full of new ideas, innovations, and ways of being.
Most people would agree that children differ, but at the same time, tend to see them as blank slates that are to be ‘trained’ into something adults perceive as acceptable. The reality is that each and every child born is completely different to the next; you will even find parents saying how different their children are, and yet they are born to the same parents, raised in the same environment. How do we raise children to celebrate differences, while finding common ground with the world around them? How do we enrich our children with the notion and skill of empathy, and the ability to be successful in a multi-cultural world, and positively contribute to the rights of others in society?
It begins with the powerful messages a child receives from birth. The messages that imprint on them that they are unique, they are different and celebrated for who they are. When young children begin exploring the world they make mistakes, and instead of being afforded the opportunity to develop the confidence to push through those mistakes by the support of a compassionate adult, they are often made to feel guilty and ashamed – which can leave children with a sense of being misunderstood. Instead, a young child who learns that, though they may see the world differently to others, their perspective and views are valued, and are encouraged to share who they are, in their uniqueness, with those around them, will in turn learn to accept and grow from other’s perspectives and experiences; learning to value and appreciate differences in others.
Children receive these messages through their relationships with those in their daily lives. A young child is sensitive to the verbal and non-verbal messages important adults are sending. Children absorb the values of the emotional environment they find themselves in on a regular basis; if that environment supports disrespect and disdainful responses from adults, children will learn to mirror these responses. However, if children are fortunate to experience role-modeling of respectful and empathetic adults, who are responsive to individuals, they too will learn to adopt this worldview.
Parents may seek a kindergarten that strives towards ensuring that every message and every experience a child has from entering our campuses, is one of acceptance, positive and meaningful engagement, and a secure sense of “you belong here”. Teachers are dedicated to developing themselves on an on-going basis as professionals who enhance their skills, abilities, and attitudes to be effective in their relationships with each child. Our Leadership Team is always looking at school processes to ensure continued involvement and dedication to meeting individual children’s needs, interests, and learning experiences. Children should be seen as individuals, not as a group, and thus treated as such. Each child is considered on their own merit, and not forced to be compared to their peers; school is seen as a place where a child’s potential and personality, who they are, can be unlocked – where each child is truly celebrated!