A Commentary on the “You Are Not Special” Commencement Speech

achievementI have always told you how special our children are.  I have always suggested that we tell our children how special they are and treat them as such.  I have always talked about the importance of explaining to our children that we love them no matter what they do, even if they misbehave or make a wrong decision.  Not long ago, there was a commencement speech that went viral.  An English teacher, David McCullough Jr. told a Boston graduation class, over and over, that they were not special.   And I believe he made a number of valid points. If you haven’t already heard this speech, I have included it here. For those of you receiving this blog post via email, please click here.

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Seeing the Beauty in the Beast

Lizard pattern on faceThe year 2011 has come to an end. You might look back at this past year and reflect on your good and bad days; what went well in your eyes and what did not. You may have a discussion with your child/ren on this same subject. Every difficult circumstance or seemingly problematic personality can be seen with new eyes. Our lives can be entirely transformed by our perspective – and other lives blessed as well, if only we could see the beauty in the beast.

One might ask: What did the grade 3 student learn by being bullied so often? Maybe, it was that it was time that she minded her own business and not care so much when others were breaking the rules. What did the grade 7 student learn when he was the only student in the class to be excluded from the Halloween house party? He didn’t really want to be friends with the kids outside of school anyways, which is why he had chosen to go to the library to read each lunch hour, instead of hanging out with the others.  What did the boy learn when his parents split up this past year? That sometimes two people don’t grow at the same pace, so reach a point where they each can find greater happiness apart. What did the granddaughter learn when her grandma’s best friend would not attend her grandma’s funeral?  There was nothing wrong; it was only that the best friend could not handle the overwhelming sadness of witnessing her best friend’s funeral but was unable to admit it.

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Write Your Own Child’s Report Card

4474234_sa copyHello!  It’s me again.  This week, I have decided to discuss a whole new topic.  It falls under my work as The Resourceful Mother but has nothing to do with nutrition.  A mother called me yesterday to discuss her son and just before she began to explain what was going on with him, she sighed and said “These little beings are ongoing projects, aren’t they?”  And my heart went out to her and the force of her words hit me.  Yes, they are ongoing projects.  They challenge us regularly, they teach us like no other means of education, they can make us into better people than we ever thought possible if we allow them to and our work with them, in helping them become the finest of human beings, never ends.

And when the school year ends, we are given an opportunity each year to reflect.  To reflect on how our children have grown over the past year, the obstacles they overcame, the marks they achieved or didn’t achieve, the skills they gained or perfected and the difference they made in the lives of other children.  It is at this time that we start to think ahead and wonder what they will do next year and remark to ourselves how crazy it is that they are already turning 4 or heading into grade one or into high school…..

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