Earlier this week, I was watching a child playing with MEGA BLOCKS in our Sprouts area. She was very carefully adding one block, admiring her work and deciding which piece would be next. These moments are what we strive for every single day. We get excited when we see our visitors using their imaginations. Our mission is to foster a lifelong love of learning through play, so naturally, an engaged child validates our work here.
The Hardest Question to Hear
After a few minutes of putting together what looked like a car or a spaceship, she looked up at her aunt and asked the question that we never want to hear. So sweetly, she questioned, “Am I building it right?”
As heartbreaking as this question was for me, I knew she was seeking a positive affirmation. I hoped that she would hear an uplifting and encouraging response. Psychology Today says that affirmations “encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it.” By seeking this affirmation from her aunt, she was really looking to feel valued.
The aunt looked at the unfinished creation and said, “you are snapping the blocks together perfectly. There are no rules for building it right. Whatever looks right to you is the right way to do it.” I wanted to give that aunt a hug and thank her for the role she was playing in her nieces life.
Our Words Matter
Our words are so powerful. They have ripple effects that we may never know. Even though that little girl may not have a lasting memory of building those blocks, she will take with her the positive feelings and encouragement that her aunt gave her that day.
Each day that we have with our children, we have the opportunity to motivate and inspire them. Positive affirmations during play time boosts self confidence and fosters independence.
You are probably already aware of the types of affirmations your child needs, but here’s a list of ideas to get you started. As with anything in life, positive affirmations can easily become a habit, and the norm in your family, if you practice using them regularly.