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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

My "One"

Earlier today I read a link that was shared by a friend and there is something about the way this post is written that really reaches my heart, makes me sad. For those of you who speak Norwegian, here is the link: Barna Som Ikke Får Hjerte

For those who don't, I translated the gist of it. I hope that I have done so correctly. If not, please just put it down to my imperfect Norwegian. :)

The article deals with children that attend what we would call daycare but can also mean pre-school or kindergarten depending on where you come from. (Bear in mind that these children can be anywhere from around one year to around five years old. Also this assignment was given with the intention to draw attention to areas that needed to be worked upon.)

"I heard about an interesting assignment that a day-care/ kindergarten gave their employees. The employees were asked to be honest about whether they had favorites among the children. The task was that they were to attach a heart to the child's name. The size of the heart would show how much they liked each child.

Children that they liked passably well got a small heart.
Children that they loved got a big heart.
Children they didn't like got no heart beside their name.

So the employees were honest and many hearts were given out. No one found it difficult.

But the task showed something unpleasant. Two of the little children received no hearts at all. Not even one tiny little heart by their name.

Not one of the adults working with them liked them.

So I am curious, how does an adult act toward a child that they don't like in daycare? How does an adult speak to this child while changing their diaper for example? How do they sooth the child if the child has been hurt and is crying?

How many smiles do these two "disliked" children get from the adults working with them in a day, month, year?"

The original post was thought provoking and well worded. And as a mother, it made my heart break for those little ones out there who "no one likes".

This post isn't meant to be a judgment, I wanted only to share the first thought that came into my head when I read about these two little children. What if it were my baby, the precious, laughing, light of my life, who had no hearts beside his name at the end of this assignment because none of his teachers or caregivers "liked" him?

And what if it were yours?

Every child deserves to think that they are the center of somebody's universe...that if it came down to it, there would be so many hearts after their name, there wouldn't be room for them all...


Anonymous said...

My wife has been a preschool teacher for many years and still works part time at a local Christian preschool. She deals with difficult children in a loving way daily. Children are drawn to her because of her kindness towards them. Her reward in heaven will be great :-)

Take care and have a nice day :-)


Joyful said...

I'm with you. It is so sad to hear that a little child in a day care would have no one who likes or loves him/her. I wish and pray that all children would have someone who loves them.

Joyful said...

I meant to add that your little one is so precious. Those smiles really melt my heart ;-)

Michael Khatcherian said...

May God keep that beautiful smile that never leaves William's face. It's not a judgement as you mentioned, but I think such employees lack what is beyond profession

Mari said...

That is very sad! I agree that all kids should have many people showing them love.
I love your sons smile~!

Deborah said...

That is a sad thought, that the people in the daycare couldn't or wouldn't find something within each of these children to find what was likable. Every one has special gifts, sometimes it takes longer to find them, but we should never stop looking for the good in everyone.
Thanks for your "rant" on my post, I wrote back to you, not sure if you go back to check or not, but I did respond!
Hope you had a great day!

kate said...

Such cute pictures of WillieBillie! He is the most darling little "ONE"! I can't wait to see him!
And about the daycare, well, it doesn't surprise me. I have seen some things with our daycares here that have absolutely shocked me. A child should feel like the center of somebody's universe, and you can be sure that many children bundled up and taken out in the mornings to be raised by strangers and other people who get paid to do a job, will never know that feeling. No one can take the place of a mother, or a father, or a grandparent or a beloved auntie, so if you MUST work, find a beloved friend or relative who will at least have some emotional connection with your child. As anyone can probably tell by now, I am not a fan of institutional child care.

Unknown said...

I had to quit teaching because I realized I did like some children better than others. I hear people all the time say they can do it without favoritism. I think that is great. I couldn't.

I think it is a job as a parent to make sure your child is liked and Loved. If my kid was at a school and he wasn't adored, I could tell. And he would have to move to one that did.

Your baby is SO precious.It makes my day to see his little face in your posts. What a gem. I am glad he is so loved.

Lori said...

Oh Colleen my heart ached when I read saddens me that these children had no hearts..from my many years of doing daycare I know there are difficult children and children that seemed to do things almost on purpose...oh the stories I could tell...but i guess I seen these children as my challange..and when I really paid attention to them and the way they interacted with the other children I instinctively knew there was something going on inside of them to cause them to act in such a difficult manner...I prayed extra for them and myself so that I would treat them with love...and I gave them extra love...and with every single child that was difficult the love broke them down and they stopped being difficult... honestly if I could not find it in my heart to love them or even like them it would have been my obligation to give the parents notice and not have them in my's not fair to the child, the parents or the other kids in my I owed it to all of them to put forth effort...either that or get out of the business of childcare. I found it vital to my daily care of the children to have love for gave purpose to all the things I did with them and it made our day's so much better.

William is so darn adorable...he is growing so big!

Zuzana said...

Oh, this is just so sad...
I am not a mom, but I simply cannot imagine not liking a child. How can that be - children are so innocent, no mater what they do and how they act, one can not help but feel protective of them at all times.
Did these people only had a certain amounts of hearts to give out? I think I would place a heart by each name.
I love these images here, what a cutie.;)
Have a lovely mid-week dear Colleen,

Crown of Beauty said...

This is so sad... and at daycare, everyday... what message are those two precious little ones having?

The early years of life are just so crucial to a child's development.

But the sad truth also is that this kind of thing probably goes on in any day care center.

The pictures of William are great - such sparkling eyes!

He must feel so loved!


Corinne Rodrigues said...

I'm in love with little William. You've got yourself a real charmer there....I love the naughtiness that shines out of his eyes!

It's really sad to read about those two kids. The teacher in me wants to find out what makes them 'unlovable' especially at that age. I can only think that they're particularly bratty or troublesome - but then isn't that what the caregivers are trained to deal with. And what of the parents? I know a child of that age can't communicate with words, but they do have ways to communicate their unhappiness. My niece and nephew would go to a daycare after school - and the owner of the daycare (I'm sorry to say that in India you don't have to be trained to run one!!) would threaten my nephew with dire consequences if he was naughty - like telling him he would lock him in a room etc. Thankfully my niece overheard and at 6 years of age was protective enough of her brother to report this to her parents. They were taken out of that place immediately and thereafter kept with my parents after school and on holidays.
Sorry I have rambled on...but this is appalling to say the least!

Colleen said...

Ron, thank you for your thoughts! I do believe there are difficult children in every pre-school, bless your wife for her kindness toward them. She must be a wonderful, generous woman. Have a lovely day too.:)

Joyful, that is exactly what I thought too...just that it is sad. Thank you for the compliment about William, he does have a beautiful smile.:)

Michael, so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your prayer for William, I want the same thing for him. I understand what you mean, as a barnehage assistant or daycare worker, we have to work especially hard to treat all the little ones in our care with love...

Mari, thank you! Yes, I couldn't agree more. All children deserve love.

Deborah, it is a sad thought. I think it is normal to have favorites but the other children should never see that and certainly a child should always be someone's "favorite". I checked back by the way.:) Hope your day was excellent too my friend!

Mom, thank you for your thoughts! It doesn't surprise me either, just made me sad for those two babies no one liked. There are definitely some atrocious things that go on in child care centers and I agree that it is best for a child to be raised by loving parents. How could it be otherwise? In Canada, I was never a fan and would never have put a child in one of our daycares, but here in Norway, though for personal reasons, I would never have a child in full time, I do think the quality of care is generally good. Where I worked for the past five years was exceptional and the little ones received a lot of love but for me, it would never be a first choice. :) We can't wait to see you too!:)

Becky thank you so much for your lovely words about William. I was really interested in what you wrote, very interesting to have a teacher's perspective. Yes, I think we should be able to see if our child is being treated well or not and if not, to change something for them.

Colleen said...

Lori, it made my heart ache too. When I read what you write about your won experience, I think you must have been an amazing daycare provider. What an excellent way to deal with the difficult ones, through prayer. Before we moved I worked for five years as an assistant in a pre-school and definitely saw some difficult little ones too but I still could have found a reason to give them a little heart by their names if asked. I also think you never really know what a child is dealing with at home...they could be acting out for a good reason. Thank you for your thoughts. You have such a good heart Lori.

Zuzana, I thought the same a you, I would have put a heart by each name too! Thank you for your kind words about William, he brightens our days for sure!:) Have a lovely Wednesday!

Lidj, thank you so much! Yes, his eyes are so expressive, they really do sparkle with life! He is quick to happiness and also quick to have a little temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way.:) I agree, it is a sad message for these two little ones there every day. And the early years are so very crucial. In a way, the time we are given with tiny children is of the essence...thank you for your thoughts! Have a lovely day my friend!

Corinne, I always appreciate your thoughts so ramble away! You have a lot of wisdom to share! Thank you for your words about William, he is a charmer for sure.:) I am sorry to hear about the experience your little nephew had...thank goodness his big sister was there to take care of him. I'm sure that sort of thing can really frighten a child! Thanks for your comment!

Tabitha Bird said...

oh this is too sad. No hearts? Oh my. I want to cry for those babies. I would hate to think that one of those could be my precious little boy. I guess we are all human and like who we like, but I hope those who work with children can transcend themselves enough to find something to like about EVERY child.

Felisol said...

Dear Colleen,
This makes me want to cry too, because I know how painfully true the story of the children with no hearts are.

I always used to focus on the children the others didn't pay attention too, when I was working.

I also knew I didn't want to leave the upbringing of my child to strangers.
The good God made me ill, so I was allowed to be a stay-at-home mom.
A research reveals that Norwegian children are spending most of their childhood surrounded by various strangers.
This just cannot be right.
The wonderful William is a sparkling charmer and will always get plenty of hearts from the people he meet. Thank God for that.
From Felisol

Unknown said...

Colleen, that is heartbreaking! What's so pitiful also, is that if those daycare workers don't show them any love; that just has a continued ill effect on those kids and they will continue to be "unlikeable". We ALL need to be loved and accepted for who we are....even when we're not very "likeable". Your baby boy is too cute for words!!! He looks wonderfully happy and loved! ~Serene

Mary N. said...

Ouch. I'm with you, hurt to read about these 2 little ones who didn't get a heart.

Your son is beautiful :) I laughed when I read the post about feeding him when he was a baby!

MFEO2009 said...

Breaks my heart. Bless all the little children.

Colleen said...

Tabitha, I so agree! We need to transcend ourselves as you say and find something to love in every child and every grown person as well...

Yes Felisol, I thank God for that too. I also want an active role in raising my own child. It's very important to me personally and I feel that I am best qualified to teach William what he truly needs to know. Thank you for your comment!

Serene, thank you! Yes it's a sad truth that they probably will go on to be "unlikable" unless maybe something changes? I pray it does!

Mary, thank you so much.:) It still hurts my heart to think about the two little children!:(

Nichole, amen to that.

Anonymous said...

I guess I hope that the nursery workers who are dealing with children they do not like will still be able to love them, which is very possible but requires a great deal of directed and conscious effort not to act primarily on affection and personal preference and a great capacity to love. In the end, parents will usually have a more consistent tenderness which may assist them in loving their child even through times when it is tough. There are of course exceptions, but the chances that a child will be ignored in a nursery and not get the love they need there is presumably and almost hopefully greater than if it is possible for the parents to care for them. This is not, of course, always possible and people can only do what is possible in their situation.

However, be that as it may, in the family or in the nursery liking and loving is not the same thing at all, nor is feelings of love the same thing as actually loving a person in action.

Anonymous said...

Also, I think that, while we cannot necessarily always be blamed for our somewhat random feelings of dislike that comes or goes, it is so important to look for something in the person to like, even if it is only the dignity of a human person itself. This is even more important when one has responsibility to care for people one does not have an immediate affinity for, and especially important when one is dealing with children. So I guess there is a balance between our wills and efforts in working against our emotions when they are not being co-operative and looking for what is likeable on the one hand, and not making the situation worse by increasing stress in blaming ourselves or others for that part which is somewhat beyond our control (not that I'm saying you were doing that, Colleen, by bringing up this important issue!). It is possible that one may really try to like someone and still not be able to, and yet still manage to love them, as St. Therese did with one of her fellow nuns.

Anonymous said...

And, though I am in danger of flooding the combox, I will add that the last comment ties in with my first also with regard to the aspect that parents, whether adoptive or biological, are often very inclined to look for everything there is that they will like in their children, even when the children are adults. If you have a tie that "obliges" in a particular manner that you love, and often helps you by naturally inclining you to do so by emotion (even if not always), then you will also wish to like and instill in the person a sense not only that they are loveable but likeable. In fact, sometimes this goes so far that one is not able to correct, in a loving manner, the behaviour that is liable to have other people dislike them, so going too far in that direction can actually also be bad. I'm sure everybody has encountered the 'nothing my child does is wrong' attitude.

But I'm rambling again.

Colleen said...


You aren't rambling, your points are all very valid and good! I appreciate and hope for discussion so I like that you give well thought out perspectives.

I also know that to love a person is not dependent on liking them and to occasionally dislike a person is simply human nature. Love transcends dislike. As you say and I one hundred percent believe myself, love is an action. It is a rather immature thing to think it is merely a feeling because as we both know, feelings change from day to day and the great challenge in any relationship is to love even when we don't like.

I guess that even though I think this, I don't hold up much hope for the majority of people viewing the matter of love in the same way so that is why I was so saddened to read about those two children.

And as for your last comment, it is a lot to think on! Yes on one hand you certainly want to instill a sense of being likable and lovable but it is also a parent's responsibility to deal with the unpleasant as well and create a well rounded human being, which parents who feel their children can do no wrong certainly do NOT do.:) That attitude does nobody any favors. Actually I just read a poem by Stevie Smith dealing with this! I should post it! :)

Anonymous said...

Colleen, I certainly agree with you that in our society love is so much confused with a feeling of liking that one does not have much hope that everybody will understand the difference and therefore love in spite of not liking people. One hopes, of course, that more people will be able to transcend their emotions when it comes to children, but, in a busy nursery, it is perhaps the rare nursery teacher who is able to do so to the same extent that a family may be.

And, yes, I absolutely agree that not actually raising one's child in the sense of trying to rein in bad tendencies, is not a good way of loving them as parents. Love should include encouraging the person towards holiness, and no love more so than that of a parent for their child.

It is all a balance and I don't think most of us would be able consistently to show that balance for a whole bunch of children with no relation (biological or by adoption) with whom one spends one's working hours. I'm sure there are som who are able to do so, but it must at least be hard without a very conscious effort which assumes that one is very aware of the problem. It must be hard enough for parents to do so consistently.

I consider working with children one of those things for which one almost needs a kind of a calling, as it is such an important and very challenging task where success and failure has such potentially wide ranging implications. I definitely admire those who so earnestly endeavour to do their best day in and day out in spite of all the difficulties and the low status so often accorded to this work.

mispapelicos said...

I couldn´agree more with this.
I am so touched Colleen...
Mil besos.
Have a good weekend.

wafaa said...

He is so sweet Colleen, God bless him. As for the article, I think that those employees don't suit such a profession, for it takes a lot beyond studying and learning to be capable of fulfilling such kind of jobs, and obviously they lack that..

Brian Miller said...

great post...and so true...i work wiht a lot of those kids doing counseling...and we wonder why they are the way they are...they get it at home...and in daycare, or sucks....

kate said...

when I get there, I am going to hug that pixie!

laughwithusblog said...


Leia said...

Your son is absolutely gorgeous! However, the 'disliked' children makes me feel a bit upset... teachers really shouldn't play favorites.


DAKOTA said...

LOVE your blog!

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder, said...

Having been a public high school teacher, I can identify with the unlovables in a school. By high school they are wearing those invisible hearts on their bodies....they know when they are not loved and are rejected. It was one of the privileges of being a teacher to be able to be the hands and feet of Jesus to give the unlovable the love and joy of Christ.

It's a sad commentary on humanity - even Christians - I'm thankful my Lord is greater than our failings.

Thanks for the post.

Shey said...

Hi Colleen, I'm stopping by to say Hi and also to tell you how handsome and cute your little boy is! Now on the post that you wrote, it's very interesting, as a teacher I know there are children who can be lots of trouble, however even those who are trouble-makers and bullies to other children..if one takes the time to know them, to know their life, it makes a difference. I've seen teachers who put their finger on one or two students that they just don't like and so they get in trouble for every single thing, it's very sad, it makes children hate school. I think it's always good to get to know the students, they are precious gifts from God. =)

Ninjagaiden78 said...

Beautiful young man!
I like his hair.
Then again, I have none (by choice) so I am envious of everyone!

Stephanie said...

Every preschool should have this post printed and hung on their wall! You are so right, every single babe deserves a big heart!

JJ said...

Colleen: It just doesn't get any better!

Unknown said...

Hi, Everyone deserves love and the boy is soooo cute!! great post Colleen!

Janet Sewell said...

"Every child deserves to think that they are the center of somebody's universe..."

The sad reality in this world is that there are a lot of children out there who don't know, or don't think that. I believe those are also the children who act out in school resulting in them not being loved anywhere they go. Love is so important in the development of a child. Why are children getting drunk? Why are they sleeping around by age 12? I know of girls who were mothers by the ago of 13! I believe it's because they were raised with little or no affection in the home. You say some people aren't fit to work in a daycare center, I say some parents aren't fit for the job!!! Parents love your children at home and I can guarantee you they will be loved wherever they go as they will be balanced individuals!

Thank you Colleen for posting that. It makes one realized even further that we do live in a fallen broken world.

There's this one song that I'd like to share with you. It's by Eminem and is called Sing for the Moment (the swearing has been blocked out). It's such a powerful song. It talks about broken young people and how they find their hope in rap and rock. It's so sad. Just listen to the lyrics. It's probably my favorite song by him :o) Yes I like Eminem ;op

Love you girl and miss you terribly!

OtienoHongo said...

This post has made me think twice since I have a daughter in what we call "baby class". I know she can be difficult at times but to imagine that the teacher can ignore her or treat her differently because she does not love her is scary...

Great pics you have there by the way, beautiful kid!

Colleen said...

Sacremento, thank you! Have a beautiful week!

Wafaa, I couldn't agree more, there is most definitely something lacking.

Brian, so true...they get it everywhere and they almost come to expect it. High or low, we do tend to live up to others expectations.

Mom, you can.:)

Esther, yes.:)

Leia, thank you! I wish there were no favorites played too.

Dakota, thank you so much! And thank you for stopping by here, you are very welcome.:)

Brenda, thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I appreciate hearing what you have witnessed yourself. How sad and yet unsurprising.

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! I will answer the rest soon.:)