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My Favourite Thing About You Is…

Greg Bottrill, author of “Can I Go Play Now?”, considers the power of noticing. Taking care to celebrate and appreciate your children and what they can do, and modelling warm, positive and giving behaviour, in the course of co-play activities, can have a powerful impact.

When was the last time you told the person you loved what your favourite thing about them is? Was it today? Yesterday? Last year? If you haven’t told them in a while, then today make amends and do just that. Let them know what it is about them that gives you Soul Float, that feeling you get inside you that is almost beyond words somehow. If you tell them, then you might just glimpse a little Soul Float glimmering in their eyes too.

Photographer: Ambreen Hasan | Source: Unsplash

How quickly we forget the connections we have between us. How easily we allow the World to dominate our brains and deflect us from our real purpose here on Earth, to put love into it as far as the eye can see, because to love and to feel loved even in the smallest way can be all that is needed for life around us to glow that little brighter.

I genuinely hope you do it today. The last time I told the person I love the most must be over ten years ago now and I will change that once I finish writing this article. I will tell her what my favourite thing about her is. Maybe she won’t tell me what her favourite thing about me is, but that’s okay. We tell it not to receive, but to give…

Love has become a bit of a Lost Word in education, and I greatly believe that we need to bring it back to prominence. When I talk about love in the context of childhood, I refer to it within the joy of co-play, showing children that life belongs to them, that we are there to adventure with them, to offer them choices to See and to Be – to my mind, play is love because it is the act of letting go not control.

And so this brings us to telling the children “My Favourite Thing About You Is…’ a simple affirmation that we can give to them about who they are and that that is enough. That their attributes, their solidarity, their kindness and their wisdom is seen and valued. It’s such a simple thing to say to children and if we authentically say it, then we pass on that Soul Float – we give them a reminder of their identity, that they are not just with us to ‘learn’ or ‘get’ to a certain stage of development, but rather that they are with us because we love them too.

My Favourite Thing About You isn’t intended as a carpet time exercise because therein lies the potential for children to see that there is a potential lack of authenticity in it, children sitting waiting to be told what you believe about them. Instead, I’d suggest that you just pop it up now again in the flow of co-play, almost as though you have remembered it suddenly, that your time spent co-playing with them has reminded you of their magic. Don’t forget that this isn’t about what children look like or what they are wearing. We are showing children that we see who they are, not their appearance.

Photographer: Tim Mossholder | Source: Unsplash

And it’s not intended as a behaviour thing either. My Favourite Thing About You is straight from our heart – we notice children and tell them that we have done so. It could be a skill, an act of kindness, a taking of a risk or an example of courage. In fact, it can be anything that catches our eye. We don’t need to tell the children “Today, I will be looking for something that is my favourite thing about you” either because immediately that erodes the authenticity of it all. When speak from the heart to childhood, then childhood sees the heart within us too…

So give it a go. Let children know what your favourite thing about them is, and if like me you’ve left it too long to tell the one you love what your favourite thing about them is then go do it now too, authentically and from the heart just like everything in the World of Good Things should be…