Lead With Love
In my 30+ years of working with children in various settings, I am certain a "prepared environment" facilitates the opportunity to have children show us what they need. What do I mean by "prepared environment"? It's not necessarily the way the room is decorated, ordered or cleaned, or the materials I am using, though those things are important to me.
So what's left ? The prepared environment is all about the consciousness of the person / people who are working with the children. An adult with an open, loving heart and mind will naturally assist children to share what's going on in their world. All the materials and activities are important, but secondary. When working with bereaved children, I know that who I am being with them is the foundational ingredient to what happens during any session !
I trust that the children who come to me will let me know where they are in the grieving process, and will also show me what they need next to move forward. How many times over the many decades of working with children have I thrown out my beautifully constructed lesson plans so the children could really get what they needed ? Often enough!
As I listened and watched as my lesson plans went out the door, I discovered so much about the children in my class. And every time this happened I learned a valuable lesson: It's not about me telling them what to learn - it's about them telling me what they need ! After all, I am teaching the child, NOT the curriculum !
It's my job to ask the heart-felt questions and listen...listen... listen...
In working with bereaved children I find this idea to be absolutely imperative. I am a trained, loving facilitator to help them move through the grieving process in their own way - no matter what it looks like.
I am reminded of what Lao Tzu said in verse 17 of the Tao te Ching :
" But of the best (leaders), when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people all remark, "We have done it ourselves !" "
So as I start another year with joyful anticipation of working with more children, I am reminded that with all the wonderful materials I am using, creating, and sharing through my new non-profit organization - Kids' Grief Relief - it's my consciousness of love and my belief that all children have the inner power to show me what they need, that I will lean into all year.
I celebrate this idea in me and in all of you who are reading this! Let's all have a wonderful, inspiring year !
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