Being Different

Another big subject!  Now that I’ve chosen this as a topic, I’m not quite sure what it means.  I looked for a quote that I believe is by the writer Ken Kesey (but I can’t find it!). Anyway, the idea is that being yourself is a lot easier than trying to be like everybody else.  I’m not sure if this is true.  But I am a big believer in being authentic.  Having this belief certainly makes my work with children easier.

There is such a huge range of “normal.”  I’m thinking about a child in my first playgroup, in 1984.  He had been born with a hand deformity and, because he was two years old, seemed unaware of this fact.  His fingers curved inward, similar to someone with long term arthritis.  But I do remember one time when he asked me about his hands.  He must have noticed they were different from the other kids’ hands in the group.  It’s hard to remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of reminding him that he could do everything that the other kids did with their hands.  He seemed so pleased with this and I don’t remember him mentioning them at any other time during that year.  He clearly had wonderful parents.

I guess what I’m considering here is more how parents feel about their children if they aren’t moving along in ways that are typical.  The stakes seem so high. Being vigilant is a great thing, I’ve always believed that the “best parents” question themselves as their children develop.  But checking in with a more experienced person can be so helpful – maybe a therapist, your own parents, or perhaps, someone like me! It is critical that we don’t stay isolated while we are raising our children.

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6 Comments

  1. Amy says:

    my caring mother took all three of her daughters to a child therapist (for her second opinion) when we were little. i have a positive memory of the sessions and gained empowerment from it as a child. to this day, i have such admiration for my mother who took the time to double check and question her own ways despite her love and zest.

  2. Amy says:

    my caring mother took all three of her daughters to a child therapist (for her second opinion) when we were little. i have a positive memory of the sessions and gained empowerment from it as a child. to this day, i have such admiration for my mother who took the time to double check and question her own ways despite her love and zest.

  3. you put this so perfectly. my daughter is five and has had a rough time with speech. beautifully put.

  4. you put this so perfectly. my daughter is five and has had a rough time with speech. beautifully put.

  5. Monica F says:

    “You might as well be yourself, everyone else is taken.” You’re such an extraordinary teacher Judy, I’m so grateful Max got to be with you for a year. Another mom, who had recommended your play group to me, when I was pregnant
    said, “it was the best school experience of my sons life”.

    Great blog Judy. I’ll email it to my mummy group, and beyond.

  6. Monica F says:

    “You might as well be yourself, everyone else is taken.” You’re such an extraordinary teacher Judy, I’m so grateful Max got to be with you for a year. Another mom, who had recommended your play group to me, when I was pregnant
    said, “it was the best school experience of my sons life”.

    Great blog Judy. I’ll email it to my mummy group, and beyond.