I had a few parent-teacher conferences tonight. As I sat with Mamas and Daddys and discussed their child’s strengths and areas for improvement (a self-esteem conscious way of saying weaknesses), I had a revelation. I noticed that so many “weaknesses” – I’ll go ahead and say weaknesses in an effort to be real and for ease of typing-anyway, so many weaknesses feed right into strengths.
For example, the weakness “talks too much” becomes the strength “makes friends easily.” The child who is “spacey or not so focused” becomes the child who is “laid back and accepting of peers and situations.” The kid who “jokes a lot or tries to talk his way out of work” becomes “the fantastic critical thinker who is able to solve problems from all sides.” The weakness “intense or uptight” becomes the strength “attends to detail and is able to see patterns.” The child who is “quiet” is the one who is “behaves appropriately in a group.” The weakness “high energy and moves too much” is the strength “well-coordinated and great at catching a ball.” “Pushes limits” becomes “able to take risks.”
I could go on and on.
What a great way to see “weaknesses.” I could apply this same point of view to my children: Messy becomes creative. Difficult becomes confident. Endless questioning becomes smart. Who doesn’t want creative, confident, smart children? So what if it comes with a mess, some difficulty, and endless questions!
I could apply this to my husband. Uptight becomes clean. Stressed out about taking care of things becomes the ability to fix anything. Talking too loud, becomes playing all out. Worrying about too much becomes taking care of it all.
Or even myself. I don’t have the cleanest house, but I spend time playing with my children. I’m not a fabulous cook, but I don’t overspend at the grocery store. Sometimes I get frustrated and yell, but I hold myself to the same high standards. I let a lot go, and I let a lot go.