Fish don’t climb trees
There is a saying that suggests that if we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its life believing it is a failure.
At Knights it is believed that our children must be secure in their uniqueness. Perhaps, at the start of a new year and on the back of two tough years for schools, families and people in general, we should take a moment and ask, what does “secure in their uniqueness” mean for us as parents?
The two words which offer up a challenge are “secure” and “unique”. They require us to ask, what makes my child unique and then, do they feel secure in that uniqueness? As much as it is a goal for Knights as a school, it should also be a standard applied to our everyday parenting. Our kids are unique – each and every one, and they will need to establish a level of security as they step out and engage with this ever-changing world. So how does this apply to us?
Every week, I sit and connect with many children, with many different needs, diverse backgrounds, challenges and strengths. There is one thing that appears common in many of the kids that come across my path – many of them, not just at Knights, are in desperate need of being seen, of being known and celebrated for who they are, what they can do and the strengths they currently possess. But too often, we get so engaged with the job of encouraging our little ones to reach higher and further that we miss just how far and high they have already reached. For some, they are gifted in one area, but because this strength is not what we had or perhaps not what we were encouraged to pursue, we can miss the beauty and uniqueness of what the child in front of us can do. We are called as parents to parent the child we have, not the one we were or the one we would like to have.
That is not to say that we don’t encourage effort, focus and a pursuit of the new and unknown, in spite of the challenges faced. But sometimes, we need to praise the child in front of us for the fish they are, removing weights that they were never meant to bare, because we see a tree and we think that they should be the ones to climb it.
Counsellor & Head of Transformation