Children Are . . . by Meiji Stewart
Meiji Stewart kindly gave me permission to create a graphic of his lovely poem “Children Are . . .”
I first saw this poem done in chalkboard style on Pinterest but there was no link and there was no author credit. I dug around on the Internet until I found out that Meiji wrote it. The poem is so important that I wanted to create a graphic and make sure that Meiji got credit as it makes its way around the Internet.
Children are. . . is beautiful. It talks about all the ways that we can respect and honor the children in our lives.
Unfortunately children are often not treated very well. They are more likely to be told to be quiet than to be told to express themselves. They are more likely to be told to stop asking questions than to be encouraged to ask them. They are more likely to be told to grow up or stop being a baby than to be left to be the child that they are.
I am going to stop now. It is just too sad to continue. Let’s move on. I would like to share my thoughts on Meiji Stewart’s poem.
Children are . . .
Amazing, cherish them.
Children really are just so amazing! I am in awe of how my son is in the world, how he learns things, and how he is so confident. Children deserve to be cherished. Tell your son you cherish him; tell him you find him to be amazing, share his sense of amazement.
Believable, trust them.
Oh, how I wish believing children was more widespread. Children speak the truth that we sometimes don’t want to hear. They, with no inhibition, say what they think. Try to trust them and listen to their words and how they say them. Find the truth and honor it.
Childlike, let them.
Children are supposed to be childlike. It is who they are. Preparation for the future at the expense of the present will not benefit a child.
Divine, respect them.
If there is one thing that I wish everyone would do it is to respect children. Why anyone thinks it is alright to be rude to and humiliate children on a regular basis is beyond me. If you would not speak to a friend in the tone, or the way, you speak to your child I suggest you step back and take a look at the situation. John Holt said:
“If I had to make a general rule for living and working with children, it might be this: be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued.” ~ John Holt
Energetic, nourish them.
Feed them well, with both nutrients and love. Help them grow to be the wonderful person that they are meant to be.
Fallible, embrace them.
We all make mistakes. We also learn from mistakes. I don’t think we learn from mistakes if we are embarrassed that we made them or are shamed for making them. Embracing children when they make errors is important. Much learning occurs around mistakes. Sharing compassion and understanding shows them how to handle their mistakes and the mistakes of others.
Gifts, unwrap them.
I believe each child is a gift simple and true. Allow them to be themselves. Find out about who they are by listening, enjoying, and appreciating them. Unwrap the tiny details.
Here Now, be with them.
Children live with us for a short period of time. Be with them, embrace spending time with them, enjoy seeing their smiles and welcome their warm hugs. Cherish them, here, now, today.
Innocent, delight in them.
Sometimes I feel I am too jaded, too cynical. The innocence of a child brings me back and lets me find delight in the world. Delight in your child’s innocence and fight to keep it available to them for as long as possible.
Joyful, appreciate them.
It is wonderful to watch expressions of joy on children’s faces but also within their whole being. Stand back and watch a child truly experience joy—it’s catching 🙂
Kindhearted, join them.
Dandelions and weeds. I got dandelions and weeds because my son thought they were beautiful and with his kindheartedness wanted to share them with me. Make the time to be kindhearted to your kids. Show them small kindnesses as they go through their days.
Lovable, love them.
This one seems simple and yet it isn’t. It is easy to love a child when everything is going smoothly. One thing I was told by a mentor long ago is that when a child is in a “less loveable moment” this is the time he needs your love the most. I try to remember that always.
Magical, fly with them.
Adults don’t need to lose their sense of wonder just because society says we must “act like adults.” I would have missed out if I had not gotten aboard the magic carpet (towel spread out in the living room) and flew off to far-away places, or boarded the train (platform at the playground) that can take me anywhere in the world I would like to visit. Children are magical, let them share that magic with you and bring you back to joy.
Noble, esteem them.
Children are noble. I had to think about this one for a while. Noble = virtuous and morally good. Ah yes, they certainly are. Value them and respect them.
Open-minded, hear them.
When there is a problem my son comes up with solutions that I would not have thought of. He is open-minded and that makes me more open-minded. When my set-in-its-way adult mind needs refreshing he reminds me that just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that is the best way for us to do it. Listen.
Precious, treasure them.
Value your children like the most delightful treasure you can image. Children are precious and we are fortunate to spend our days with them.
Questioners, encourage them.
It is sad to me that pat answers are more valued than questions. I encourage questioning. I even encourage questioning me. I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t always do things in a way that works well for others. “Question things!” is a mantra in our family. Encourage your child to ask a lot of questions about everything. Questions are how we learn.
Resourceful, support them.
Kids are clever and can find ways to do things that we wouldn’t even begin to think of. Support their explorations and their ideas. Give them the tools and information they need to move forward.
Spontaneous, enjoy them.
I am not spontaneous. I am a planner. Letting my child lead at certain times allows me to be spontaneous and go with the flow. We always have a great time. Enjoy a child’s spontaneity. Learn from it. Savor just spending time together wherever the day may take you. The dishes will wait.
Talented, believe in them.
Children have gifts. Give them opportunities to use those gifts and talents in ways that make sense to them. Believe that they can do anything they set their mind to.
Unique, affirm them.
Unique. Is this encouraged in a rather cookie cutter society? I don’t think so. Many words come to mind that people use in place of the word unique when describing such a child: weird, odd, different, unusual, loner, strange, peculiar. However, unique means “being the only one,” “being without equal.” To be unique you must have confidence in yourself. Unique children stand out and I think that makes people uncomfortable. Affirm them. Let them know that you support their uniqueness, their talents, and their special way of being and of doing things. They will always remember that you did.
Vulnerable, protect them.
So important. Children, by their size alone are vulnerable. But it is not only size that makes them so. They trust people. Because they are vulnerable, both physically and mentally we need to watch out for them. We need them to know that we are on their side. But, more than that, we need to be vigilant in protecting them. This also means that we need to be very aware of how we, and others, are interacting with them.
Whole, recognize them.
Children are not to be molded into the adults we think they should become. They are whole, now, today. Recognize this and let them be who they are.
Xtra Special, celebrate them.
Birthdays give us opportunities to gather together and celebrate a child’s life. Celebrations are a joyful part of life. What If, every day, you could celebrate your child? Take a look and find little things to celebrate–his smile, his quirky sense of humor, his trust in you, his creativity . . . Celebrate who he is. Don’t leave it to once a year birthday celebration.
Yearning, notice them.
Put. Down. The. Smartphone. I was at the park a while back. A child was trying to get his mother’s attention. She covered the phone, looked at him quickly, roughly brushed his hand off of her arm and said “Be quite, this is important!” The look on that young boys face was so sad. I could hardly stand hearing her tone and her implication that he was not important. I got tears in my eyes and still do today as I write this. Pay attention to your children. They need you.
Zany, laugh with them.
Kids say the most wildly wonderful things that just make me laugh and laugh. Laughter is good for all of us. The next time your child is being silly, join him and laugh with him. Sharing happy moments helps to build strong relationships.
Do you believe what Meiji wrote in his poem? If you do, here is what I suggest. I have created two graphics for this poem, a vividly colorful one and a more subtle one with images of children.
- Please select the one you like best and use the sharing tools below to spread this great message around the Internet.
- Share it with others who care about and respect children.
- Print it out and keep it nearby to read on occasion to help you remember just how precious our children are.
- Give copies of the poem to others who interact with children such as teachers, church leaders, scout leaders, coaches etc.
- Share it with your boy and have a conversation about how children are treated and how he would like to be treated.
Pass it around so that perhaps, someday, people will look at a poem like this and say “yes, of course—that is how all children are treated.”
Children are . . . © Meiji Stewart
A heartfelt thank you to Meiji Stewart for letting me create a graphic of Children Are . . . and share his poem with others.
Sheila Rogers publisher of BrainPowerBoy.com