Some Good Sound Christmas Advice (For All Year)
This is a Facebook post on the Celebrate Calm fan page. It is so appropriate for the season, we wanted to share it with you.
Stop Relatives from Doing This. It Destroys Kids.
I saw a boy get destroyed today and no one noticed. At a friend’s Christmas party, families streamed in and a familiar scene took shape. Uncles, aunts and grandparents began to echo the dangerous lie that good children have good grades and good behavior. “Look how smart he is, dear. He made the honor roll again! Here’s a little extra gift for you….” “She’s such a well-behaved and polite girl. I can see why you are so popular in school.”
As the children were paraded around, Jacob sat in the corner by himself quietly building with his Legos, listening to all of this. He struggles with behavior in school–it’s hard for him to sit still, memorize information and get good grades. He works five times harder than the rest of the kids, but struggles. Know what he feels like? A bad kid. A stupid kid. No wonder he shuts down and has no confidence. No wonder he says, “I’m stupid” and verbalizes open frustration. No wonder he’s oppositional. He has trouble sleeping, doesn’t like many different foods, is very sensitive. And sometimes he’s just a difficult kid…because he’s so misunderstood.
Not one single person at that party praised Jacob for his amazing imagination, ability to see in three dimensions and create/build/draw/invent. All they said is that he pushes people’s buttons. But they missed the fact that he’s good at pushing buttons because he gets people, he understands what makes people tick, he’s an old soul…and one day he’s going to help a lot of people because he has a huge heart. But Jacob doesn’t fit the mold so he suffers something worse than bullying everyday. Know what Jacob hears every day of his life? “You are different. And your different isn’t good. You, in fact, are difficult. Why can’t you be like your siblings and relatives? Until you can learn to fit in and be like the others, your opinion isn’t as valuable and our affection will be withheld. The fact is you embarrass us, Jacob. Too bad you get diminished, destroyed and shoved aside because we are too weak as adults to focus on what’s really important, and instead value outward appearances. Just shape up and we’ll accept you, too.”
This scene will be repeated in millions of homes this coming week. It’s not always aunts and uncles and grandparents who do this. In some homes, a father tears his kids down. Because that’s what his father did to him. We as men need to grow up and stop taking out this anger on innocent kids. In some homes, the Mom is relentlessly negative and harps on the kids because her Mom was like that. She better get control of her anxiety or it will literally destroy relationships and the child’s confidence.
Your children need to hear that they have a great future ahead of them, that being different is a GOOD thing. Praise them. Value what’s important. Let your kids listen to the CDs–they will feel understood and validated. Make 2013 radically different–you can change your family tree and break these generational patterns for good. But it doesn’t happen without you taking action.
Let’s raise a generation of confident kids with a higher purpose and vision for their lives.