Those small hands, trying to reach out to hold on to a grownup person, to feel the comfort and safety of someone to hold on to. They are reaching out to somebody, trying to find a role model who leads them through their life. They are reaching out to someone – to simply feel loved.
Every child is unique and an individual in his personality, but everyone has the similar longing for love and care. One may wonder, why some people attract children like a magnet, easier than some others are able to, while being surrounded by many tiny human beings? Why can someone win a child’s heart easier and faster than others?
Children can be raw and impulsive in their actions. They are able to express their emotions unfiltered, leaving perhaps someone wondering how to gain their trust. Children can fearlessly reject a grownup without any specific motivation – simply because they do not feel an imminent bond. There is often no reason for it.
Some children might need more time than others before they come out from their shells. They require time to overcome their shyness, to open up to someone they do not know and feel comfortable with. Making children feel at ease, signaling that they are always supported, and we are there for them whenever they are ready to break the ice between us.
Every child, regardless of their background and age, are looking for being listened to. They have the desire to convey their world and the impressions they are experiencing in that moment. When they have the feeling that they are carefully listened to and they can share their thoughts with someone – it opens up a whole world to them.
One important fact is that children find treasure in small things. They might find value in little things that are of no meaning to you. But those arts and crafts, drawings, small stones, sticks or flowers found by a child may represent a golden treasure by having a huge value for them. When a grownup enjoys those gifts given to them through their small hands, it may make a child feel recognized in their value and shared with their belongings. This may connect bridges between children and grown-ups.
Furthermore, children require adults to recognize their limits. When the expectations towards them are too high, it can lead to frustration as a child could feel like a failure when not able to do a certain task. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to their limits and not expose a child unnecessarily to those situations.
One of the main beauties of being a child is being impressively amazed by the world surrounding them. Allow yourself to be blown away together with them should a child want to show you something. Try to relive those hidden emotions, those you once also felt when you were a child. Sadly, it seems that while a child grows up, they will lose over time those enthusiastically shared amazements. It is, as if they adapt and learn from their peers that showing emotions is a weakness. Therefore, lay in the grass with them, gazing with amazement the world passing by, even if it does not make sense to you. As it might be the whole universe to a child…and sadly it will not last long before they will forget about this skill.
While children might seem tiny creatures without much of a life-experience and knowledge, they are much more aware of the reality surrounding them. Too often adults try to shelter children from what concerns them, fearing they are not able to understand. However, when a child feels like actively taking part in someone’s life, they may feel empowered. Therefore, it could have a positive impact when parents or other key persons in a child’s life express their thoughts. Do not fear to convey your own emotions, such as telling them about your personal dreams, wishes or life-lessons. Ask the child how they feel. By sharing what is important to you, it might make the child feel valued and recognized in his ability.
But what might be the most precious gift to you from a child, is to awaken your own inner child. Find amusement together. Make up stories, pretend play with them and make silly jokes, build sandcastles, run around barefoot down hills. Tickle each other and do rollie-pollie in the rain or just lay in the sun together, telling each other fairy-tales, dreaming about the future, gazing at the clouds passing by - while letting both your soul and sprit dangle freely.
To summarize: children might have complex needs, but they all just want to be loved. Open your own heart to them, embrace them in what makes their life beautiful and worthful. Laugh with them and have an open ear and arms whenever they need you. Fully engage with a child and their needs and always take them seriously. Try to recognize them as equal human beings. Always be creative while playing and interacting in their games. Try not to pretend, instead find happiness together in your actions. Comfort a child and dry their tears, making them feel at ease to express all their feelings, even if they’re overwhelmed. Help them bring calm into their chaos, while being yourself like a child in a giant body.