We are pleased to have our friend and guest blogger, Jill Dobrowansky share her thoughts on how to further encourage and build the children we work with up. Jill has been a public school teacher and administrator for 19 years. She is also the creator and host of Feed Your Spirit Podcast and a Christian Speaker. Jill is a wife and mom who resides in New Jersey-where during the summer months, you can find her on the beach with a book in her hands or out for a nice long run. She relentlessly pursues God, knowledge, books, a good cup of cofee, and perfectly ripe avocado. We hope you enjoy her thoughts!
"You are fearfully and wonderfully made"...this is something I tell my students all the time. As an elementary school principal, it is my goal to have my students to love learning, be happy, and grow into amazing people. I accomplish this by not only being a model of behavior and attitude but also through giving my students messages of hope and courage. I love it when I can brighten a student’s day by just sitting next to them at lunch and talking. Or when I praise a student because he/she greeted me without prompting from their aide or teacher. I also love it when I get to call a parent to tell them about the kind gesture therechild did which I witnessed that day. These moments are the most important in a child’s development of self-worth, confidence, empathy, and trust.
When we give our kids positive messages of hope and value, they will internalize them and begin to feel secure in who they are. I have witnessed students, in a short amount of time, grow in acceptance of their differences, and face adversity because of the positive messages the adults were pouring into them. In today’s world, our kids are bombarded with negative messages about their physical appearance, how they act, their differences, and so much more. We need to remind them constantly that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and are loved.
I can remember when our son was growing up, I would leave post-it notes all around for him to see with messages of love and encouragement. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for him to find a post-it note on his alarm clock, bathroom mirror, stuck in a book, etc. As a teacher and principal, I still do that for my students. They may find a note of encouragement on their desk, in their pencil box, or even as a bookmark. It is these little treasures that our kids will remember, not how they did on a test in 4th grade, but how were they loved and respected.
How do you remind your child that he/she is fearfully and wonderfully made?
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