My son has a dyslexic “tendency”. It is “tendency” because some say “he has it” and others say “he does not”. I used to care a lot about the diagnosis but now frankly speaking, I don’t care very much. Being diagnosed is about finding what he is lacking, based on comparisons to the standard, rather than the exploring of their undiscovered talent and uniqueness.
Comparison can never measure children’s uniqueness. On many occasions we try and put children into a box that they can’t fit. I like to see more of the idea of exploring methods and approaches that utilise their unique ability to do what is required of them.
There is nothing wrong with these children. They function perfectly, in fact, amazingly!
Then what is the issue? It is a lack of self-confidence coming from other people’s judgement about them and eventually their judgement becomes the children’s. The children’s own thoughts and beliefs of themselves as a defective being, makes themselves defective. Our thoughts and beliefs become reality. And they are so vivid in their imagination, so they can make it happen.
Confidence comes from being able to do what others can do, to some extent. At the same time, confidence is not entirely coming from what they CAN do. Knowing whatever they are, that they are still loved, cared and valued, and being who they truly are is a contribution to others. This becomes their confidence.
Therefore, if how they function and see the world are completely ignored and not acknowledged, he/she feels that their entire being has something wrong with it and is being denied, because people around him/her don’t even try to explore what they know and can offer to us and the world. Instead, what we often do is force our way upon those children, as the absolute only possibility.
For example, my son can remember certain things like cars and airplanes so clearly and vividly and doesn’t seem to forget those once he memorises them. When he remembers things, there is no “figuring out” time, he just knows them instantly.
So I asked, “how come you can remember all the shapes and names of cars and airplanes?”
He said, “I take pictures of each one of them in 3D in my mind and put them in the box.” “Mum, even if you hide your face, I know it is you because of your body shape!”
Those kids are experts on themselves. If they can talk about how they function with other people, you don’t need to have other experts to tell you how they function. The most important thing is that they know themselves and function differently from others, but it is not defective.
Being able to share their world and views is such a contribution to us as it is different to our box way of thinking and doing.
We tend to see children through the idea of what they should be and what they should know. Those could be useful elements in our life and society, since the children can utilise this knowledge to their advantage in their lives. However, if we only focus on and force onto them our “common sense” or “what we all should know” as if they are the absolute answers to everything. If we don’t try to explore how they function and their views and their world, they will feel their unique being isn’t valued. In some cases, they will shut down and not explore their own possibilities because of that. What is more, we don’t have any resources to let us see possibilities beyond our own limitations.
As we know, when the children are so young, they won’t be able to explain their experience, views and perspectives with words.
However, what we can do is to maintain our attitudes of curiosity about our own child and what they know, and look at them as a person with possibilities who has a great contribution to make. Always ask a question like “what are you aware of that I am not?” If you maintain this attitude, they will start to share their amazing world confidently when they are ready to through certain means.
Are you curious about your child and what they know? Are you receiving their great gifts?
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