Today was my last day working at the Boys & Girls Club of Buena Vista. I was supposed to be done working there in August 2012 after my AmeriCorps/ Year of Service term was done, but I couldn’t. The kids became part of my life and I wasn’t ready to leave. I guess I’m still not ready to leave the kids, but I’m ready to leave the job to explore someplace new and most importantly be with someone I love. That’s for another post though. Today is a tribute to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club and 5 (out of many) things they taught me.
5 Things Kids Know That Adults Need to Learn:
· If someone is behaving badly, they might just want your attention.
Some of the worst behaviors I saw at the club were from kids who have parents who aren’t around much and/or don’t have the support they need. Thus, they want attention anyway they can get it, good or bad. Sometimes it’s actually harder to get attention for good behavior and unfortunately kids pick up on this.
At first I thought this just applied to kids, but then I realized this is still true for many adults. It may be subconsciously, but I bet at one time or another all of us adults can admit to behaving in not the greatest manner to catch a person’s attention
· You really don’t need much more than your imagination to have fun.
Sometimes after school I’d take the kids to a field and would just tell them to have free time. They didn’t have any balls or toys to play with, yet they’d immediately run off and start a game or find something fun to do.
I feel like if I did this with adults that I’d mostly get a bunch of people pulling out their phones. Can you see the problem in choosing a phone over a big grass field filled with opportunity?
· Most of the reasons you get mad at someone are silly. Say sorry, shake hands, and then go play.
One moment I’d see two kids crying because they hurt each other’s feelings, the next moment they’d be playing together. Kids have real feelings, just like adults, yet they don’t let their feelings ruin their fun for very long. They want to work things out so they can get to playing again.
Adults, how many times have we held onto a grudge over something silly? Is it really that hard to say sorry or forgive and then shake on it?
· Be open with your feelings.
If I saw a kid who looked upset all I’d have to do is ask what’s wrong to have the kid spill out exactly what they were upset about. There was no need to persuade them to tell me. They were more than happy to share. Normally, right after they’d tell me, they’d be back to being happy.
I admit, as an adult, I’m completely guilty of doing the exact opposite. I hold my feelings in and sometimes won’t even tell a person what’s wrong even if they ask me. That’s just a recipe to make me feel bad longer than I need to. Even as adults, we normally feel better as soon as we tell someone our problems. We aren’t burdening someone! We want the people we love to tell us when something is wrong so why wouldn’t we tell someone we love when we have a problem?
· Say what you want.
Kids always asked me to go on unplanned hikes, give them extra time for an activity, give them extra food, etc. While they didn’t always get what wanted, a lot of times they did. Even if they got turned down sometimes, they would have never of gotten what they wanted if they had never asked. Also, they didn’t “beat around the bush”, they just told me exactly what they wanted.
Adults, please don’t be afraid to do this! I know I’ve been too afraid in the past to ask for what I wanted and it really ended up hurting me in the end. Far better to ask 10 people for what you want and have 1 person give it to you than to ask no one and get nothing.
|The kids wanted to lift me up, they asked for it, they got it!|
Now go and act like a kid!
“In America there are no other people’s children” –Bill Russell