Today we are sharing a message from Holly Elissa Bruno, who is asking for the help of the Exchange community as she works on an important new book. She begins with a story and ends with her request:
"Hello, who are you?" A teacher, squatting at the child’s level, inquires gently of the new preschooler.
"I’m nobody," responds the soulful child.
"You have a name at least," the teacher offers. "What would you like me to call you?"
"I’m nobody," the child proclaims yet again.
This we know: alarming percentages of children are abused, neglected, abandoned in our country. This we also know: the wounded child insisting s/he’s “nobody” is somebody well worth getting to know, to encourage, to discover together and to uncover the child’s unique genius. Will s/he adore caterpillars? Befriend dragonflies? Stomp jubilantly in splashy mud? Sing her sorrow away? Choose her own name? We also now know (thanks to colleague Jackie Taylor’s research) that the majority of us early childhood professionals have endured trauma ourselves or been traumatized anew by working with wounded children.
As I complete my sixth and most personal book, with the working title, Embracing our demons and dark nights: Transforming trauma into everyday healing wisdom, I would like to learn from you. Can you share an example of transforming your own difficulties/trauma into helpful ways to understand and work with a child like the one who sees herself as “nobody”?
Our profession is full of intuitive miracle workers whose every day love for children helps each child break free of already imposed chains.
Let me know if you are willing for your story, if selected, to be included in my book either anonymously or with your name. Stories will be treated confidentially unless you consent in writing to your story’s being shared. Together let us use our own woundedness to heal ourselves and uplift children. Please send your story to: email@example.com (and please indicate if you would like us to use your name or not). Thank you.
And…a bit more from Holly Elissa Bruno, from the book, Art of Leadership: Engaging Families, where she writes about working with families to learn what’s special about each child. She recommends having a conversation with each family, asking these questions:
“Tell me about your child. What activities does your family like to do together? What is important to you in raising your child? What are ways your child feels comforted or soothed? Is there anything you would like me to know about your child?”
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