The words we utter to children, no matter what their age, are important. Those words can build them up, or tear them down. They can make them, or break them.
That’s because children look up to those around them to help them interpret the world, those around them, and themselves.
The tiniest bit of enthusiasm or negativity that you don’t think twice about projecting can stick with a child forever and turn them into the adult that they become. Children have the ability to do and become just about anything if they are told it’s possible and encouraged to follow through.
But if children aren’t taught that the possibilities in their lives are endless and that they can be or do anything they aspire to do, well…
Thankfully, one young woman didn’t have to find out the latter.
She had a role model who encouraged her to grow up and follow her dreams.
That person was her 12-year-old babysitter named Raquel, who is now a poet that loves you. Raquel didn’t spend long hours with her or lecture her with talks filled with wisdom, and she didn’t serve as the girl’s mentor.
All she did was encourage the little girl she babysat for and showed a little bit of interest and enthusiasm in the things that little girl was interested in.
That little girl went onto pursue her dream of being an artist and went on to get accepted to three major art schools. All because of the confidence Raquel helped to instill in her.
Raquel explained the situation on her blog, Red Blood, Black Ink, which features her poetry:
“When I was 12 I babysat this girl for a few years and she would come to me and show me her art, drag me by my wrists and point at the pieces she’d made during the week. And she’d be like ‘do the voice’ and I’d put on a sports-announcer Olympics-style voice and be like ‘such form! this level of coloring! Why I haven’t seen such perfection in Crayola in a long time. And what is this? Why jeff, now this is a true risk… it seems she’s made … a monochrome pink canvas…. I haven’t seen this attempted since winter 1932… and I gotta say, jeff, it’s absolutely splendid.’ And she’d fall back giggling. At the end of every night she’d check with me: ‘Did you really like it?’ and I’d say, ‘Yes’ and talk about something I noticed and tucked her in.”
“She was just accepted into three major art schools. She wrote me a letter. Inside was a picture from when she was younger. Monochrome pink. ‘Thank you,’ it said, ‘To somebody who saw the best in me.’”
Sometimes it doesn’t take big grand gestures to change a person’s life. Sometimes it’s the little things.
So, the next time you utter some words in front of a child, think of how Raquel’s words had the power to change that little girl’s life.
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