The idea that men are created free and equal is both true and misleading: men are created different; they lose their social freedom and their individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other.
– David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd
There are many times that we become friends with people because of things we have in common. Shared experiences and interests bring people together. When I think of the people that are the most important to me, though, I realize that I love them because of our differences. Their quirks, crazy ideas, bizarre interests . . . I love all of those things. They open new worlds to me, give me the chance to look at things from a different perspective.
In my classroom, I always try to create a community that values uniqueness. The message I want kids to hear is that they are loved because of, not in spite of, their core.
How do you encourage your child to let their light shine?
Melissa Spiegelman is the founder of Tandem Teaching, where she provides strategies and solutions for parents whose children are experiencing classroom struggles, and an expert consultant to the USC/LAUSD/RAND/UCLA Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resilience, Hope and Wellness in Schools. Melissa also teaches art playgroups for toddlers. Contact her for a private coaching session.