Relationships let children express themselves – a cry, a laugh, a question. All of these experiences together strengthens relationships and helps children learn more about the world at the same time.
Let me tell you about some of the important people in my life who has helped shape who I am today.
1. My Mom, Christine and my dad, Mynhardt.
These are two of the most incredible human beings. Never have I ever felt alone, unmotivated or unsure about who I am and where I’m going. They have supported me through all my choices in life, and they have given me everything and more than I could ever have asked for. One of the most difficult choices they ever had to make, was to send me to boarding school when I was only six years old. We live on a farm in the countryside, and the best education I would receive was an hour and a half away. I was there from Monday to Friday, and I could come home every Friday for the weekend. Luckily I was never alone, the whole community’s kids would go together, all to the big city. Even though my parents weren’t with me, I knew they wanted the best for me. They were there for every Netball game I played, every choir or singing group performance or any theater dancing I would have. The support is and was never ending.
2.Second would be my aunt, Riette
,but we call her Tannie Sus, which if I translate it directly would mean “aunti sister.” Apparently, for my first two years of boarding school, I would cry crocodile tears every week because I did not want to go to school and leave the farm. My aunt was always there to save the day. I would call her from the payphone (a collect call), usually on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, crying over the phone and telling her that I used all my pocket money for the week and ate all my candy. She would leave work a little earlier and bring my friends and I some goodies. My aunt never married. She looked after my grandpa for years and just spend her time working with the unfortunate or the elderly. I look up to her so much for everything she does for her community daily. With so much patience, she is definitely a blessing for all those people. Till today she is still my mentor, and I can fill her with questions and ask for advice about life.
3. My sister, Erika and my brother Karl.
I’m the youngest of the 3. My sister is eight years older and my brother five years older. Growing up with them was a little rough. I was the young, baby, irritating them haha I grew up pretty fast and was always on the “adult” table since I am the youngest in the extended family as well. We all were sent to boarding school when we moved to the farm. My brother was at least in middle school, and my sister was in high school, but I was just starting out my school journey. The support that I received from these two was a shock at first. I never knew how much they cared untill we were all far away from home. My sister was on the same campus as I, so she would check in on me regularly, my brother was on another campus, unfortunately. We were pretty easy kids growing up. There were never any violence or huge fights. My parents had set out rules for when we would travel together, and somehow we are truly good at following rules. I think the three of us made an exquisite team and didn’t give my parent’s too many gray hairs. As I got older, we all got along much easier…since I am not “a baby” anymore.
4. All the friends along the way.
Before we moved to the farm, we lived in a small city. As soon as I could start walking, we were out in the streets playing or in the park. When our parents would come home from work, they would all know where we were. Some “muddier” than other, but we had a blast. When moving to the farm, I wasn’t too alone. I had the WHOLE farm as a playground. Every child’s dream. I think the people who affected my life on a daily matter was all my friends in boarding school. In grade 1, we were only a few, but from grade 2, we were 18 little girls in a room. I salute our poor teachers who had to put us to bed every night. The teachers who made sure we were wearing clean underwear, combed our hair and ate breakfast in the cafeteria. When I tell people that I went to boarding school, I get lots of oooooo’s and aaaaaaa’s, and “how could your parents do that”, but I would not change it for anything in the world. It made me wise, confident; I learned to share, work with my money and practiced discipline on a daily matter. Routine was so drilled in, that I still go to bed between 9 and 10 pm. I had the opportunity to participate in every and all sports because I was on campus. But none of these things would have been possible or fun at all without my elementary school friends that went all the way to graduation. The bonds we have and the relationships that formed, can not easily be broken. We went through all kinds of highs and lows.
Warm and loving interactions between you and your child or students prepare them well for things they’ll come across later in life. By building a friendly, active and responsive relationship with your child, you’re helping shape the adult he/she will become and giving them a strong foundation for the rest of their life.
I’m adding two videos to my childhood web. The first one is a father and his daughter doing morning affirmations and the second is an elementary school teacher encouraging her students every day before they start class.
Have fun =)