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March 27, 2012

Children: Social scientists and keen observers

As adults we have learned to be observant and attentive to those who cross our path, however what about children? Did you realize that children have laser-like attention for everything we do and say? They are actually skillful social scientists, as they learn about themselves, relationships, and the world by carefully observing the people around them. As keen observers, children notice the smallest details of our body language, tone of voice, and movements. Our daily interactions and presence have a powerful impact on how children view themselves and us. With this power comes an opportunity — as well as tremendous responsibility — for us to use it well. We need to take the time to examine ourselves to best use this to our advantage. When we are aware, we are able to make changes. There are 5 essential items to keep in mind to achieve this:


Study yourself– Brainstorm a list of what you believe children deserve when they spend their days with you and make it your goal to fulfill these items.

Notice your body- Be down on the children’s level and be conscious of your body language. Are you tense or relaxed? Children feel everything you ‘give off’.

Celebrate your hands– Take care of these gems! Everything you do, you do with your hands, so be sure to take the time to treat them gently. Many hugs, handshakes, and notes are done with your hands every single day.

Make friends with your face– Look at yourself in a mirror as you recall an event with a child, and observe your expression as you replay the event in your mind. What does your face communicate and what are your eyes saying? Your face says a lot and expresses how children see you. When you see yourself, is this how you want to be seen?

Children see you when you see them– Take the time, as you engage with your children, to really “be present”. When you interact with children in a respectful, meaningful way, children will see you as you hope to be seen.



“Seeing How Children See Us” by Deb Curtis and Lorrie Baird