Let me start by saying that I am a very lucky woman. I am lucky because I have the opportunity to earn money while spending time with children. I love being with kids. It is a distinctly different experience from being with adults. But one of the main reasons that I enjoy spending time with children is this; they are honest.
Just yesterday when I was teaching an Afterschool class a five year old child approached me and stated:
“You look like a teenager!”
I paused for a moment and said
“Thank you!” I took it as a compliment. I mean after all I am approaching 30 at this point. If she thinks I look young, great!
But the point is this; children (for the most part) do not sugar coat things. They tell you if your breath smells, if you look pretty or unattractive, if they like you or dislike you; they tell it like it is.
Somewhere along the lines we loose that as adults. We are told that it is not polite to tell someone that their clothing is ugly, or that they smell badly, if we like or dislike them even. I mean I have had supervisors in many jobs that I could not stand. But I couldn’t verbalize that to them.
Children possess this unique capability to freely express themselves. I believe it should be fostered, encouraged, coaxed out of them.
Furthermore, I’ve noticed that part of their expression is not only through words. It manifests through artwork. Visit a class of kindergarteners. At any given moment one of them will run up to the teacher and plead:
“Can I draw?!”
They do this because it is a means of expression. What occurs between age 5 and age 35 that we stop freely drawing? Some select few become artists but the rest of the world is told that they don’t have an artistic inclination and stops drawing cold turkey. I find this unfortunate. Everyone should have a means of artistic expression no matter what age.
We can learn from the way that children freely express themselves. And we should encourage them to do so into adulthood.