Interpreting the Voice of God in Childhood
Forget the dulcet tones of a choir leading the crowd in praise as it travels through a flag pole into the desert. This endearing scene is usually used in church to help kids “understand the biblical message.” In reality, it is most often used to boost the mood of a struggling child, inspiring them to be more positive about themselves, their successes and their relationship with God.
In the case of preschoolers, the source of the voice, rhythm and gesture, respectively, determines the impact that each has on the budding child. How good is their voice? Is the gestalt of that joyous gathering of youngsters quiet or loud? Do they have a well-honed ability to love themselves and each other? Is their smile appropriately dynamic? Am I letting too much voice or love play into the performance?
Developmental psychologist Jo Markel wrote that it is important to establish an emotional vocabulary with preschoolers. Those emotional vocabulary words begin as metaphors or word-within-word connections between words and suggest values like trust, mutuality and teamwork. Markel points out that those correlations are like the spiritual links that connect a person to their faith or how “my father’s small act of kindness might feel like a life-changing event for my child.” Those emotional words then enable parents and caregivers to direct their children toward better choices, preferences, understandings and relationships.
Jo points out that preschoolers will respond in some important ways to positive attention. These positive responses typically include a smile, eyes that squint, intense expression, poor voice modulation and the enthusiasm of the people around the little ones. The children will also enjoy the quiet and breathe easier when the self-satisfaction of sharing a song comes from a caring adult rather than a stranger.
Judging praise and praise/hope messages from preschoolers via their internal motivational system, also known as their Emotional System Model, simply validates their internal importance and attention. As adults, the benefits of verbal praise and desire for recognition have become well-established. According to Markel, it will also help school-age children develop a desire to assist others with their abilities and needs.
Markel writes that what should not be discounted are the gifts that praise can give preschoolers who are struggling or weary. These gifts include a happy, trusting, self-promoting and overall friendly attitude. He points out that the process of receiving praise can be healing, as it can open children’s minds to help them see themselves as capable and capable as anyone else in their community. The thought of praise holds children accountable for who they are and how they are capable of helping themselves and others.
A loving voice, especially in order to soothe and soothe a child who cries, will likely comfort and eventually teach them about empathy and shared responsibility. How children respond to compliments and hosannas changes through a child’s ages. While praising children at elementary school can be disheartening for a teacher, teachers should be careful not to ignore the signs of grief when a child’s behavior has changed through a growth in misbehavior or attention needs. Instead, teachers and caregivers must listen for clues from the 4- to 6-year-old children that they are struggling. Markel advises that while those signs may be red flags of substance abuse or unmanageable anger, they should not be ignored in any case.
For preschoolers, similar voices to those of adults often move them to action. Reductions in positive attention will lead the kids to more self-control, less unpredictability and think through their responsibilities before acting on them. Parents should also encourage their preschoolers to share ideas, to learn to help others and be respectful of their peers.
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