Do you want your children or your grandchildren to be average? Do you encourage them to be like ‘everyone else’ so they feel accepted?
This is an interesting question to consider…of course, we – all of us – want to be liked, to feel like we belong, and that we have a place in this world.
When it comes to basics, we all need to breathe, sleep, take in nutrients, to communicate in such a way as to be understood by others. In these aspects, we can think of being “normal.” We are social beings. So, even when we are marching to the beat of our own drum, we are usually doing so within an orchestra of other people.
What about thriving? Once we learn to walk, some will want to run, jump, skip – fly! This is where our uniqueness comes out when we move beyond expressing the basics.
We may understand the one-of-a-kind nature of our little ones, but this does not apply to most systems we encounter as they’re growing up. For example, do you blame the child for not learning in a “normal” school setting if they don’t process best by listening, but by seeing everything or being “hands-on”?
Have the children in your universe developed “normally,” or were they early or late bloomers?
What children will thrive, or fail, or not be affected at all, by the “new normal” way of giving everyone a medal just for showing up?
Will the concept of e.g., “gender fluidity,” once an “outlier” notion, actually become another “new normal”?
We are in changing times; it is more critical than ever to be aware of who we are.
When we stand firm in that, we can help those growing up around us to do the same.
A personal note from Dawn Cady:
I have experienced many challenges with this in my own youth, where I really struggled to conform but was labelled the disrupter.
My son is also going through this, he processes his learning through movement and in school you are not allowed to move around in class.
I’m relieved to say I was fortunate enough to find a school that will accommodate his learning style but still, there are times his needs are misinterpreted as being a nuisance rather than just being himself.
As I have said before many times: we are all lied to, either intentionally or unintentionally, because the bar is “normal.” But the truth is: NO one is normal.