Very often my son gets to show off his academic prowess and intellect. He gets accolades for his athleticism and skill. But can we admit that young children don’t always have as many opportunities to show off the intangibles. I thought about that and it’s mainly because we as parents are around to fight the battles and handle the conflicts they have in their little lives. Also with common core and state derivatives of the same there is just not as much time to focus on citizenship and the things that make good people.
Recently my son had the opportunity to show what he was made of. A kid in his class made a not so nice comment to my son while he was mind in his own business and doing his work. My son spoke up and said the comment was offensive. The kid went on to say “No, that wasn’t offensive but —– is.” At this point my son could have responded in many unproductive ways. And truthfully I would not have been upset. But instead he chose to take the high road. When he told me what happened and after I calmed down I really had to take in how he handled himself with dignity, maturity and how he showed a great deal of courage. I was proud of my son and was validated in how we raise him. Also, we have called him Ghandi since he was born because of his kind and peaceful nature.
A couple days later my son brought home an invitation for my husband and I to attend a luncheon at his school because his teacher had selected him to be the student of the month. I knew that each month they honor students for a particular character trait and my son was not sure what character trait was being highlighted. The following day I called the school to find out and when the assistant who answered the phone said “Courage” I felt a warmth come over me.
My son’s teacher recognized that he demonstrated courage in the face of dealing with a less than ideal situation. To me that is better than any 100 percent that he could have received. Why? Because he will have countless times to show how smart he is or that he is a great student but sometimes we don’t get do – overs in life to show our character. To me, these are the moments that define real success.