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1st Thing I Learned as a Parent

Dear fellow daily scholars,

Take the time to stop and observe people around you. If you are a parent, stop and watch your kids while they are playing or studying. If you do this, you may learn something. I did. I am a father of a 3-year-old daughter and an almost 5-month-old son. Here is an important lesson that I have observed and learned while watching them grow.

The most important thing I learned is that giving up is not a human instinct. I believe that giving up is a mindset that we teach each other. We must be better; we must stop this mindset. Giving up is one of the single most vile mindsets one can have. Our human instinct is to push through the hard times. Push through the struggle, grow, and survive. Listen to this instinct; you can grow. You can be tenacious and finish what you have started. Now as I always say, it's your life, your decision. You have the free will to change. You can be better, and you can battle through the adversity of life.

Here is how I know this. I watched my daughter right after she was born. She would wiggle her arms and legs and try and build her movement skills. I didn't have to sit my daughter down in a classroom setting and tell her how to move her arm or leg one way or another. My daughter just did it. The movement wasn't easy for her. It was hard for her. She had to struggle. She had to battle the adversity of not knowing how to move her arms and legs. She had to learn how to control those movements.

As my daughter wiggled her arms and legs, she would grow her muscles and strength until she could somewhat control her movements. I observed this while feeding her a bottle. She would slowly reach for that bottle and try and hold it. She would struggle until she could grip the bottle for the briefest moments. The bottle would become too heavy, and she would drop it. She would repeat this process until she could hold it a little longer. Eventually, she could hold onto the bottle through the entire feeding.

I also observed my daughter during tummy time. She would wiggle and push her legs and arms until she pushed herself up. She struggled to roll over. She would cry after a while. That's when I would step in and help her by rolling her over or picking her up. She never gave up. She would be at it again soon and keep at it until she could move her little knees up underneath herself. She would then push herself forward by just a few inches. She would struggle until she could get her hands and knees under her. That is how she learned to crawl just a few feet before she would plop back down from being exhausted and tired. Eventually, she would be able to crawl all over the place. She repeated this same process to walk and then run.

I believe this is the process by which we learn. We struggle and drop things, upset our bosses and ourselves, and let others down. I'm here to tell you that you will drop the bottle. You will plop down again but keep working at it. Keep picking up the bottle, and just like my daughter learned to hold it, so will you. You will learn to crawl and learn to walk and run. It is the human way. Do not give up, and do not give in. Finish what you started and keep at it.

If you are reading this and have a disability that doesn't allow you to crawl, walk, run, or hold onto things. Don't let that stop you. I also have a disability. For years I allowed myself to be defined by that disability. Focus on the things you can do instead. Everyone has a superpower, and everyone is unique. Find your superpower and be you.

From your humble fellow daily scholar,


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