I have posted on giving children 100% of our attention before. Giving a child all of our attention tells them that they are important to us, what they are doing is important and that we appreciate what they are able to do right now. Even though I talk and think about this idea a lot I still have a hard time giving my 100% attention to the children in my class all of the time. There are times when I can sit and read a book with a child and be totally focused on them and then there are times where there is so much happening in the room that I just can’t.
A few times this week a child gave me a great reminder to focus on her and what she was doing. This child sat in my lap and asked me to read a book. I started reading and part way through I got distracted by some unsafe behavior. The child in my lap put her hand gently on my face and said “Becky.” It was just the reminder I needed. Gentle, kind, respectful, direct and clearly stated. I’m so grateful for this child and her reminder to give my full attention.
There is a different between being with a child and being with a child. Sometimes we are with a child in the since that we are physically close (holding the child, sitting with them) but our minds are other places, we’re thinking about other things. Then there are times when we are with a child. We may or may not be physically close but that child is the only thing we are thinking about. This is the time when we get to know who a child is, we discover what they are able to do and we gain (or refresh) a since of wonder for how they approach discovering the world around them.