written by Mandy Hester, Social Media Coordinator at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Have you ever read the story The Young Crab & His Mother? The mother fiddler crab was trying to teach her young crab to walk straight, only to discover that she, herself, didn’t know how to walk straight! Sometimes as caretakers I wonder if we do this with our emotions. We tell the little ones we care for, “It’s alright to be sad and afraid”… and yet… we may not even admit that we too, feel sad and afraid at times. As we instruct children to “let emotions out” we tend to hold some emotions in.
As an adult, change still frightens me, why do I hide this from my little fiddler crab? As I type this, I am a week and a half into a brand new job, in a new city, with new people, and we are moving into a new home leaving behind our home of 10 years! I am so excited… but also… a wee bit scared of the unknown… and a little sad leaving so much well-known behind me…
So maybe today, I will be honest and let these emotions out. Maybe today, I will show my little fiddler crab that I too, feel fear and sadness sometimes EVEN when I am excited and live out the truth I am trying to teach, having emotions does not mean we are broken, it means we are alive! Today, when I look them in the eyes and tell them “It’s alright to be sad about this” and “It’s OK if you’re afraid” I’ll know I’m telling them the truth.
Caretaker, you are not alone… not even a little. Raising up these little ones is such an immense thing. It comes with all sorts of emotions, none of which need to be hidden. What better way to make this true, than our featured exhibit, Emotions At Play with Pixar’s Inside Out at Children’s Museum of Atlanta?! Visit this fun interactive exhibit before we say goodbye to it on January 7, 2024! This exhibit has helped our visitors understand the important role emotions, memory and imagination play in our everyday lives. Explore some of the ways we express our emotions — and recognize emotions in others, too. Play is crucial to the development of a young mind… and so is communicating about our emotions, come play at the Museum with your little fiddler crab! Take this opportunity to let the inside out!
Download this coloring page I’ve made for all of us caretakers. I want to encourage you to use any color… just be honest… let what is inside come on out onto the paper. Let your little fiddler crab see that you’ve got some blue on your page too… and maybe some purple… a little green? Red even? When you’re done, hang it somewhere you and your wee one can see it. We would love to see your creation – share it on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! Be proud of what’s inside!
And Caretaker…. take care of you too.
– Mandy 💙