See Other People’s Kids as 3-Dimensional Humans
At Camp Kupugani, our multicultural overnight summer camp two hours west of Chicago and 90 minutes south of Madison here in the beautiful Midwest, each child is treated as an individual. From arrival, each camper is individually recognized whether a first-timer or a 5-year Kupugani veteran. We celebrate and appreciate each child, trying to meet them where they are, while simultaneously challenging them to become even better.
Each child deserves to start with a clean slate. Often, one encounters adults saying things along the lines of: “oh, that kid, s/he did this or that”, or “that kid is [this certain way]”. It can be challenging to take those comments with a grain of salt and allow the child to show who they want to be, free of externally-imposed limitations. When we put children into a box framed by the perception of others or ourselves, we limit that child’s ability to show us other aspects unlimited by negative preconceptions.
A recent Washington Post article recognizes the magic that happens when adults see other people’s kids as three-dimensional humans; bullets below, with the full article here.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover.
- Make sure to see all sides of the child.
- Never “write off” a child off, especially before you give them a real chance.
- Don’t characterize a single outburst as representing the entirety of that person’s attitude.
- Don’t take other people’s perceptions too seriously.
- Don’t use stereotypes to judge a child.
- Think about how you would want people to look at your child.
- Check your perspective at the door.
- No child only has one side to them.
- Look for the positive aspects in each person.
- Be patient as you uncover hidden gems within each child.
- When you do find the positive, don’t stop there; you are sure to unearth more great things!
- Look for character traits, not physical aspects.
- Children deserve to be seen for what they do, not how they look.
- Physical attributes carry a lot of stereotypes that may not match the individual.
Adapted from source material from: Washington Post