You may never know what makes an impression on a child.
As a single mother I can say my life did not turn out as I expected it to, but that I am also extremely pleased with where we all are! However, sometimes I assume that as a single mum I am the biggest influence on my son’s life. And his father often assumes, because he lives across the ocean, that he is having little impact on his child’s education.
A recent “creative writing” essay by my son reminded me that you never know what may make an impact on a child and how long that impression will stay with them. This essay was written about something that happened to my son nine years ago. What is revealing is that he chose the topic of the essay and I did not tell him to write about this topic.
It serves as a wonderful reminder that we should always be aware that our children are watching, learning and remembering everything we do – no matter how large or how small and that what we are doing does matter. On days when it seems the effort you are making is so hard, or is not making a difference, remember that your child make take a kind gesture you offered after dinner and remember it nine years later. So many things you do make an impression on your child and this impression becomes part of who they are.
That is why we have infused thousands of wonderful moments into the Earthschooling Curriculum for you and your child. Every lesson in the Earthschooling Curriculum was created by our team of teachers who have chosen to share only their favorite lessons – the lessons that made an impact on their students. Earthschooling members are getting the best of the best! We have spent years teaching, have seen the impact these lessons have made over the course of ten or more years and then have chosen the most effective methods and lessons for your students.
So how do you impress a child? Be aware that any one of your actions or lessons may be that “impression” that lasts. If you choose the lessons for your child you want to impress them with and if you start each day with this thought you will find that you start to make more and more of the choices you need to make to create the most positive and enriching impressions for your student.
To read Sunii’s essay about what made an impression on him read his story below. The photo in this post is a photo I took of Sunii and his younger sister, Sofi on a trip to Cyprus four years before the time of the essay. Sunii is now 17 1/2. Sofi is now 15.
Our Trip to Cyprus by Sunii Mandil
Every summer my sisters and I usually go out of the country to visit my father. He lives in Saudi Arabia and he always makes plans to spend time with us once a year. We’ve taken trips to Cairo, Amsterdam, Saudi Arabia, and many places in the United States. When I was 9-years-old I visited my father in Cyprus, Turkey. We stayed there for a couple weeks in the summer. I enjoy these trips very much it gives me a taste of new culture and allows me to go out of my comfort zone. All the trips I’ve taken in the past have been very educational and fun.
I stayed in the home of a family friend close to my dad. The way the building was designed intrigued me very much. As I walked down the street out of the taxi from the airport I was welcomed by my father’s friends at a small metal gate in the middle of a big beige colored wall. We all said hello and introduced ourselves. Upon entering I could see the small stone walkway leading up to an archway into the house. There were all sorts of colorful flowers, trees, and plants on either side of the walkway; most of which I’ve never seen before. As I passed the archway I walked into a big living room that was open to the outside. I saw a few couches, a table to eat at, and another garden as I looked ahead. This garden had fruit trees that were used to prepare the meals we ate. We were lead to the left up a large staircase made out of wood also open to the outside. Once at the top the door was opened and I saw the room we would be staying in. There were a lot of windows and free space in the room. As I set my stuff down I laid down on one of the fold out beds on the ground. I noticed there were no bathrooms so I asked my dad where to find it. He brought me down the stairs and to the left, we walked on a little pathway back behind the building and I saw a door that looked like it belonged to a hobbit hole of some sort. I opened the door and saw a washroom; it was very different from anything I’ve seen in America. There was a big bucket fit for a person and a sponge to bathe with.
By the time I had gone back to my room and settled down it was time for dinner. Each time I took one more step down the stairs I could smell the scent of dinner getting stronger and more delicious. I had just been on a plane for eight hours I needed food. I sat down at the table and our hosts set tray after tray down on the table full of all sorts of food, it reminded me of all the great food I have eaten back in Saudi Arabia when I lived there. I couldn’t spell the names of these foods even if I wanted to although I did remember the dishes were significantly spicy. After we finished dinner I helped clean up the table and put the dishes away. We stayed and talked about my father’s history with these people until it got too cold to be outside. It was too long ago for me to remember their names, I only remember their kindness.
As soon as it was dark out we walked into town to go to this sandwich shop my father loved. We were on the road for about an hour until we arrived. All the houses we passed on the way were so different than anything I’ve seen locally. Not only the way the houses looked but the amount of houses. The streets weren’t anywhere near as how crowded it is on an American street. It was quiet and peaceful. I didn’t see as many people, and there was more nature and animals than anything else. The sandwich shop was a small family owned business they didn’t have a lot of money so there were just a few tables and the counter to order from. I sat down at the table closest to the window while my dad ordered. I couldn’t really see much out the window; it was a small town, not a lot of city lights on at night like the United States. The only thing illuminating the cold dark streets was a lone street lamp with a flickering bulb.
My dad sat down with our food, he ordered me a grilled cheese sandwich with turkey; it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Upon finishing the sandwich I felt the urge for desert. I went up to the counter to see what they had to offer. The first thing that caught my eye was this bowl of custard, it looked so appetizing. I ran back to my dad and asked him if I could have one. Of course he said yes and went back up to the counter to order again. I was so excited to take the first spoonful; I had just finished the hot sandwich and needed something cool and soothing. Just as I took the first bite my face cringed up similar to if someone had squirted lemon juice in my eye, it was the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted. After looking at the rich creamy color of the dessert I assumed it was going to be amazing full of flavor, maybe I’d even want another one. I got the exact opposite of that, it tasted as if I had just used a bottle of cologne as mouthwash it was far too bitter to my liking. Once my dad’s laughter died down he offered to finish it for me before we left.
As we departed from the store the single lamp lighting up the night had gone out. It was too dark to see; I was scared, all I could feel was my dad’s arm brushing up against mine with every step we took and my sisters whining throughout the whole walk back. I asked my dad how we were going to get back to the house; none of us had been there before and didn’t know the way back. He confidently responded in such a way to comfort me he let me know that although we can’t see ahead of us, by looking up the stars will guide us back. It felt like the sky was the same, although I was thousands of miles away from home the sky was the same and it was just as if I was looking at the stars in my own backyard. Looking forward was not going to provide me with anything all I could see ahead of me was darkness. I found myself walking with my head up, looking at all the stars the rest of the small voyage back to the house