Celebrate and give thanks
Is it generational or cultural to withhold praise and to so seldom celebrate, or give thanks for what comes through children who battle with multiple insecurities?
Often, adults will never speak a word of affirmation or praise to a child just in case the young person becomes 'big headed' or thinks more of themselves than they should. Of course, just as often, deep down there is a sense of pride -- you overhear it in the adults' whispers.
Jesus placed great value on children, using them as examples for adults to imitate, while presenting childlikeness as a valid and powerful aspiration.
‘I will praise you.’ (Isaiah 12: 2)
In that spirit:
Today, I celebrate six-year-old Benjy, who has a unique perspective and he loves to share his thoughts.
Today, I celebrate 14-year-old Erin, who has Down’s syndrome, who tells it like it is.
Today, I celebrate Harriet, an innocent but savvy seven-year-old neighbour.
Today, I celebrate 16-year-old Harry, who is severely dyslexic but courageous enough to sit his exams when terrified (he did extremely well).
Isaiah reminds us to give thanks to God as a prophetic act of intent, not simply because we can but because we must.
By Cham Kaur-Mann
Many of our project workers work with children with a chronic lack of self-esteem. Our Safe Choices programme, for example, works to prevent and reduce violent offending by young women in southeast London.
Through individual and group work, the project aims to provide a safe space for young women to make safe choices, develop resilience to resist peer pressure, to understand the consequences of violent behaviour, and to build self-esteem.
Beth, age 15, tells us that 'it was useful because I got more confidence.' The consequences of that were that she feels 'more creative and can express [herself] more.' Find out more about Safe Choices.
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Read yesterday’s Advent blog post, 'Actually seeing young people'