A neighbor of mine shared his mother’s words of wisdom in our local paper. It got me thinking about how I’m passing along wisdom to the children in my life.
My neighbor’s (partial) list
- You don’t dress to impress. You dress to show your respect to others.
- Life’s not fair. Get over it and move on.
- Don’t let your career find you. Find what you were made to do.
- Knowledge comes from school. Maturity sometimes comes with age. Wisdom comes from the Bible.
- Something worth doing is seldom easy.
- Your logic can be perfect, but your facts could be wrong.
Obviously these are not the only words of wisdom that my neighbor lives by, but he’s found a way to frame life by a series of sayings leading to a satisfying life.
There’s power in wisdom
We want the kids we love to end up knowing how to judge rightly and follow the soundest course of action. We teach by example, springing from our:
Wait for a kid’s “hmm” or moment of silence
I usually know when I’ve made connection with a child. Typically it’s followed by a few second of silence as they process a new thought. Sometimes they look off into the distance for a moment. We can leave an even deeper impression when we make eye contact or touch their shoulder or arm as we’re speaking. I learned from Becky Bailey that “connections on the outside with others build neuro-connections on the inside.”
Wisdom is what I hope to impart to kids
When we open our ears and eyes to what kids are feeling, acting out on and thinking about, we build on their life experiences and their perceptions of the world. Our power lies in asking follow-up questions or making 10-words-or-less observations about what they’ve shared. This promotes wisdom in them, a legacy I find worth leaving.
Tweetable; Each day, so much information comes to us and the kids we love. Check out the benefits that Wisdom has to offer. Knowledge is necessary, but search for Wisdom like a treasure. Read more. Click to Tweet
Over the past 15 years, large strides have been made in the science behind how the brain develops and the settings and contexts that are conducive to learning. It’s brought exciting insights for enriching the human spirit!
Daily settings for increased brain development
Social relationships, emotional experiences and cognitive opportunities provide purposeful learning paths for the brain. Drive conversations causing kids to reflect upon, make sense of, and learn from the often misunderstood spiritual dimension. A child’s world may be seriously impoverished if we don’t.
As the brain develops, so does the human spirit.
The child’s spirit needs hope, and the comfort of knowing that a loving God is with them, watching over them wherever they are, wherever they go. Ask them, “When did you feel God’s love today?” They need to know what to do when they mess up and how to handle guilt. They want to know what God is like, and how to make a personal connection with God.
What we can do
Feed the child’s human spirit when, in responding to their questions and comments about God, we convey God’s love, affection, warmth and tenderness for the child. Make use of nurturing touch, empathy, empowerment, and unconditional love with children, to reflect the heart of our unseen God. Explore your own family’s religious or spiritual traditions to find accurate information about God. Where you find a disconnect here, go to trusted friends and sacred writings for wisdom.
Genuinely pursue a whole-child approach.
Not only are kids more likely to feel at peace with God, but they are more likely to care for others, and to pass that spiritual nurture down to future generations of children in their lives.
*(I read about the brain basis for integrated whole child development emerging from the lab of Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang in USC’s alumni magazine.)