On the eve of my second born heading off to his first day of kindergarten I found myself watching this video over and over again. The video is of a recent speech given at a Dallas Teacher's Conference. The keynote speaker was Dalton Sherman, a local fifth grader who might as well be the next Barack Obama.
The biggest reason I find it so compelling is due to the sheer power and intention in this kid. I began to wonder how he came to this place. Was it just in him? Or was it really what he proposed, that those around him believe in him?
I decided that I agree with Dalton. While every child will not give a speech like his, each child holds something inside that is incredibly unique and makes a mark on this world. This can only grow with adults believing deeply and holding the space for children to discover it for themselves.
It all translates so differently into everyday life and parenting such different individuals. I get so caught up in managing my kids or the busyness of life that I think in little ways I forget to believe in them.
Do we believe that a toddler really can do it himself when he insists?
Do we believe the preschooler can offer suggestions for conflict resolution?
Do we believe our school age kid can really handle disappointment?
At the end of my video surfing I inexplicably felt like I needed a dose of the old tried and true, the biggest advocate and keeper of the idea that children should be loved and valued, Mr. Rogers. His simple truth and consistent message that we are all capable and special reminded me that we have to believe and then just do it. Believe in our kids and give them lots of opportunities to try.
Get your dose of the neighborhood wisdom here.
Comment conversation: What about your child do you believe in today? What superpower is uniquely his or hers?