This is my favorite article that I must repeat every year just as our holidays repeat every year.
Yom Kippur has come and gone and we have begun a new year of the Torah cycle with Simchat Torah. As we move through the year, let us remember to be the best we can be and help our children develop as well. Each year at the High Holidays we read a prayer by Reb Zusya. The commentary (the small print at the bottom) shares the thoughts of Reb Zusya: When I meet God, I will not be asked “Why were you not Moses?” but rather “Were you the best Zusya you could be?” I am reminded of this each time we question why our children are not more this or more that — we compare and worry.
Years ago, the cry in education was “Label Jars, Not Children!” We strived not to label children and define them by that label. Today we say “Help children develop labels to identify themselves, but remember ‘Labels Are Not Limits!’ ”
Let us learn to use our words to help our children “see” who they are and who they can be. Use words to re-frame how we see our children and how they see themselves. To help us with this goal of discovering who our children are and how we can help them achieve their potential, I am repeating this list from previous years. It is often a matter of looking at things from just a little different perspective – a change from “half empty” to “half full.” Look through this list and start using new words to describe your child (and yourself)!