“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why do I choose these words as words of wisdom today?
I’m working with very young children with special needs. Souls who don’t fit into the A-4 paper sheet. My work is to find a combination of supporting their strength and help them to adjust to the outer world so their lives might get easier.
Sometimes I feel I’m in conflict with myself. I’m in a situation where I’ve got a real powerful position. I define what we have to do on a way to an aim the children haven’t chosen themselves, but we as adults – professionals and parents – have chosen for them. Because we know, think that’s the right thing to do, to teach them and we decide how we do it. With this there comes a lot of responsibility. The way to misuse of the power I have is very short, so I have to think carefully about when I help and were I’m misusing my position. I have to pressure them to get ahead and of course, there are a lot of things they can achieve, learn and be more independent. That’s a good thing for themselves since they won’t depend on others help for everything, and it can save them of being abused and exploited later in life. There’re so many good reason why we do the things we do…
But I think sometimes these children need to get time just to be themselves, without training schedules, not be measured, not perform tasks.
Today I managed to keep myself in the background and not to interrupt the natural play of ones of the children with some kids in its group. I observed a lot of things I haven’t seen so clearly and sometimes wondered about. And I had to admit if I would have gone into an active role in the children’s play I probably had stopped some of the childs opportunities to show what its able to do. I took myself in a “damn you’ve got far since this summer.” And this new knowledge about how the kid communicates, imitates and more I know can use to support it further.
In my line of work we always have to “defend” how we use our hours with the children. It’s easy to think “I have to sit down with the child and work”. Sometimes the best work I do is to give the child the opportunity to be itself and play free….
Have a great evening everyone!