Would you tell your child they are a waste of space? Have you looked close enough to realise your child’s potential.
Waste of Space
Mrs F and I were in a supermarket the other day, when I heard a mother foul mouthing her crying kid. “Shut up crying you waste of space, you better stop this now or I will smack you”. Now, I’m no angel when it comes to being a parent to my kids. I do sometimes falter too. I do yell and shout and throw a massive, scary temper at times and my kids will look at me like I’m going crazy. But, I am only human!
But I would never, ever call my kids a waste of space or threaten to smack them.
Not so long ago I wrote a post about feeling guilt as a parent because we try to live up to other peoples expectations. I would never judge other parents, nor would I tell parents how to parent their child. My thoughts on a recent event made me think hard about what she could have done instead of yell and belittle her kid.
I really do believe that education is important in children but it’s not everything. We, as parents, chose to carry the responsibility of providing our children with education. We have to ensure that they learn whatever they can learn from the education system so that they can benefit from it later on in life. Kids need to train their mind to think and react in a certain knowledgeable way. But if I’m honest, I don’t think it’s everything.
Listening to their signals
As parents, our biggest skill to have is the listening skill, not the authoritative or bossy skill. We need to learn how to take signals from our kids, open doors and let them explore and watch them. Watch how they are taking in the vast array of opportunities that are being presented to them. Are they enjoying it? Do they find it interesting? Is this their gift? We parents shouldn’t try to force anything on to our kids.
I hate being forced to do something. I won’t force my kids to do something that they don’t like either. There are, of course, things that our kids have to do. Such as homework, cleaning up after themselves, get a wash, be polite and have good manners etc., Mrs F and I also have to bear the responsibility of ensuring that they are well disciplined yet free to explore the world. In other respects that don’t relate to their safety and general wellbeing, force isn’t something we do.
Even the worst kid at school can do well
We all know of someone who has made it far beyond what we thought was possible. People who we, today, claim as a ‘genius’ were once ridiculed in their school days. Albert Einstein is a good example. His teachers thought he was a poor student. Today, we know for a fact that that he is and was a genius. Even after his death, he made a difference not only in his own life but to the rest of the world too.
I’m not saying we should expect our kids to be able to work out the theory of relativity. What I’m trying to get across is that we should always be on the lookout for our kids gift.
Everyone has a gift
Everyone has a gift. One child may better at mathematics than the other, for example. But if you look closer, you’ll see that the second child who can’t count for peanuts can actually create an artistic masterpiece with just an HB pencil. Better than you’ve ever seen! No one is born without a gift or talent.
Some people have multiple gifts and are multi-talented naturally, but no one in this world is without some sort of gift.
Parents should aim to find what their child’s gift is. It could be anything, anything at all. It doesn’t have to be an academic gift or an artistic trait.
Take my oldest daughter for example. She is an academic achiever. Lilly, my second child, not so academic, but, weirdly loves cleaning and meticulous in arranging stuff. A good foundation for something in the future and I don’t mean her future is to be a cleaner. Not that I’m disrespecting cleaners at all. Just open your mind to what Lilly can be capable of by being meticulous at organising stuff… And Alfie at the age 4, he’s really interested in palaeontology and can recite and give facts on dinosaurs.
Think about it
No one is a waste of space. Even trees are good for something. Trees give us oxygen and some serve as food. Even bacteria are good at something. Bacteria can actually benefit our health. Everything has a purpose. So why can’t your child?
Your job, as a parent, is to find that good thing, find that talent and nurture it to allow your child do be the best they can be.
I wonder what the response of that parent would have been if I asked her what her daughter was good at. Instead of asking why she thought her daughter was a waste of space.
Have you experienced something similar? let me know in the comments below.