Difference Makes a Difference

By Charla Spalluto Misse

As parents, we are responsible for monitoring our children’s growth and providing for their development. We regularly benchmark their

scholastic, emotional and physical progress usually with input from their teachers, coaches and other caregivers.

Typically, there are broad ranges of acceptable performance by age, providing children some “room to grow.”

When parents are tasked with the ongoing critical assessment of their children, however, it is easy to be overly critical and demanding. Comparison to peers can be a very tricky thing.    

We are all made for a certain God-given purpose. God has equipped us with the abilities and talents to achieve that purpose, to do his will on earth. We develop differently and exhibit different strengths because we have different purposes.    

When you notice a deficiency in your child, take a step back and see if you may be overlooking a strength. There are numerous examples of the greatest achievements in history being performed by those who were initially considered lacking in some way.    

When another parent recognized my toddler was always slow to join his peers in group games, rather than dwelling on his difference as being a deficiency and considering ways to break him of his aversion, my quick and strong reaction was to agree that, absolutely, he does not like to follow others; he is a natural leader.

Imagine the difference it made to my son’s life to have his behavior not only validated, but praised. Imagine the difference you would feel if you were the one being criticized.  You would feel accepted, cherished and loved.

When your child doesn’t quite fit the mold, you may just find that they are doing something amazing instead. Perhaps they were made for something different, possibly made for something more.   

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