I’m detouring a little here but not really. There are entries I’ve been working on but they aren’t quite ready yet. So here is something new at least.
I’m wrapping up a second round of physical therapy this week. Round one was to help build up muscle strength after I fractured my right ankle in September. Round two began after I pulled something in my left knee about 6 weeks ago.
In physical therapy yesterday I overheard the trainer and another client talking. I don’t remember how they got on this topic but they mentioned a parent needing to attend a child’s graduation from kindergarten. Neither of those talking has kids. Their reaction was not friendly. “Graduation from what?”
They see coloring and playing. They might even see this as a time of kids goofing off. What is there to celebrate? Why are you making a big deal out of it when there is so much more ahead?
But they have accomplished a lot! These kids have worked toward learning the foundational elements for everything else they will be learning in school!
Recognizing letters of the alphabet, sounding out letter combinations, reading, writing, fine motor skills with coloring, drawing, cutting paper, learning to follow directions and following routines, listening and working with others. And there is so much more!
And for someone with a learning disability or sensory processing disorder or other things that interfere with the learning process, it is so incredibly important to acknowledge the milestones that have been achieved! To be able to say “I started here and now I can do this.”
And it’s the beginning of showing kids the importance of setting realistic goals and recognizing the steps needed to reach them. Because those steps aren’t always obvious.
It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking of all that is still ahead instead of taking a moment to celebrate what you’ve been able to accomplish so far. Because remaining focused on the future and what still remains, can cause a person to never feel satisfied with anything. To never be happy with where you are currently in the journey. I know because that’s been my experience. Always pointing out the one thing that went wrong or didn’t go as smoothly as it could have or all the steps I still need to take, instead of recognizing the journey and what has been accomplished.
We need to celebrate to build self-esteem, too. It builds self-confidence when you can take a moment and reflect on where you started and where you are and the hurdles you’ve had to jump through. Some kids may need more help with this part.
So bring on the end of year parties and graduations from kindergarten to first grade! It’s incredibly valuable!
This is not the same as the “participation trophy” mentality. Kids are working very hard to learn new skills and adapt and grow. It needs to be recognized.