Get Down

Recently, I noticed that one of my daughter’s teachers at church seemed so natural interacting with Erin and the other kindergarten students. I also couldn’t help but notice that another one of her teachers seemed less natural – less engaging with the children. These are both nice people, so I was wondering what the difference was. I didn’t typically watch them interact for very long, so I wondered why there seemed to be such an obvious difference in their ability to connect with the children.

Then I figured out what it was. The engaging teacher always got down on one or both knees and simply talked to the kids at their level. The less engaging teacher talked to the kids and asked them questions, but she was always standing at her full-height looking down on the kids. This is such a simple thing, but it is huge in the way other people perceive the interactions between adults and children.

I think that this is a great lesson for all of us. When you are talking to your young nephews or nieces, get down and talk to them at their level. When you are meeting the children of your friends, get down and look them in the eyes. When you are teaching 1st graders at church, get down even if you are wearing your Sunday best!

This simple act will immediately give you a better connection with the children. It will also allow parents to quickly conclude that you know what you are doing when talking to children. I know that I would rather be the uncle, friend, teacher who engages; rather than the one that seems more distant.

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