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Lessons Learned: (Re)Finding Treasures

For the past week, my preschooler, Hala, had been finding, what most would call random things (i.e. trash), and bringing them to me saying, “Look Mama, I found a treasure!” A missing blue bead, a leaf from the house plant, a piece of dried pasta that never made it into the pot… you know, all that stuff kid’s seem to find. She’s holding the items ever so carefully and looking at them like they are about to unveil the secret of life. The fascination is so positive, like she cannot wait to learn all that she can about this newfound treasure.

Hala’s preschool follows the Reggio Emilia Approach, a philosophy that is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. The children are encouraged to explore their curiosity about things, ask questions, and then figure out how to learn the answers. These problem solving skills are critical to life and it’s the process that needs to be learned, not necessarily the final answer. In this approach, there is a lot of discovery and self-satisfaction that really enhances self esteem and self worth.

As adults, there are many things that we take for granted or dismiss as unimportant that may otherwise in fact help us keep a positive outlook on our lives and our achievements. When you were getting ready this morning, did you stop and smile at yourself in the mirror? Did you allow your mind to linger for a moment on that special memory as you put your jewelry on? Did you notice the absence of that annoying pain in your lower back when you got out of bed, since you’ve re-committed to your exercise plan? Did you stop for a second to enjoy the warmth that your hands felt as you wrapped them around your coffee cup? Did you enjoy your breakfast as if you were tasting it for the first time—or did you rush through the meal to get on with your day? Don’t dismiss these small details as unimportant. Small successes and accomplishments are what we use as building blocks for self esteem and self worth which lead to positive reinforcement for change or continued healthy habits.

Today’s task: Discover a part of your world in a new light. Experience it if for the first time and linger in the satisfaction it brings you.

Hala at preschool

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