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Life > Experiences

5 Valuable Lessons I Learned From Working With Children

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Over the past year, I have been working with children. I have worked with children as young as 16 months to as old as 12 years, as well as children with a variety of abilities. As I reflect on my experiences, I have come to realize that these children have taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

Never Give up

No matter the child, they are still learning about the world. There are many things that they aren’t sure of yet, and the world is so big to them. I worked with a girl with CP (cerebral palsy), and during her physical therapy, I could see her face light up as she walked around the playground with her walker. Through all of my experiences, I have come to realize that the only way to get something done is to continue to push yourself. Watching each child navigate the world, and seeing them not get down on themselves when they fall but rather stand back up and try again has been truly inspiring.

Speak up

Each age range, as well as ability level, has a variety of communication skills. I have realized the importance of speaking up for myself and others when I can. When working with children that are nonverbal, I saw their faces light up when they used their devices and are understood by those around them. Since working with children, I have been speaking up for myself more, even if my ideas may not be exactly what others think.

Express your creativity

Working with children always brings back the creative, youthful side of me. In such a serious world, it is so easy to forget that there is still fun to be had. Children building blocks into crazy magical lands and creating new inventions with their imagination has helped me realize that the world doesn’t always have to be so serious. Playing with the kids has helped bring back that creativity that I’d long forgotten I had.

Love yourself

When you hear children talking and playing, they are never talking about their weight, what they look like, or what other people think of them. In a world run by media, it is almost impossible for our generation not to think about these things every day. When working with children, you realize how much looks don’t matter. Children love each other no matter what they look like.

Live in the moment

Similar to self-acceptance, the media is always putting pressure on you to have a plan for your future. What are you going to do for a living? Are you going to have a family? How are you going to support yourself? Children take advantage of every moment they get. They are constantly running around and building new creations. Each day I go to work and am working with kids, I am never worrying about the future. I am present at that moment until it is time to go home. I am never looking at the clock waiting for the day to be over. I play and interact with the kids all day, and before I know it, it’s time to go home.

I knew that by working with children, I would learn a lot from them. However, I didn’t know how valuable the lessons would be; I have learned so many things from them that have made my life outside of the classroom feel a little bit lighter. These children mean so much to me, and I hope the lessons I am able to teach them are just as important.

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Sydney Dion

U Mass Amherst '23

Communication Disorders Major