Whether it be on a shirt, on a drink, or on a person those labels determine what you think about that particular object.
I’ve been rather discouraged lately seeing how many different parents label their children.
My dyslexic daughter.
My ADHD son.
My popular sister.
My nerdy brother.
How can children and teens break out of these molds if these are the parameters placed on them by their parents?
What if they love to read and play football?
What if they have a learning disability but are also the valedictorian?
By labeling our children and students, we aren’t helping them.
It’s our job to build them up and help them to see that they could be whatever they want if they want it bad enough.
I attended several interviews for Berit when we looked for a daycare. They asked all sorts of questions about myself, my marriage, and then about my child.
“Tell me a little bit about your child,” they’d say.
In one particular interview I responded with, “Well, my child is a champion. I have no doubt she’s going to do great things and be awesome. She’s kind and playful and makes friends easily.”
They watched me and waited for me to retract what I said with a “just kidding” or “no, but seriously.”
And I didn’t.
I did not list a single flaw because those are not things I plan to speak over her. I want to make sure if I label her it’s with labels that bring her up and speak to her character. I want those labels to be ones that imitate labels Jesus might have if he were in high school.
We’ve got to pay attention to what we say to our children and how we describe them to others.
Too often I tell a parent I teach their child and they respond with, “I’m so sorry.”
WHY? Don’t be sorry! Tell me you’re excited they are in my class. Tell me you can’t wait to see what they learn. Tell me you hope they are encouraged to read more and stretch their minds.
Don’t ever set your child up for failure, even if you think you are joking.
I’m not sorry my child is in your class. My child is smart, kind, silly, and loves to blow bubbles.
My child is a good friend, and while she may not know her ABCs and 1, 2, 3s, she’ll get there with the help of a wonderful teacher.
Let’s not be sorry for our children.
Let’s speak words of encouragement over them. Let’s pray words of love and blessings over them.
My child is a champion.
Yours is too.
Those champions need cheerleaders. Let’s make it happen.
Courtney Warren is a contributing writer with The Bolivar Commercial. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.