This week's posts will be gentle reminders to me. About the behaviours I would like to adopt as we set out on this new journey of ours. My weak spots that need to be out in the open and visible to all, so I can be mindful of the things I would like to change about myself. I think our home life, and my spirit, will be happier because of it.
I was recently watching Sir Ken Robinson's Bring on the Learning Revolution talk. In it, he mentioned a schoolgirl who was on the path of being labelled with a learning disability because she couldn't sit still. Fortunately, the doctor the school asked her to visit saw her for what she was...a kinesthetic learner, and a girl who loved to dance. Her mother put her in dance class and she went on to choreograph Cats. Funny how the world could have been different if she had run into a different doctor, or if ADHD had been known at that time.
We too have put labels on our children. Not in a vindictive sort of way. It was just our innocent way of describing them and their behaviour to others. Our son is the "one-and-done" type, where he only needs to see something once and he's got it. My daughter is the compassionate social butterfly, who will chat with anyone and anything, and be the first to ask someone if everything is alright when they look down. And it wasn't too long ago that I realized that these labels we placed on our children, as harmless as they seemed at the time, limited their potential. Or perhaps the potential I saw in them.
It was after watching Sir Ken Robinson's talk and after my daughter's dance recital that I took some time to reflect about my children's personality types. And it struck me that when I put a label on one child, it meant in my mind that one of the others didn't have that particular talent. And that simply isn't true. For while my son could remember something factual, like that 4 quarters makes a dollar, quite easily, my daughter also showed me that she could remember her group's entire dance, starting from any point in it. It just depends on the topic, and whether it is something that interests her. Right now, she doesn't really care about money or quarters or dollars. But she does love to perform, and she wants her dance to be good, and she easily picks up all the moves.
So, going forward, I will be wary of placing labels on my children that will place them in a smaller box than they are destined to be in. They are wonderful children. They deserve to be seen simply as that.