In the first years of my studies, one of my teachers used to say: If we do not achieve much in our attempt to adjust children to school, having practically applied all the pedagogical knowledge, we should do nothing but embrace them with love. Like mothers. Throughout my career with young and older children, I realized that only knowledge is almost never enough on its own. You might be wondering at the moment, “Isn’t parental love for children certain? Or teachers’ love for their profession? So, why should an issue so simple needs to be analyzed?
By love for education I mean its existence every hour, every moment, in any form of pedagogical act or action toward the children. Whatever we say or do that is addressed to the children needs to include the basic ingredient of love.
When planning a pedagogical activity, plan it with real love. Think about what the children will gain from it? What will it offer them? How will it help them learn? If you are an educator and you are pressed by a strictly structured curriculum, look for the most pleasant and accessible ways possible, in order to make more comprehensible the things that need to be taught. Teach with love.
Observe the needs, concerns, strengths and weaknesses of each of your students. Work in a way that benefits each child individually. Take advantage of those cases where the curriculum allows for more experiential and “open” approaches. That, will clearly help your students. Organize your activities with a lot of love. Children have a special sensitivity to perceive anything that has been made or not with love. So, they react accordingly!
Thus, whenever you talk to your children, do it with love. Think a little more, if what you are saying to them at that moment is proper. Answer their questions and respond to their queries with interest. Even if your demanding daily routine has left you no courage or desire to spend some time with them, find the strength to actually do it. It does not matter for how long, as far as you do it with all your love. Dedicate quality time to your children on a daily basis, even with the limited time in your pocket. What you may consider “a little” may count as “a lot” for your kids. Because, every moment they spend with you is of great importance to them.
Show your kids at every simple opportunity that you love them with caress, sweet conversation and hug. Do not take these for granted and do not think that you might spoil them that way. The truth is that deep inside, we as adults have the need to feel loved too. So, imagine, how great is that need for children! You need to know that for your kids you are the most valuable thing they have. You are the “significant others” of their life. The most important “others” for children are, of course, their parents. Then, the educators and teachers. You mean the world to them, without exaggeration.
Think about this next time you talk to them. Think about how important your every conversation, every small and ordinary act is to them. Realize that you are molding innocent, raw souls. As if holding in your hands a piece of clay, working it day by day, until it takes its final shape. If you work with patience, passion and love, despite the difficulties you will encounter, your creation will surely take a unique and exceptional form. If you, on the other hand, often lose your courage and use abrupt movements, these may remain permanently etched in the clay you are working on.
Even when you are angry, it is important to remember that you are still the “significant other” for your children. If they have done something wrong, condemn the act, not the children themselves. They need to know that you still love them. That you always love them. Through the safety that your love will provide them, they will gradually assimilate the right and the wrong behaviors.
Having this safety as a torch to show them the way, as a fixed reference point, children will participate eagerly in any form of learning and education. They will learn to have self-respect and later on, they will be introduced to the value of the concept of mutual respect. Last, they will gradually manage to find their own path, through a long journey.
Yes, you may get angry with kids if you have to. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to be strict and when necessary, set clear boundaries. But never without showing them in your own way that your love for them is unconditional. The one that guides your every action toward them.
Finally, as you see, the matter of love as a key component of education is not as simple as it first seems. Raising a child is unquestionably a difficult and demanding task. But, if you allow your heart to always be full of love. If you remember, how necessary it is to place this love in any action-from an ordinary and everyday, to a more complex and targeted – which is aimed at the child. If you realize that for the child you are always the “important others”, I believe that your tricky daily life will be normalized and will be filled with joy and light. It is something we all need, kids and adults!
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