I asked a preschooler, “Are you too old to do that?” He said, “I am not two year’s old. I am four. I am just right to do anything I want to do.”
This is a time of year when my preschool is busy performing assessments and developmental screenings so that we can make more accurate goals for the children. Developmental delays, learning disorders, and behavioral and social-emotional problems are estimated to affect 1 in every 6 children. Early intervention is an important part of helping young children develop to their fullest potential.
We love seeing children confident in trying new things and not getting discouraged when they need extra support to accomplish new goals. Even if a child is one of the six who needs extra help, it does not mean they cannot keep trying and feeling like they are just right to try anything. The world could be a different place if children would not let go of their early confidence and determination.
As adults it is easy to say, “I am too young to do that type of work. You need a lot of experience, and I am not ready.” Then one day as you get older, you find yourself saying, “I am too old to learn that new concept. That is meant for younger people. I just can’t do that.” Words of defeat and discouragement often come easier to the mouthes of adults than words like, “I am just right to do anything I want to do.” Maybe it is time stop ourselves in our tracks and say, “I am not too young. I am not too old. I am just right.” Maybe that is the intervention we need to reach our fullest potential, and it doesn’t matter if the intervention comes early or late as long as it comes.
- What are things you feel you are too young or too old to do?
- How could you change your thinking about your limitations to have a different outcome?
- How could we get help if we cannot do what we want by ourselves?
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis
“Miss Sheila, come be four with me today. I think you will really like it.” (To not play favoritism, the name of the preschooler will remain anonymous, yet forever live in Miss Sheila’s heart.)