Saturday, September 10, 2016

Teach Your Kids Everything They're Worth

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama

I am offensive. I offend people. I am told, over and over, how much of what I say is “wrong” or “inappropriate”.

Ok. I’ll play.

Maybe some of what I say should be run through the filter a time or two before I send it out into the world. But for the most part, that isn’t what people seem to get riled up about. It isn’t the odd curse word spicing up my speech that causes most people to flinch. It’s my tendency to call things as I see them.

I can see both sides of most arguments, so emotional arguments usually don’t sway me. Reason and logic are important to me. Thought is important to me. I find it aggravating when we are encouraged to blindly follow a predetermined path, rather than carving one of originality that fits our own style and life.

I saw this meme today:

It irked me.

It irked me as a mother and it irked me as a teacher.

I teach my children all of those things: to be kind, to reach out to the children who are ignored, to encourage others in all things, and to always look for the good in every situation, no matter how minuscule it is.

I also teach them that they are smart, that they should never underestimate their intelligence by working for less than their academic value because that is a form of disrespect to themselves. I do not demand A’s, but I expect them to do their best.

Focusing on their academic qualities does not exclude their qualities of kindness and generosity. Why would anyone ever encourage other adults not to champion our children’s academic worth? Not to help them secure their financial future? Do you realize what you do to a child’s confidence and expectations of himself when you lowball your own expectations of him?

This image says “instead” teach them these other things. No. Children must be taught all of these skills in addition to academic ability. Academic ability is a life skill. Being able to process, to analyze, to think, to compose, to be kind, to be generous, to encourage...all of these are life skills. Do not deny children any of these.

By teaching children how to develop all of those amazing talents, that is how they will change the world.

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