Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teenage Tykes and Prowling Comparisons

Well, I certainly don't have a lot of time for an entry right now, but nonetheless I am going to make one... Sidenote: There will eb a few paragraphs of personal recollection for my posterity and self, and then I will move into my point.

As I sit here listening to my Boyz II Men and other classic old-school artist mix, I am contemplating my day. I really love the kids from my first year of subbing... I can not explain the connection that I have to these youth. It was in that year that I learned the joys of teaching - even if it's not what I wanna do for forever, it does bring me joy - and I learned that I could do hard things. I remember the first time I subbed for my mom's class - I was terrified! I was so worried that I was too young and that I wouldn't have the guts to discipline them... I was known as my mom's "cool, older daughter..." Boy, did I fool them. Haha!

Anyway, in that year I subbed for all the sixth grade teachers numerous times and completed a drama unit in there with each class - this was before their sixth grade rotated like middle schoolers. I learned that I could create my own lesson plans successfully and that I, in fact, did know how to discipline - and that kids need that. I learned that kids crave structure, but don't always know that. I'm not talking obsessive, inflexible, or uncreative structure, but enough structure to present a comfortable and defined space...

Anyway, I love these youth with all of my heart. They are my little "babies," and when I tell them that they roll their eyes and laugh at me - then the boys hit their chests and say, "Please, I'm a man - I'm no baby." Haha! Well, today I was talking with my little protege/ mini me after school. Her name is Lynzie too - but spelled like that. She reminds me SO much of me at her age... more than I want to admit at times! Haha... When my mother first met her, she called to tell me about her and how I had to come in and meet her someday because she was me when I was in sixth grade... We have been close ever since.

So, where is this all leading... It could lead to a million and one discussions, but today I have a certain point in mind. Relating back to Lynzie - I was talking with her before the basketball kids had to go take closing year pictures. She was going off about she had all this "funny drama" in her life and had "SO" much to tell me... Haha! She is so dramatic and funny.... Love it! Anyway, she said she wanted to do lunch sometime but we had different lunch breaks - which is true because I am down working with third grade when it's her lunch time. I know and work with her mom, so I said that if it was okay with "mama Lynzie," and Lynzie got all of her makeup work (she was in Hawaii for a week) in before Wednesday for Parent/Teacher conferences, then I would take her out on Friday for lunch after school... It's a short day on Fridays at our school.

So, we made our little pact and I am excited to take her for a special lunch - She's like another little sister, and since my sister and I are SO different it's nice to have another one to look out for. Sidenote: I am having dinner and movie night with my sister, Nattie, tomorrow, so don't worry - I am not forgetting her in any way! Haha!)

Now, on to MY POINT. Finally, I know!

When I was talking with Lynzie about her current drama she stated was talking about her love to be different, but feeling of need to be like her big sister - really good at all sports, quieter and more chill, really popular and skinnier... Lynzie is the opposite- like me. She's active and loves to play sports, but can't do them all and doesn't really desire too. She is a curvy girl and very vivacious... she has a loud, quick mouth on her. She's really popular, but it's not because of the "in-crowd" thing. She is simply known and loved by everyone, but not a girl who hangs out with the "popular girls" - the real definition of popular in my opinion.

Anyway, I told her that was something we were going to work on not doing so much - comparing herself to others. I use to be SO horrible at this, but I have learned to be really happy within myself. I really like who I am, and though at times I have moments that I envy someone because of the way they look or something they can do, I have come to realize that I am my own kind of beautiful and I can do many great things too - even if they are different.

(I think I wrote about this like two months ago, but I am doing it again if I already did.)

I believe that comparing yourself to others is on of the biggest tools of the devil. The adversary wants us to believe that we are "less" because we aren't like someone else... We think we have to be as good at the piano as little "Betty" over there or we aren't worthy to play the piano... We think we suck at basketball because our brother is better than us. That does NOT mean you are bad, just not as strong at that. However, you might have the ability to talk in front of large groups and your brother can not so that to save their lives. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, which is what (thankfully) makes us unique individuals.

Here's my deal: Difference in our world is praised in children television programs (and hopefully, the home), but then the world tells kids to do what others do... There is pressure from society, friends, and sometimes even family, to be a certain way, look a certain way - be a particular size, do certain things, and that will make you either successful or cool.

Now, I am not just talking about peer pressure to drink or smoke... There is pressure to do good things as well, but at times I think we push it too far. Example, society pushes us to be healthier, but then they point to a skinny woman and say, 'That is healthy,' when some of them have eating disorders to be their size. Example two, teachers in this area will tell you that parents around here are pushing our kids to be really involved in extra-curricular activities to the point that school becomes second place, or to the point that their kids are exhausted and stressed to the max. YES, we should get our kids involved! I plan to enroll my kids in many things over time and let them discover what their passions are... However, I am not going to run my child ragged because they need to be at football practice and karate class, then piano lessons and community show choir practice, followed by church mutual and ward basketball practice, then two hours of homework, and then have them get up the next morning for a day full of NEW activities till we never have time for family dinner and important things like family prayer or scripture study. There is a point where we are pushing the children too hard to be involved...

Involved, active, and hard-working but... Moderation in ALL things. That is what makes a happy and well-rounded person. I think that we tend to put pressure on ourselves and others to be the best "Billy or Betty" and not their best self. We should be helping them realize what their strengths and weaknesses are, and why both are okay and important...

Ultimately, we should be teaching our children and selves to be more Christ-like and that would solve everything... I mean, the Lord gives us weakness so we will come unto him. Then through our faith (and the trial of our faith) we will, with his help, make those weak things strong. Once we realize that our job is not to "be different" or "fit in," but to simply be more like our Savior, then we will truly find our best selves and grow to no longer feel the need to compare ourselves to anyone... We are made WHOLE through Christ - our whole selves. I love that thought.

Anyway, the short end of the stick is to believe in your Savior and remember that the ONLY person you or anyone needs to be like is our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that I can help Lynzie see this when we talk on Friday - that she does not need to be anything but the best Daughter of God that she can be... and the best version of a Christ-like Lynzie that there can be! :) I hope we can all remember that... :)

Song for the Day: It should be in the tone of the article, I know, however.... The best version of me says to do my own thing and pick whatever I want... and I am currently obsessed with a song I hear on an old Lois and Clark rerun that I downloaded yesterday....

The song for today is Eric Clapton's, Old Love. This song is soulful, sweet blues that makes you be relaxed and lovin' life, but contemplating the past... It is my current obsession in a song.


P.S. I need to post some Celine stuff soon - I went to her concert and it was the BEST thing of my entire life. NO exaggerations. It was AMAZING!!! (I am "dwasking" - dwelling and basking - in the bliss of her voice...)

1 comment:

Ask Josh said...

Good call, soul sista.