I have always had a vivid imagination, especially as a child. I could open a book and clearly imagine myself talking, dancing and interacting with all the characters. Having a vivid imagination can be a lifesaver. It saved my life more times than I can count. As a child I lived with low self-esteem, bullying, physical abuse and things a child shouldn’t have to endure. I’m not telling you this for sympathy. I am telling you this because in spite of all those things…
I became a Conqueror.
Guess what? I am not the only one. There are countless children who are growing up today having to deal with situations that can knock anyone off balance…. children who have a hard time articulating their feelings verbally to anyone. One summer my Aunt Vera gave me a journal. She told me that I had sad eyes and that there was a time when she had sad eyes too. She said that she drew pictures until she could form the words to describe how she felt inside.
I have been journaling ever since.
When you look around at the people who pass you by… at work…in your office…on the streets or even the children in your neighborhood, do you ever wonder what their story might be? We see our children every day, but do we really see them or are they simply familiar glimpses we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing? Do you know what your children are feeling…thinking…struggling with daily? I know that as parents we want to be able to answer “yes” to all those questions. Truthfully, life can get in the way and as much as we hate to admit…we can’t see or know everything.
A child that can articulate his or her feelings, thoughts and opinions has a collection of valuable tools for their success. Frustration can lead to serious issues when your feelings are stifled or confused. Children who don’t command this communicative ability take a direct hit to their self-esteem and confidence. It is as though they aren’t seen or heard and for them it also feels like no one cares. A healthy self-esteem is critical for all God’s children regardless of age. We must help our children to find their voice and understand their value.
What can you do?
Good question! Encourage your children to talk to you. Demonstrate to them that they can talk to you about anything by listening to understand and not to comment or judge. If your child isn’t talking to you, perhaps you could provide them a journal. Respect their privacy…you are building a foundation that opens the door to communicating with your child. Be patient. Pay attention. Children often wear their feelings out in the open. My Aunt Vera noticed my sad eyes and I am grateful that she did. Most important…tell your child how much you love them and find ways to show them. Children don’t need things as much as they need YOU.
My parents did their best, they loved me and I know they tried hard, but it was the journal I got from my Aunt Vera that helped me the most. It opened my eyes and heart to hear and see their love for me. Knowing that my parents loved me helped me to love myself. When you love yourself, you understand that you have a purpose and a reason to be alive. I also realized that I was valuable. I never refer to myself as a “survivor” because for me it sounds like I’m just hanging on by my fingernails. I am a “Conqueror” because I no longer allow my past to define or make choices for me. Every child has a story. With love and support from you, your child, in time will find the courage and confidence to share that story.
Every Child Has a Story
Want more information about programs to help children and teens find their voice? Check out this link: www.speechcrafters.club.
Speech Crafters Club is a program within Beverly Jones-Durr Enterprises. As Executive Director for Speech Crafters Club and The Writer’s Vibe, Beverly facilitates the learning experience of each member age 8 and up, helping them to develop their voice, confidence, self-esteem and abilities to become dynamic public speakers and amazing authors.
Beverly Jones-Durr is Vice President of Education for the Hi-Noon Toastmasters Club, and a member of the Women Speakers Association (WSA), International Women’s Leadership Association (IWLA), International Membership of Professional Advisors, Coaches and Trainers (IMPACT) and the International Association of Professional Life Coaches (IAPLC). Beverly is also a published author whose book, Nurturing a Grateful Heart – Power of Possibilities and the interactive Journal has been selected as one of the Top 10 Inspirational Books by Aspire Magazine.