When I added Perseverance Awards to The Free Printables Collection a while back, I also mentioned my potentially unpopular view about awards in general. I believe everyone’s heart is in the right place when ALL KIDS earn awards for simply participating.
HOWEVER, I believe that in sports, for instance, when one team wins first place and the other team, well, doesn’t, we do our second place team members a disservice by giving them trophies anyway. I get it. We want to encourage children to try their best, win or lose.
That loss, though, if we allow it, helps children learn how to deal with disappointment. It’s a lesson that needs repeating again and again. If we offer that lesson to our kids in the gentlest of ways, by playing a fun game, then by losing a game they actually win. They walk away not with a trophy but something more significant, better coping skills.
I say all of that, dear parents of students with learning differences, because I believe that you have earned a Dedicated Parent Award. I want you to know that in my eyes, this award carries far more weight than any certificate of participation. I see how hard you work to make sure that your children receive the best learning experience possible.
The Dedicated Parent Award
While only a small token that pales in comparison to your efforts, this Dedicated Parent Award goes to all of the parents:
- who comfort their children when they feel defeated by their learning challenges
- who do everything they can to change the internal narrative that so often goes hand in hand with LD, “I’m dumb”
- who battle the schools to provide the appropriate level of support
- who have taken the time to learn the laws, know their rights, yet still are denied effective services by a broken system
- who may have far less hair, far more wrinkles, and deep, internal battle scars to prove it, but keep on fighting the good fight for their children
- who may choose to homeschool their children to spare them from feelings of shame and inadequacy
- who spend countless hours of research trying to find the right reading programs, training centers, or at the very least SOMEONE, ANYONE out there who can help
- who spend piles of hard-earned dollars on tutors, specialists, professional diagnostics, private schools, and transportation to those specialty schools that may be far, far away from home
- who run into brick wall after brick wall, yet learn to walk around those walls, over them, or blast right through them
- who recognize that their children’s learning differences have nothing to do with laziness, poor character, or bad parenting but instead may actually have hidden gifts to tap into
To all of you dedicated parents who keep on keeping on, I applaud you. I recognize that parents don’t typically print out awards for themselves, but know that it’s always there for you, and that I am one of your biggest fans.
If you’re a teacher with dedicated parents you wish to celebrate, please do!