My son came home from school the other day asking me why some kids can see better than him (he wears glasses) and why some kids can write better than him (he has weak fine motor, but our OT has helped him a ton). I almost broke down and started to cry, but I held it together. As a parent, you try to instil happiness, inspire them, give them confidence, love and acceptance, but as they set off into the real world, we lose control little by little over their experiences. As a parent, it is our hope that our words of encouragement will continue to be at the forefront of their thoughts and stay there as they continue to grow up.
For my oldest, it has been a hard transition into Grade One. He’s had to grow up a lot! He was one of the youngest in the grade and had to learn how to transition very quickly into First Grade. What I didn’t realize was that as he was transitioning into Grade One, he was becoming more aware of his surroundings, more aware of the other kids around him, and to how his teacher & kids may/may not feel about him. He has always been a sensitive kid and I know this is normal, but as mom, it’s so hard to watch this change (as they start to lose their innocence). I want to continue find ways to continue to inspire him outside this box and give him words of encouragement even though he might be feeling less confident.
After a bit of thought I had a revelation: As an adult, I now know that there is always someone who may seem like they have more than us. It might appear that things come easier to them: maybe they “get it”. The truth is, there always is someone just ahead of us that we can measure ourselves against and that’s not a bad thing. Instead of measuring myself up to others in a negative way, I see it as the positive. First of all, things aren’t always as they seem. This is a great reminder to never judge a book by its cover. Secondly, I believe that when looking at others, it inspires me to spread kindness to them, to myself, and to my surroundings.
Anyways, back to my son. This was the first time I had to sit with my kids and assure them, that THEY are enough and they will ALWAYS be enough! Finding the inspirational words and words of encouragement of being kind, staying true to yourself, trying your best and persevering, are skills that I believe will help take you through life. No matter where on the rung you may find yourself.
The next time you hear a student and/or your child say “but they did it better than me” take that as opportunity to build them up. Take that time to find an inspirational quote or inspirational words to help them see their beauty within. Show them that no matter what their skills are at that moment, everyone is special and capable in their own ways and that everyone struggles in different ways. Measuring themselves should push them to keep trying, NOT to stop. Help them see that they are amazing and wonderful and special in their own way and that life will always be a journey. Inspire them with your words, with your love and by leading by example. This, I think, will be a lifelong journey, so take your time to enjoy it.