Yesterday, a ten year old girl asked, “Are you emotional?” I replied confidently, “Yes, I am.” Then, a huge smile stretched across her face and our conversation went elsewhere.
I have almost forgotten this precious moment in the midst of all moments when working with kids. At every stage, these kids face a multitude of insecurities, fears and challenges. At ten, this girl is probably beginning to feel insecure about herself, about her identity as a girl. She might have been laughed at or criticised for being emotional. It might have caused her to doubt her capability, her worth and the fullness of her character. With my simple and straightforward answer, I have given her a boost of confidence and acceptance, to be just as emotional as one can be. We ought to embrace and appreciate the emotional side of ourselves for I have done many things with the strength of emotions. I have cared for children when they were sick, listened to people in need and wrote alot of poems to alleviate the general suffering of life.
It is important to tell your girls and boys that they can be emotional, that it can be a strength to be emotional. Teach them to channel emotions into compassion and empathy.