The Roles of Lighthouse Keepers & Captains

Tina Davidson

By Lina McAndrew

Imagine you’ve had a rocky start to your day. Adults everywhere understand – out of coffee, the car won’t start, your alarm doesn’t go off. Have you ever thought that the same things that make your day start off on the wrong foot happen to children too? Not enough sleep, unanticipated changes, empty stomach. It happens. And when it happens to adults, you typically recognize what you need to do to reset. With children, it’s not as easy. Frequently, they don’t understand why they are feeling a little off and that makes it difficult to communicate.

Recently, a young boy was having one of those days. Although he was unable to articulate his troubles, a Kindergartener recognized that her friend was feeling low and turned his day around.

She kindly took him under her wing, enlisting him to “help” build words. He loved receiving attention from an older student, especially when it came with such a tender, warm, and caring attitude. And his friend loved being a teacher to a younger student. She was practicing her leadership skills. I heard the young boy squeal “I am so happy!” The girl replied with excitement, “We should bake banana bread after my work!” More squeals followed. 

As I watched them work together. Despite being years apart, I realized that sometimes children can do for one another what an adult cannot. We truly are only guides, a lighthouse of sorts. We shine the light for them so they can find their way, but they are each other’s captains, navigating together the seas of childhood.