“Every child needs one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her.” 

Urie Bronfenbrenner 

March 16th is Camp Fire USA’s annual Absolutely Incredible Kids Day. Each year on the third Thursday in March Camp Fire calls adults across the country to tell a kid or teen in their life why they matter. With young people feeling more isolated than ever and mental health a continued crazing, our kids and teens need you, now more than ever.  

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I think my kids are pretty incredible and I try to tell them regularly. Not just vacant praise, but helping them to see the greatness in themselves.  

Frederick is going places. He’s so smart it scares me, he’s probably the funniest human I know (if you like dry, sarcastic humor like I do), and the older he gets the more he wants to be helpful 
Abigail is fierce. Whether doing ninja warrior or caring about her friends, she engages with her full spirit and passion. 
Antonia is just a little bundle of love and empathy. Lately when I’ve been sad or crying she says to me, “Mama, it okay. Member take breath in, take breath out.” 

When I think of how spectacular they are, I can’t help but also think about the times that maybe they showed up a little less than incredible.  I see the incredible in my kiddos, but I’m grateful for the adults who also see those strengths even on their “other delightful” days.  

At Assets for Colorado Youth we used to do a training activity called Delightful and Other Delightful. The activity page had two blank flowers. In the center you wrote the name of two children – one who brought you joy each day you got to work with them and one that might have been a bit more of a challenge. Then you wrote some of the strengths of each child around the pedals. It’s easy to honor the incredible kids who go out of their way to be kind or bold or brave. It’s harder to honor those equally incredible kids that are quiet or mischievous or rowdy. Yet inside every child is greatness. It’s our job to find it.   

My kids each have adults who are “their people.” The ones they trust. The ones I always know they can go to when they can’t come to me. The ones they can melt down with. The ones that bring out the incredible in them in the most marvelous ways. The ones who are irrationally crazy about them. They might have started as teachers, or nannies, or coaches, but to us they are now family. Sarah, Bryce, John, Kate, Angie.  

I’m also grateful to the parents and caregivers who have entrusted me to be an extra adult for their kiddos. And I only hope that these other young people know that I see what makes them tick and makes them special on their brightest days and their darkest. And since tomorrow is Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®, I’m off to tell them just how incredible I think they are. Who’s on your list? 

Let us know about the absolutely incredible kids in your life on our social media channels. Use hashtags #KidDay #AIKD. 

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