To all the kids who do not feel seen or heard this time of year and a reminder to all the adults around them…
This time of year, we see endless proud and obligatory posts about the accomplishments of our children. Rightfully so, we want to celebrate their accomplishments for the year past and honor their/our efforts.
One of my children asks me repeatedly to ‘just not be so proud of me this time’ as to say to please not post on social media. I laugh and give a gentle reminder that it is ok to celebrate the hard work that they have achieved. At the same time, I am acutely aware while they walked the journey, it can feel like a parenting win. One can feel like they are doing everything wrong at times: especially as a single mom. The witness can be validating.
I am aware that I am blessed in having two young adults who love school and work very hard for their accomplishments. I am also aware that is not the case for every child or every parent.
I remember being one of those children who fought so hard in a less than easy home life and with my studies but did not always come out on top. I did not discover a learning disability until my twenties at a vastly different time decades ago.
That is to say, we need to remember that for some kids just showing up to school is a win. There are countless children whose home lives are incomparable to others and the fact that they came to school at all should be recognized.
There are the kids who put everything into every project, test, quiz, and problem put in front of them and continually come up short. They win for the effort that they brought to the table and not giving up.
There are kids for reasons no one can explain get bullied, teased, and left to the side throughout the year, but they still show up. They win for being the bigger person and emotionally fighting those kids and walking in their own steps.
There are the kids who come to school hungry and are playing catch up physically. They bring to the table whatever energy they have left in that moment. They win.
There are the kids who work so hard, give it their all and when they do get an acknowledgement do not have a support person to say, ‘good job.’ We see you and are proud of you, even if you are not one of our kids.
And maybe consider the over achiever kids who do get all the awards and participate in every activity…maybe they are trying to tell you something as well. Can you pause and listen to them? Maybe they need permission to not have to do it all, all of the time.
Our kids are speaking to us in so many different ways. We need to pause, listen, and see them. Then we need to see the kids next to them.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.