The tired children

Behind a tired child hides a tired adult (these children were born tired).
Childhood was clothed with words and contents that did not correspond to the nature of the child.
You hear many times the poor child got tired because he walked a distance that we consider long, because he played, because he went to school, because he went to the playground, because he climbed a hill because, because….
Many times parents come to school to pick up their children or grandparents and they see them sweeping or cleaning the tables they ate at or simply taking a midday nap in their little beds all together etc. and you hear them say “poor things” (they come out like that spontaneously) and I’m really impressed at how differently everyone sees things in relation to children. How much the image we made of the child changed from the reality of childhood nature and age.
And where you should see the image of a child who is independent, succeeds, takes care of his space, satisfies his need to run, climb and feel strong or where he shares his needs with his peers and is happy, you notice a society around the child to christen it suffering.
And then this child grows up and finds it really a hassle to work for something meaningful, feels that he gets tired easily and wants two or three people around him to sort things out for him. In his cellular memory is not written that I can do it and that the body obeys and does not get tired easily. To have experienced that I am hungry and thirsty and I can wait and I will not die if my need is not immediately satisfied. Today, as soon as a child says he is hungry, a system is mobilized around him (the child who is hungry must eat immediately – he cannot wait for the table to be set or the work to be finished and then eat when everyone eats.)
Anyone who lived in the 60s and 70s and before them experienced as a child and observing the other children around him, that the child can be outside all day, running, climbing, playing football from morning to night and not to get tired. He experienced that everyone had to help, each to the extent he could, in the family’s work. And they endured. And while in the morning the children might go to the fields, in the afternoon they would go out to play in the neighborhoods.
No one called them poor and they even considered it very natural to do. We do not embellish any situation or condition. And they had their problems, however, what has to do with the child and his abilities, it is important to put him on a proper basis, just as he is, in order to help people through the education of the family, the school, of society to succeed.
First of all, they should feel that they can. Because when a child grows up and everyone else does it instead of him doing it to the extent that he can do it at any age, the message is you can’t. But I can for you. So I build a dependency relationship that you will need me.
Here in education in Kazaveti, we the teachers who accompany the children observe all this very clearly and many times we are dazzled by what a child can do in relation to the children we see in our everyday life. Children are the definition of energy.
And we see that a child can walk all day in a forest (where we make it difficult for him) and jump from rock to rock and come back to eat and not have to lie down on a bed to rest. And it is capable of returning to the forest, as long as what it does there makes sense to it.
When we come here we always spend two days at sea. We camp there with children from 3.5 years old, many too young for that and we see them all day going in and out of the sea (always safely), running up and down the sand which is an extra level of difficulty, creating games and having constantly energy.
And you think that maybe somewhere here they will “go off”. But that doesn’t happen and even though we sleep there at night on deckchairs and not in our comfortable little bed and even though when we leave we have to walk a really long uphill distance to the bus, with our bags on our backs, you see them doing just fine . Even the most delicate little one this year from the three-year-old group, who at one point seemed tired in the eyes of the teachers, as soon as she heard “look what you’ve done, look how far you’ve walked and how much stronger you’ve become” started to run and not stop.
And where you thought it melted, that it fell into pieces, you see the thin body stretching, straightening, energy flowing through it. You see the face shining, the look sparkling.
Because he succeeded. Because you gave him a bet more than himself and he won. Because from the self-image of slumped shoulders crawling, he was given the choice of the self-image that can.
And the child respects and loves and trusts whoever from his environment gives him this opportunity of his development. Whoever believes in it, whoever overcomes his own and sees it with a clear eye to be able to put things in their place.
Adults get tired, not children. But because they do not accept it for themselves and as it is really difficult in the conditions we have created and in the urban environments we live in, to give children the opportunity to develop, as they need it (physically, emotionally and mentally), we put them in a context that suits us, but not them. In a condition where we think children can’t walk and we put them in strollers even if they are 3 and 4 years old (what a crippled image), where in the playgrounds we don’t leave them alone, but run after them to lift them and to take them down the slides, where we consider them incapable of solving their problems on their own and “immerse” in their conversations and relationships with their peers, where we carry their bags to schools and ask about their obligations, where when there’s a fuss or other people argue, it’s almost always the other person’s fault.
And they don’t trust us and don’t feel safe until they lose themselves and are convinced that this is all they can do. And this is how adults become who believe that this is the way things are. When you ask them what they dream of and they are 22 years old, the answer is a job as permanent as possible and a salary that can support them. And you are anxiously looking for a spark in your eyes, for a person with energy, for a handshake that is warm, strong, conscious and not indifferent. And where you say what a shame, you persist and say it changes. Through the safest way: Education and the education of all of us, so that we can see our own to be able to redefine what a child is, what a human being is.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Georgiadou


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