Observation #2 - Children crave connection.
Children want to be connected to people - to their peers, to their families, and to others. This goes with "being known," but it doesn't have the same depth.
For example, the other day, one of my Writing Club students escorted my son to the car at dismissal. She was working as one of the safety patrol students that day. I noticed that she brought my son to the car, and then kept looking over her shoulder as she started to walk away. Once the back door of the car was open and I could make eye contact with her, I smiled and waved. She got a big grin on her face and then hurried back to her task.
I didn't have time to call her by name or reference something that showed I knew her on a deeper level. I just renewed our connection with some eye contact, a smile and a wave and that was enough.
I saw another student at a local shop. I left my family to go over and say hello and she jumped up from her chair to give me a hug.
I didn't do anything extraordinary in either of these situations. I just made the smallest bit of effort and said hi. But it mattered to them - they were looking for it and they responded to it.
Children crave connection