Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I'M BIG, I'M SMALL
I remember feeling little. I was only two or three, but I didn't like that feeling of needing to grow into my skin. This feeling always seemed to have a lot to do with the way other people were making me feel about myself.
For example I recall feeling small when I said something that was serious to me, but the big people laughed because it was "cute."
I remember feeling small when I tried to do something challenging- carry a heavy bucket of sand- but failed, and the people around me laughed.
I felt small and insignificant when I was thrilled about a brand-new accomplishment- I climbed to the top of the fence!- but the grownups scolded me for climbing.
I felt little when my emotions suddenly overcame my bravery, and I cried for my mother, and the teacher told me not to be "a baby."
I felt way too small when I wanted to be a Big Girl and do something new for myself- walk next door to my friend's- and the grownups laughed and said I was too little.
Now that I am an adult, with personal power, autonomy, and a voice of my own, I realize that children are very often belittled by well-meaning adults.
It's one thing to enjoy them while they are little, but it's another thing entirely to make them feel small.
Posted by ANNIE CASTLE DECKERT, M.ED.PSYCH.