I am jealous of kids. Absolutely crazy that a grown man is jealous of children right? Well the things is, we all should be. Why? Because they have a superpower and they get to be all youthful and what not. But, more on the superpower part. I have been working with families for quite some time now and it seems that I and the individuals I work with always have the same epiphany.

Kids know things.

Like a lot.

We actually do not give them enough credit for how much they know and what they do with it. However, people who have superpowers usually fix their own things and don’t need help right? For example, Spider Man usually fight his ways out of a rut, but these superheroes are much different than that.

Actually, their superpower is much more complex than web slinging or flying. They are sponges of knowledge and free life manuals. No, no, no I am not saying kids hold all the answers, BUT I am stating they provide clues to what the right answer is. They are mirrors for us to look in and say “damn it I need to do better” and they can say these things in the most honest, vulnerable ways. It is one of my many odd beliefs that kids never lie even if they tell a lie. In other words, what I mean is even if a kid lies, yes we are supposed to teach them that is wrong, but also it is our job as parents, caretakers, etc. to slow down and ask that kid WHAT made you lie, steal, or misbehave? The WHAT is the most important part because it lays out the foundation to talk about the most common things kids do not like to discuss.

EMOTIONS.

Sometimes we get bogged down by the WHAT and start to associate their personality with the WHAT instead of the WHY. It bothers me when I hear people speak of kids in negative ways. It like strips them of whatever hope they had to develop a decent personality or correct behaviors.  Some may call my approach too laissez faire, nah, I think of it more as being able to hold myself accountable as an adult and realizing all my teachers lied to me and I still got learning to do. I’d rather teach empathy the right way then misguide them. All I am saying is this, and yes I am about to quote Kanye West out of all people.

“Listen to the kids bro!”

But seriously, listen to them, observe them, understand them. They hold very critical clues to how we all can be better human beings. After all we want to show them that in the first place right?

 

Written by: Ricky Cooper, PLPC

african american counselor

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