Children want to be accepted just the way they are.


They feel loved when adults give them permission to feel their feelings…all the way.

When difficult feelings are allowed to flow, they resolve themselves in positive ways. But when they’re denied, they act out in other ways (or stuff it and turn against themselves.)

This principle is demonstrated in this excerpt from a story written by a 5th grader. You should’ve seen the smile on his face while he read this to me.

Lunch had just finished. Me and my friends were on our way to the playground and I asked Henry if he wanted to play some b-ball. 
“Yes,” he said.
We walked to the basketball court where our other friends were already playing. We joined them. Henry fouled Ted, but he didn’t think it was a foul. Everyone started screaming at Henry, “Dude, that was a foul.”
He took the basketball, held it in a sumo wrestling stance, and started jumping around, bouncing the ball and screaming. 
We all started laughing, and screamed  with him. The yard aides didn’t care – or they didn’t hear us.
I love when Henry does this because everyone starts going crazy. We have so much fun screaming because we get to raise our voices and let our anger out.

How do we help kids with their frustration, rather than shut them down. Or making them feel like they have to shut themselves down?

This is the core of what Word Up Kids is about. We help kids through this process of expressing their emotions and feelings by giving them a medium – creative writing.

It’s shocking to see creative & expressive arts getting cut out of schools. I’m not just talking about music and art. Creative writing programs need to exist in every school. For every subject you have to write, but where are the classes teaching kids how to write?

So much of the writing kids do in school is robotic. Common Core is a common bore. Kids need a process for reaching their real voice. Not only do they become more comfortable with themselves, they acquire (at a very young age) good writing skills they will need for the rest of their lives.

True expression is at the heart of good writing.

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