Labeling kids limits kids

Last updated: June 18. 2014 12:12PM - 239 Views
By Victoria Horseley



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I have two daughters and four grandchildren along with doing child daycare in my home for nine years. This has given me the opportunity of getting to know and care for several children and to see how very different each child is.


Children learn at different paces and in different ways. Some are very active, some are more relaxed and laid back. Some learn to tie their shoes at an early age while others do not. One will ride a tricycle at 2 another doesn’t even have an interest until 4. One is potty trained at 12 months, another one at three years. Years ago it was referred to as different personalities, now it is much more complicated.


Why is it believed that everyone has to be the same? No child should be compared to another. That is where the problems begin. God made us each unique but society insists on molding us from baby to adulthood to be the same as the person next to us. With that thinking process we would all be robots.


That brings me to the next thought. Have you noticed that so many children are diagnosed with being Hyperactive, ADD, ADHD, or as having a learning disability? A large number of children are being drugged for a disorder. I am not saying that it is not a real disorder or that no child needs medication. I am just saying that something is wrong with the number of children diagnosed.


My thoughts are that some of the problems stem from poor parenting, working parents, over whelmed parents or dysfunctional families, fear of or inconsistent discipline or teachers who are more interested in children who fit the perfect mold. But whatever the reason, rather it is medical (Hearing, Speech) or social, it is wrong to label a child.


Once a child is labeled there is no going back. It can ruin a child’s chances for self confidence and success. When a child is told that they have limitations, they will have limitations because they will believe it. I have known and currently know teachers or other caregivers who refer to children as slow learners, or having disabilities.


In my opinion, we all excel in one area and are weaker in another. I feel that if a parent, caregiver or teacher has that attitude or mind set that, that attitude itself is their disability not the the child’s. Each child should be evaluated to see what their strengths or weakness’s may be. Every child will excel in some areas but not others, that is normal. It doesn’t mean that they need to be labeled or put in a program. There are people who hold educational degrees. Those degrees mean that they accomplished that area of degree, it does not mean that because they have a degree that they are experts in every area. No one is an expert in every area.


When children are made to feel that they are less, they will become less. If they are encouraged and their self-esteem is built high they will become successful.


Just imagine the children that could become successful adults if they are not treated as unsuccessful children or labeled with a disorder or disability.


I also have had the opportunity to be in management and supervisor positions. In those positions, I have seen staff members who are the results of emotional or self-esteem abuse at some point in their lives and given a label. These individuals need a great deal of motivation and self-esteem building. When people are knocked down it makes being successful much harder. Let’s prevent this by not labeling children or any person.


Encourage and allow children grow, learn and create at their own pace. Don’t just assume that they need to be shoved into a program and given a label that will keep them down and limit their possibilities of success.


Quotes:


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin


I am doing things that are true to me. The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled. Johnny Depp


I try to look for the good in everybody, regardless of the way they’re labeled. Richard Thompson


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Victoria Horsley is a volunteer citizen columnist who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Union City News Reel. She can be contacted with local events, news, birthdays or anniversaries at memawthree@woh.rr.com or by calling 937-467-3945. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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