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  • Rebecca P. Cohen

What I see in your child

“I only see the best in your child. In fact, that is what I see in all of my students,” he said. Those are the words of a teacher who has my two middle schoolers in class together for the first time. His deeply supportive words and clarity made me reflect on why I work with children, and how my passion can influence my perspective as a parent.

I am not a teacher, but I am drawn to the potential of every child so much that I’ve worked with 6,000 children in the U.S. and abroad. From DC to California, South Africa to Luxembourg and China, I’ve seen an interesting cross section of the world, ages 2 to 14.

What do I see?

Children are present; they engage. They want to talk about their experiences. Given the space, they will surprise any adult. Those who don’t usually participate will offer insight. Those who may be shy will run up to me with pride in their work. Preschoolers who aren’t expected to recognize different places on a map will share their knowledge. First graders who can’t sit still in a classroom can journal beautifully outside. Middle schoolers who have never planted anything before will protect and care for their sprouting seeds.

I see more similarities than differences. I see a desire for human connection. I see the ability to go beyond where adults think their brains will go. Regardless of how a child learns, I see curiosity and wonder to learn.

As parents, we have the opportunity to take a step back and see the best that teachers see in our children. I have an opportunity to go beyond the day-to-day stress of “Did you do this?” or “Why didn’t you do that?”

What would happen if I asked myself, “Am I seeing only the best in my child?” “If I looked for the best in my child, what would I see?”

At this time of giving, a new perspective of seeing the best in my children every day could be the most meaningful gift I give to each of them.

Rebecca P. Cohen is the author of PJ’s Backyard Adventures and Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids and the creator of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards.

Free resources for teachers and parents are available on her website

Contact Rebecca to visit your school.