My thought this morning is from a conversation I had yesterday about children’s strengths, and the dissmissiveness people sometimes show toward children with disabilities. My daughter may have areas where she needs some help, but so do all children (and adults). I’ve found that when a person has speech issues (in particular), people think they aren’t “smart” (whatever that means), or *actually* good at things, and are often shocked when J does something that their child can’t or won’t. But again, all children have strengths and weaknesses.
As her mother, I think J’s biggest strength (and weakness) is that she is fearless. She is brave enough to try anything at least once, without thinking of the consequences. She may have issues getting the words out just the way she wants them, but she’d get up in front of church and say “HAPPY SABBATH, and Welcome to Youth day!” when none of her peers would. She’ll jump on a horse and ride, jump into a pool, or slide down the biggest slide without a second thought. That willingness will help her learn the other things she needs to know, and will take her just where the Lord wants her to go in life.
And you want a little of this to rub off on your children. Just as I want a little of your child’s careful perseverance to rub off on her, so that when she falls off that horse, and finds that it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be, she’ll get back on. That exchange will make both our children stronger. But if you teach your child to dismiss her, and I don’t teach her to overcome her anxiety over talking, then none of that happens. I know it’s a little more difficult for a 3 or 4 year old to befriend a child who is different, but it’s our job (as parents) to teach them that some people are different, and that sometimes different means shy, or hard to understand (because of speech, or culture, or language, or whatever other reason), and sometimes takes effort, but that it is worth it.
Mama rant concluded.