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Wellness

What Is The Key To Creating A Positive Attitude In Your Child?

From a 5-year-old to an 11-year-old girl in just 1 week-long workshop; a simple set of practices can instantly transform a child’s mood, mindset, and behavior. One can see the effect in tiny changes such as how eager and excited they are to sit quietly on the couch and read, how easy they are to calm down, how much they relax after dinner, how well they behave in the classroom, and how much they enjoy their toys and activities.

My daughter was in Grade 3 in a school with a great teachers’ lounge where we could enjoy our own favorite food, watch cartoons, play games, or take our time to enjoy each others’ company. My husband and I had just begun a new job, so we had to be at work from 7:30 am to noon. It was a busy day, but it was nothing compared to the workdays of other parents of kids on the same morning. It was almost 1 am by the time I got home, but I managed to sleep in and fall asleep as I watched TV for a little longer than I usually do.

As I rolled out of bed it became clear to me that there was something missing that I found so appealing and important to so many people. The reason I was so happy to finally have a little time to myself was because I felt completely cared and loved by my daughter and her new foster family. But now when I thought about our evening, even though we went to the lounge a couple of times during the day, I was reminded of a more distant memory that I could no longer seem to focus on.

Our foster grandmother was a well-known and well-liked woman for her kind, generous, caring nature and her compassion for the children she cared for. But she had left the room, and while I continued to watch TV, I could still see an uncomfortable feeling coming over me.

I looked down at our two tiny, exhausted babies curled in their bibs and tried to imagine our loving foster mother, a woman who came from very humble beginnings, sitting there, her eyes filled with tears, her face red. I thought how it must feel to love someone so deeply and yet not have everything, to not have anything for yourself, the one you love. I thought of how easy it would be to turn against her. How easy it is to fall to the easy-going people by simply choosing not to think about what it must feel like to be totally alone.

You see, my wife and I have been very lucky enough to move to a community where we have many friends who care for our two beautiful little girls on a daily basis. At first, I started taking time to visit with them on a weekly basis, and the more we did, the more I realized how much love and affection for our little girls we have at our new home. But now I have become a regular attendee at their gatherings, and I am even asked to bring snacks, meals, and comfort food home each week to encourage our two foster babies to feel at home and be comfortable. It is really a beautiful thing to see our little babies and children grow and experience those moments of comfort they have not had and feel such tenderness towards each other.

It is a beautiful thing, indeed. There are so many stories of families like ours every day. But it is important to remember that we have to take the time to remember what was missing in that place. And in order for that missing information to be revealed to us, it needs to be there in the first place, even if it is only a few minutes of one day. 

So in addition to the benefits brought by the kindness and generosity of a family like ours, I am taking time to notice some other benefits brought to me by the same kind of loving community we are trying to foster in our new town. 

1. I am seeing the love and affection my foster children have for each other.

2. There appears to be a great amount of trust and mutual respect between them.

3. I find myself feeling extremely loved and cared for all the time, and in ways that I never quite expected to feel before. 

These are wonderful gifts that I will take as I move into my first year teaching as an elementary school librarian. And I am grateful that they are even out there for me to take advantage of. I know that they could be even bigger gifts.