My mother was raised being told she was stupid. I was raised being told I was smart.
It is my opinion that we were both misinformed.
The other day, my daughter, struggling to write a lowercase ‘a’, threw the pen down in frustration and cried out, “I’m stupid, I can’t even write a little a!” She then burst into tears.
I let her cry for a moment and then said, “There is no stupid. There is no smart. There is only wanting to be able to do something and working hard to make it happen.”
I did mention I’m not a particularly touchy feely earth mother type, right? Or how was it that &andythetree described it…a lentil-knitting eco vegetarian communist…(that description still makes me laugh). Put simply, I suck at being overly crunchy.
Run little granola-crunchers, run back to your children and hold them tight!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my child fiercely, and I give her plenty of hugs and kisses, but I could not agree with what she said in that moment and it stiffened my resolve in a strange way.
She stopped crying and her eyes fixed on me.
“This isn’t a matter of you can or you cannot, whether we talk about reading or writing or whatever.” I said to her, “This is about effort. If you want it bad enough, you will try again and again until it happens. No on one this earth is born knowing how to do something like reading or writing, we learn and try and struggle sometimes, until that thing comes into our hands and we can count it as an accomplishment.”
I pointed at her hands, “You want to write a little a? Keep practicing. You will get better with every try.”
“Now…look at me.” I took her hands, “Repeat after me…I am capable of learning, I just have to keep trying.”
She said it, a small smile spreading across her face. It was then that I kissed the tears from her face and held her. A few minutes later I showed her again, “You start here and go around and then finish with the little stick.”
We did it three times, and each ‘a’ became easier and easier.
There is no stupid. There is no smart. There is only wanting to do something and working hard to make it happen.
(This post was originally published on Bubblews at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/2111263-im-stupid-i-cant-do-it)