We are born to grow into who we are created to become, so we can do what we are created to do. Children grow from within by having their hearts affirmed and confirmed by caregivers. Affirmation says, “Yes” to how a child is created as an emotional and spiritual creature. It actually reminds the child who they are. Emotions express the heart, and the essence of spirituality expresses the desire to connect in depth with the heart.
Confirmation builds on the “Yes” of affirmation by consistently repeating it. In other words, they both communicate that the caregiver is in the child’s life to stay no matter what happens, and never give up on growing the child into becoming a grown-up.
“The presence they crave, importantly, is a presence of heart.”
Every child is in true need to be affirmed and confirmed in a world that generally does not support the vulnerability of desire and the courage to express. Affirmation and confirmation from caregivers feeds the two primary needs of belonging and mattering in the child. They give the child the confidence to trust the risk of continuing to share their hearts.
Children really only have a few essential questions of caregivers:
Will you grow up with me?
Will you help me become a grown-up?
Will you live in the struggle of remaining present in heart with me by taking care of yourself?
Children need to be able to take the “Yes” answers to these questions for granted, and only later in life find great gratitude in the questions being answered well. They do not demand perfection from caregivers, even though they cry when imperfection occurs. They do attempt to demand, however, the persistent presence of the caregivers. The presence they crave, importantly, is a presence of heart, not a presence of perfection.
A child is born expressing heart. They need to be able to remain true to their hearts, for the heart is the wellspring of life. Children need the caregivers to keep heart, and help them do the same in a world that can pull us all away from the core of who we are created to become and what we are created to do.
For caregivers: Grow your own heart with The Voice of the Heart Bible Study.