Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Little Piece of Advice: Treat Children Well

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If I could give a piece of advice to everyone, it would be to treat children as little people and not as belongings. So often I see parents, even teachers, who seem to think that children are less than them. They are to be seen and not heard, and are required to respect their elders regardless of how their elders treat them.

Always keep in mind that children are human beings, just like you and me. They may be small and they may have lots to learn still, but they will grow up having learned what they lived. Take the time to teach rather than yell. Preach kindness and self respect so that they become the kind of adults that you would like to know.

When I was working as a behavioral therapist, I spent time with a few emotionally disturbed children. When I stepped back and took a hard look at their common denominators, it was always the same: people mistreated them. Their parents screamed and yelled, their teachers barked orders and singled them out in front of their peers and what was left were angry children who felt very much alone in the world.

I decided to try a different approach and I earned their trust by talking to them, not at them. In every single ED case that I was given, I found that the kids just needed someone to treat them like a person with valid thoughts and feelings. Their behaviors turned around almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, not everyone subscribed to my philosophy and change didn't occur across the board. The parents still yelled and the teachers who reveled in their control still singled these kids out.

Still, I saw the tipping point when those sad and angry eyes would light up as I walked through the classroom door. I knew that I was right.

Coming up next: "A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)"

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