Appreciating children for who they are

Saturday November 16 2019



Min Atek

Min Atek 

By Min Atek

At the top right hand corner with a headline reading FUN FACT, the child wrote, “When a child misses a mother, they lose confidence.”
I blinked a few times and reread the statement over and over again. This was part of what was written on a handwritten note I had just received from one of the children.
As part of their school practice, the children write notes to their parents before their half term breaks and before each school term ends.
As a wordsmith, I try and take note of the words and language used in each note. I do not fancy generic things. I like it when someone does some thinking, planning and creatively jot down something so that it is not simply words or work that was copied from somewhere with no heart and attachment.
This particular term, it occurred to me that it was essential for me to get a piece of paper and respond to each of the children’s notes.
Can you imagine all along I was only a recipient never realizing the importance of returning the favour by writing back? Yes, shame on this mother!So I took time to think about each child and to respond to them as personally and as passionately as I could. Recent feedback had indicated that sometimes, children feel like my expectations of them are too high. So, it was necessary that I did not exert further pressure on them.
I tried to make my replies witty but with a very personal touch that only a mother carries.
It was crucial for each child to feel, almost tangibly touch my warmth and that I appreciated them for who they are, without wanting them to be something else.
I blessed each child. This is an activity I am deliberately focusing on. I speak blessings, health and wealth on children, stirring and fanning into flame the greatness within, for the words of a parent over each child have far reaching implications and that blessing cannot be evoked.
I bask in the fact that I know better and should do better for them. Perhaps, I should write more often and not necessarily when responding to notes they write to me. Maybe, I should initiate this and create some new habits and a culture with them.
So help me God!

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