Monday, 18 May 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful- WK 19 The joy of Children


I have worked with children for many years and have children and grandchildren who bring joy into my life. We have heard the expression, ‘the children are our future,’ on so many occasions but really we also need to appreciate that children are very much our here and now. Children make up a huge percentage of the world’s population- however in America the 2011 census showed that the percentage of children to adults has fallen from 31% in 1950, risen considerably to over 50% and then fallen to 23.75% in 2011. Of course there could be many reasons for the decline including improved birth control however let’s not speculate.

In general, children are a great blessing to their families and friends and where they are mistreated the child is still a beautiful, unique individual in a cruel situation. There is an innocence about children which captivates us. Life experience causes adults to become cynical and reluctant to trust one another whereas small children have total faith in their parents’ opinions and judgements- to them, mum knows best!

Children’s naivety is one of the key things that we often find amusing. They have an interesting way of looking at life and interpreting the unknown. Children will usually hazard a guess when questioned, something many adults cease to do for fear of appearing ignorant or even foolish. When we laugh at their guesses or expressions it is important not to belittle the child, but to show appreciation for them. We want children to keep their minds and imagination sharp as this will enhance their creative thinking. Over recent years we have come to realise how we shape our children’s natural development and some natural aspects, particularly creative thinking, are lost in the process.

A general adult perception is that we teach our children Correct over all however this can result in us overlooking the lessons we can learn from them. One of the greatest lessons we could zoom in on is the ability to live in the moment. Children only really understand the here and now. They enjoy what they are doing and don’t worry about later or tomorrow. Yes they are self-centred, becoming angry when they can’t have what they want and needing guidance to cope with their feelings- isn’t that true of many adults! We should be self centred at times but in the right way and acknowledge the need to release stress and worry. Most of our worries are about tomorrow yet the future can change instantly in unpredictable ways, so all that time worrying could have been spent enjoying our day.

We encourage children to question yet quite often we accept what we are told, even though we know you can’t always believe what you read.  Questioning allows children to problem solve and draw their own conclusions. Religion is one of the major areas that families expect their children to simply accept therefore it is very important to appreciate the individuality of our children and respect the person they are. If we do this it becomes easier to accept their personal decisions if they go against our opinions or way of life.

Children’s laughter is highly infectious and can easily put a smile on our faces. Many are naturally joyous and full of wonderment. Sometimes it does us good to look at our surroundings as if seeing them for the first time. Imagine how an armchair must look to a baby who can barely crawl? What do we expect of our children and do we sometimes forget that they are not mini adults? There is no such thing as a perfect adult so although we encourage good standards of behaviour in our children they will have ‘off days.’

Let’s just appreciate childhood while it lasts. You can never wind back the clock so we just need to love each moment as it comes.

Jaz Mckenzie

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