With this beautiful spring air, my Busy Bee and I have been spending a lot of time outside, walking trails that are filled with new growth and lots of opportunity for she and I to have conversation – just the two of us. It’s perfection.
The beauty of the day also illustrates her growth (heartbreaking isn’t it? Why can’t they stay small forever?) as her independence becomes evident. She doesn’t rely on hand holding to make it through paths, climbing over winter’s fallen trees. Her communication is clear in her preferences and the direction she chooses to take on each path becomes her own.
These are my opportunities to empower her: to remind her of her strength and ability, to remind her that risks are all around her and that she can safely take them on if she chooses to do so, and that although I am a few steps behind or beside her, I am here if she takes a tumble. This age also allows me to teach her about responsibility. That although she is welcome to take on all that she wishes, that I am willing to explore her interests and activities, she does have a part to play as well and one that is very important.
As we make our way back inside, the coat and boots come off and find their way to the floor. Here I could easily sweep them up with my own and the job is done, we can move on without changing the vibe of the wonderful adventure we just had. But when I do it once, I do it twice, and so on – then I have created the habit for the two of us. I already have so much on my plate and she is happy to help when she can – I know this. I just need to give her the chance (Read more here on how age appropriate responsibilities that build confidence).
As an educator, I am forever reading about theories of learning that come from everyday life and the long-term impact on our children. One of those theories comes from Maria Montessori, founder of the widely known Montessori Education, who was known for her views of childhood independence. Montessori believed that by giving children opportunities to do things on their own, these little bees increase the belief they have and hold in themselves, build self-confidence in their abilities and contributions and self-esteem which take them into adulthood.
And this is the goal isn’t it? To share with society our own young adults who are inspiring others, changing the world around them? My dreams for my daughter are huge, overwhelming for my heart.
While I watch my 2 year old manage the fallen trees in the woods, I think of incredible young leaders like Lacey Koughan, founder of 24STRONG (find out more about her here), who follows her passion to empower girls to know themselves and the difference they can make through conversation and friendship building. Visions like hers take away the fear I have about the world my daughter will grow up in for a moment (as noted in recent post) and allow me to believe that my busy bee will be in good company of those willing to take on the messages supported by millions of dollars and instead shout the message of authenticity, passion, and positivity.