Preschoolers: Thoughts on Beauty and Imagination

March 18, 2015

I work with 20 children between the ages of 3 1/2 and 6. One of the things that I find most fascinating -- and frustrating -- about those ages is how much they change socially. They go from playing beside each other and fighting over toys, to gossiping about how someone talks or what their hair looks like that day -- please note that these are not always limited to girls as boys are quite capable of gossip as well. 

By the time the girls and boys that I work with enter Kindergarten, they are already well aware of who does not fit in socially, who doesn't play with the right toys or wear the right clothes, and who doesn't watch the correct television shows. They already have the idea of a social ladder and they are only five-years-old. It just blows my mind.

That is why I try my best not to reflect on the clothes that the children wear, and make comments on how it is not polite to make-fun of how someone talks, asking them how they would feel if someone made fun of how they talked. I try to thank them for helping clean up toys that they didn't play with, or I have a conversation with them about a drawing that they just created. I believe that it is important for me -- and parents -- to set expectations for our children on how we want them to treat others, and help them learn to be kind to one another.

If we choose to focus on the positive things that our children do, and celebrate their imaginations and creativity above all else, perhaps we will start them on a path where the things on the surface don't matter as much as they believe they do -- or as much as we believe they do. It's not that beauty is important, of course you need to take care of yourself, but think back to a time when you where celebrated for something that you did and a time that someone told you they liked your dress; ask yourself which one made you feel better? Was it the compliment about your achievement? Mine too.

1 comment

  1. Very well said! You have such insight into children :)


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