Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
February 12th, 2014 05:00:00 am
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Our society often puts more emphasis on how something looks or comes across than the reality of the situation. People with ADD/HD can be seen as having behavioral issues—missing subtle cues, socially awkward tendencies—or as not socially acceptable. These labels could blight the future of those individuals even though the issues at hand aren't monumental, but simply a case of “what will the neighbors think?”
This is the power of reflection at work. Children who are perceived as bad reflect poorly on their own parents. But children who are perceived as good don't always have the best parents. Oftentimes good children have difficult parents, and some have bad home lives. What something looks like on the surface is usually not the whole story.
In the 1950s society shifted to valuing how something looked or appeared, as opposed to valuing the underlying reality. Nowadays, it's all about looking good. Just glance around a supermarket at all the picture-perfect fruits and vegetables with their waxy shine under florescent lamps. Or turn on the television for five minutes, where you'll be bombarded with images of what it looks like to be a perfect family, wife, husband, mother, father, girl, or boy.
The emphasis on appearance has fueled a wide array of issues, including increases in body-image related depression and suicides, mental and emotional health dysfunction, and drug abuse among teenagers and adults. Mass media, decreased school funding and abdicated parenting leave children drifting through society, emulating their parents, at a loss for what else to do. Some strike out in anger and frustration through self-abuse and/or abusing others, from bullying to school shootings.
We need to pick our battles. It's not the end of the world if a child's room isn't spotless, or if they feel like wearing mismatched socks, or if they prefer typing to handwriting, or if they want to pick their nose. So what if they only completed half of their homework, especially if the half they did was correct? So what if their preferred methods of learning don't include standardized tests? Why do we have to stick a label on their forehead in order to give them what they need? So what if they don't fit the mold of “one size fits all” classrooms across America?
It is more important that we teach children how to work best with who they are and make the best with what they have. Don't punish them for who they aren't and who they can't be. If the worst thing they do is pick their nose, let 'em!