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  #41  
Old 07-16-2014, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

Mediocrity should be rewarded. Complacency should be encouraged. And being average should be celebrated. We are evolving and every child is special (according to their parents).
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  #42  
Old 07-16-2014, 09:51 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Wow, I couldn't disagree more with some of these posts. Children are not objects to be ordered around and controlled the family dog...I know that bucks the trend of the modern family life and outlook. A lot of the "pussification of America" comes from the standardization and one-size-fits-all kids being manufactured through the schools.

Ship them off to prison schooling for 12 years, 8 hours a day, and then tell them you're not their friend , you're their boss and master when push comes to shove...pretty heartless upbringing!

Pussification seems to be more of a standardizing, conformist issue for me, rather than it being a giveaway to lazy or low performers.
You're NOT their friend.Being a responsible Parent is VERY different then trying to be on the same level as a peer group friend.Schooling for 12 years...how about 16 ,counting college and a bachelors degree.

Nobodys talking about raising a family dog,but children need rules structure and conditions to live by,and consequences if they choose to break those rules.While I agee most schools do follow the one size fits all rule,that's because of the dumbing down of our education system,an less and less public funds from taxes,being spent on public education in not just in the US.Numbers are more important that children,and no parent wants to hear THEIR child is a loser at anything.Parenting is now the number ONE individual sport in the US,and the world.If you don't believe that ,go to a parent teach conference or a little league game.It WILL open your eyes.

Our schools should be palaces,and our teachers the very best and highly motivated that we can afford.They should also make lots more money to do one of the most important jobs on the planet.

If you're trying to be a friend to your child,and avoid the tough decisions that a great parent be it mom or dad has to make,then you're just kidding yourself,and setting both you and your kid up to fail.The world is full of rules and laws,that can have terrible consequences if not followed.

I worked on Rikers Island as correction officer for 3 years,before becoming an NYPD officer/detective for over 20 years.I can tell you first hand about people that think rules and consequences, don't apply to them.

Steve B
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  #43  
Old 07-16-2014, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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Truth is every kid IS special.
Wellll...

I'd agree if we change "special" to "unique." If you believe that humanity was created by a higher power, then we are all special in that respect, and I have no argument from that standpoint.

But, if we use "special" as a qualifier, we need to delineate the bounds of "special." If "special" = MENSA, then we don't all qualify - same as if "special" = intellectually disabled.

One definition of special is: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

In 1977, I graduated in the top 95% of my class - does that make me special?

If we're ALL special, what happens to "special?"
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  #44  
Old 07-16-2014, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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I got into a huge fight with my ex-fiancé over this exact thing. I think that was the beginning of the end. She was 40 at the time. I totally believe it was her parents that manifested this standing on faux pedestal and claiming “I’m Special”. This view was totally new to this me and this relationship.
....
Fast forward to the weekend with dinner with her folks. Dad.. and Mom then proceeded to lecture me on how special her child is. Pretty much reiterating what she said earlier. Besides being dumbfounded, I respectfully remained quiet, then left.
This reminds me of something I read from a comedian many years ago: "Never marry a woman whose father calls her 'Princess'. She's heard it so often that she believes it."

Same thing can be said of sons, of course.
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  #45  
Old 07-17-2014, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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This reminds me of something I read from a comedian many years ago: "Never marry a woman whose father calls her 'Princess'. She's heard it so often that she believes it."

Same thing can be said of sons, of course.
...But I am a f&%$*%() Princess!
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  #46  
Old 07-17-2014, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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Same thing can be said of sons, of course.
If my old man starts calling me princess, I'll crack him one fair and square on the jaw.
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  #47  
Old 07-17-2014, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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If my old man starts calling me princess, I'll crack him one fair and square on the jaw.
Right, but since you're probably hitting like a princess, I doubt he'd have much to worry about.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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Wellll...

I'd agree if we change "special" to "unique." If you believe that humanity was created by a higher power, then we are all special in that respect, and I have no argument from that standpoint.

But, if we use "special" as a qualifier, we need to delineate the bounds of "special." If "special" = MENSA, then we don't all qualify - same as if "special" = intellectually disabled.

One definition of special is: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

In 1977, I graduated in the top 95% of my class - does that make me special?

If we're ALL special, what happens to "special?"
I'm with you all the way on unique as oppose to "special",which seems to be a qualifier for someone better than most.I just don't agree about being created by a "higher power.Every species on the planet,both plants and animals and humans(if you don't count us as mammals)is self replicating,and dosen't rely on a supernatural power to reproduce.Reproduction is nature is natural occurance,without reliance on a supernatural being.That's just basic biology and science.

Steve B
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  #49  
Old 07-17-2014, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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Right, but since you're probably hitting like a princess, I doubt he'd have much to worry about.
OK, that made me do a spit take
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  #50  
Old 07-17-2014, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

Right. So it seems we consensus here. Everyone is unique instead of special, good stuff deserves praise and bad stuff deserves derision. Trophies for showing up should be binned.

OK, next topic. The right of the individual to self-determination and equal opportunity in a society dedicated to the Enlightenment Era ideals of rational thought and free inquiry. Oh, and whether or not I should buy a small china to fill that space next to the pang.

Who'd like to start?
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  #51  
Old 07-17-2014, 08:40 PM
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Equal treatment and opportunity, let the individuals decide how to fulfil their own wants, desires and needs. That means in practice boosting those that are at a disadvantage to provide an equal opportunity. Yes, I am a socialist and I believe that with self-determination comes the responsibility to allow others to be self-determining.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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You're NOT their friend.Being a responsible Parent is VERY different then trying to be on the same level as a peer group friend.Schooling for 12 years...how about 16 ,counting college and a bachelors degree.

Nobodys talking about raising a family dog,but children need rules structure and conditions to live by,and consequences if they choose to break those rules.While I agee most schools do follow the one size fits all rule,that's because of the dumbing down of our education system,an less and less public funds from taxes,being spent on public education in not just in the US.Numbers are more important that children,and no parent wants to hear THEIR child is a loser at anything.Parenting is now the number ONE individual sport in the US,and the world.If you don't believe that ,go to a parent teach conference or a little league game.It WILL open your eyes.

Our schools should be palaces,and our teachers the very best and highly motivated that we can afford.They should also make lots more money to do one of the most important jobs on the planet.

If you're trying to be a friend to your child,and avoid the tough decisions that a great parent be it mom or dad has to make,then you're just kidding yourself,and setting both you and your kid up to fail.The world is full of rules and laws,that can have terrible consequences if not followed.

I worked on Rikers Island as correction officer for 3 years,before becoming an NYPD officer/detective for over 20 years.I can tell you first hand about people that think rules and consequences, don't apply to them.

Steve B
The U.S.'s reputation is terrible concerning both state schooling as well as the prison-industrial complex.

Concerning parenting, that's your choice to parent in which style you choose. But I don't give advice to others, only opinions. I think that the helicopter parenting syndrome (which must tie into this "every child is a winner" thing) is not something that just happens, it's a fabric of the majority of this countries family culture. And it's really not natural or healthy. ;)
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  #53  
Old 07-17-2014, 11:49 PM
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The U.S.'s reputation is terrible concerning both state schooling as well as the prison-industrial complex.
No argument on the prison-industrial complex. Although the US reputation is terrible concerning public education, according to at least one analysis it turns out that students in well-funded schools in high socio-economic areas in the US do as well as students in virtually any other country.

This is why I'm a scientist. I love good experiments. They slap you in the face with reality. We actually have a pretty good idea of what works in terms of schooling. The problem is we don't want to do it. We think (or have been told) that it's too difficult or too expensive. We'd rather listen to the latest dogmatically driven assertion that claims we can improve everything overnight and do it cheaply.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:55 PM
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Yes, I am a socialist and I believe that with self-determination comes the responsibility to allow others to be self-determining.
I don't think that defines you as a socialist. I think it defines you as a thinking and caring human being.

I get queasy when I think of all of the things in the world that retard or prevent self-determination. In some countries, seeking such is a criminal offense (particularly for women or people going against the established religion- in some places the penalty is death).
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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I don't think that defines you as a socialist. I think it defines you as a thinking and caring human being.

I get queasy when I think of all of the things in the world that retard or prevent self-determination. In some countries, seeking such is a criminal offense (particularly for women or people going against the established religion- in some places the penalty is death).
It does by what I say. I'm alluding to re-distribution.

My field of employment is very interesting at the moment, actually. I went to a conference last week from Public Health England and their new commissioning procedures. The political gist of which can be summed up by the phrase: 'help yourself to help yourself'. I work in mental health and there is a big debate at the moment about how some services promote institutionalisation. Do day care centres for those with mental health issues help or hinder? The argument is that they hinder because of a lack of empowerment of the individuals in those environments. Now, there are plenty of examples that I can't cite (confidentiality) of individuals that need to be taken into statutory care and 'looked after' but there are also a lot of examples of people that have been taught to rely on the assistance of well-meaning but potentially misguided care workers that do everything for them.

Age-old debates that I think are summed up personally by teaching self-reliance. There is a time and a place where high levels of assistance are absolutely appropriate but there I also have real belief that equipping people with the tools that they need to live a fulfilling existence (be it financial planning, psychoeducational sessions, etc) is a more powerful model for recovery.

When I was a teacher, I saw something similar. I taught a class of ten and eleven-year-old pupils in South-East London (read: ROUGH). They were so mollycoddled by their parents that they barely left their homes after school and as a result, had almost no independence. I could tell you a story or two about how that went down with me (not well) but I won't bore you with the details. In another school I taught in near to where I live, the pupils were five and six years old but didn't have to ask me questions that they could answer themselves. It's fair to say, the second class were much easier to teach because they had not been wrapped up in cotton wool and acted on their own initiative. Even if they got it wrong, the fact that they tried was important.

Nothing annoys me more than people asking me questions that they could answer themselves. I'm ok with doing it the first time but the second time, I will point out that if they researched it themselves, they'd learn a lot more. Funnily enough, this isn't really an issue at work.

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  #56  
Old 07-18-2014, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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No argument on the prison-industrial complex. Although the US reputation is terrible concerning public education, according to at least one analysis it turns out that students in well-funded schools in high socio-economic areas in the US do as well as students in virtually any other country.

This is why I'm a scientist. I love good experiments. They slap you in the face with reality. We actually have a pretty good idea of what works in terms of schooling. The problem is we don't want to do it. We think (or have been told) that it's too difficult or too expensive. We'd rather listen to the latest dogmatically driven assertion that claims we can improve everything overnight and do it cheaply.
My own rating of public ed would depend upon the definition of "good" education. Woodrow Wilson would approve.
But the problem is not the condition of public education, it's funding, it's teachers and associates salaries - it's the structure behind it, the Prussian model, the importance mostly being obedience and training for a deferential work life.

"We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks" Woodrow Wilson,
“Our schools are, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life.” (Cubberley, 1917)
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  #57  
Old 07-18-2014, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

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My own rating of public ed would depend upon the definition of "good" education. Woodrow Wilson would approve.
...
"We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks" Woodrow Wilson,

“Our schools are, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life.” (Cubberley, 1917)
Are you being sarcastic or do you actually concur with those quotes? It seems to me, sadly, that this is what a number of voices are clamoring for these days (training over education).


And just to be clear, what I was referring to in the prior post is that those US students have equivalent mastery of subjects such as math, science, language, etc. as students in other countries. That is, an apples to apples comparison.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:04 AM
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Are you being sarcastic or do you actually concur with those quotes? It seems to me, sadly, that this is what a number of voices are clamoring for these days (training over education).


And just to be clear, what I was referring to in the prior post is that those US students have equivalent mastery of subjects such as math, science, language, etc. as students in other countries. That is, an apples to apples comparison.
I don't disagree with anything you said. Though it pains me to hear people say "raise taxes!" to improve public education, when it's already a fail. I am not speaking on terms of a statistical fail, though. Because the standardization of it all is one of the easy examples of why public education wasn't meant to educate, how to think critically and problem solve - but surely it teaches kids how to memorize acronyms and recite. Hmm, care to guess who profits from this added behavior trait?
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Should kids be told they're ''special?''

Brian, you're making a false assumption there.

'Standardised education' is not the same as saying 'recitation'. They are different things. A standardised curriculum may consist of those things but it may not.

In fact, in the UK a standardised curriculum (of which I was one of the first to undergo) has demonstrably improved the education of pupils. There were pupils leaving Primary school that had never studied Mathematics. Minimum standards of teaching and a consistent curriculum are important so that everybody has a similar basis for opportunity. How you deliver that curriculum is up to the individual teacher and school and if delivered well, it can be inspiring and creative.

In fact, the UK curriculum specifically encourages problem-solving...

It's a shame our last Education Secretary was an utter tool and tried to wreck it.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:50 PM
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Though it pains me to hear people say "raise taxes!" to improve public education, when it's already a fail.
But it's not. We have data that show that with proper funding and priorities, we can educate effectively. I am not saying that throwing money at the problem is the answer, there's more to it than that, but we cannot honestly say that we fund public education broadly and fairly across the USA. Just look at what has happened to public college funding over the past several decades. Where I teach, it seems every year there is a new scheme to cut back funds. It's like the old joke about people being asked to do more and more with less and less until finally they'll be able to do everything with nothing.

To be honest, I have only taught at the college level and I don't have much personal experience with what's going on in the primary and secondary schools, but I can say the recitation is not looked on favorably where I work, although standards are.

But what do we mean by that? I want to know that any student who has passed high school biology or chemistry or physics or whatever, knows certain things about the field. I don't care if they came from down the street or grew up 3000 miles away. As it is, there are places in the USA where in biology class teachers present the theory of evolution as a sham and point the students to creationism instead. That's crazy.

My issue with some of this, and I'm guessing that we'd agree, is the current excessive focus at the college level with job skills (and here's the kicker) in place of liberal education. Job skills are very important in order to be a knowledgeable and productive worker but it's the liberal education side that gives people the tools to be knowledgeable and effective citizens. Mind you, I teach engineering and science, and it pains me to no end when I hear students and faculty/admin asking why our students should be taking courses in literature or history or anything that does not directly fall under the umbrella of their major. My position is that an engineering major needs to be exposed to literature and art and so forth, and liberal arts majors need to be exposed to math and science.

I don't want to see our higher education system turned into a training ground so we can churn out cogs that will fit nicely into an existing corporate machine. Sadly, there are a lot of forces currently pushing for such.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:08 PM
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The U.S.'s reputation is terrible concerning both state schooling as well as the prison-industrial complex.

Concerning parenting, that's your choice to parent in which style you choose. But I don't give advice to others, only opinions. I think that the helicopter parenting syndrome (which must tie into this "every child is a winner" thing) is not something that just happens, it's a fabric of the majority of this countries family culture. And it's really not natural or healthy. ;)
That's EXACTLY what I was saying.Some "parents" need advice on how to raise children.Some parents just get it all wrong,and I disagree that it's a by product of the "family culture".Some families believe that it takes a village to raise a child,and I've personally seen,children turn into well adjusted,intellegent adults because of that kind of mentoring.

Steve B
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:03 PM
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I don't want to see our higher education system turned into a training ground so we can churn out cogs that will fit nicely into an existing corporate machine.
The amount of sports scholarships towards male-dominated college sports, which programs provide little to nothing in society, proves that our education system was designed to fit the needs of corporations and the liberally educated class.

And again, I am not arguing anything except that when I hear "successful education", I immediately think to myself; if I learned a million useless ideas and facts and proved I could do it successfully, was that really useful?
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:07 PM
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The amount of sports scholarships towards male-dominated college sports, which programs provide little to nothing in society, proves that our education system was designed to fit the needs of corporations and the liberally educated class.
Please, don't get me started on big-time college sports. If I had my way NCAA divisions 1 and 2 would not exist. I don't necessarily agree that their existence has anything to due with the "liberally educated class", though. I think it's entirely about it being a free training ground for the major sports-entertainment industries, so in that regard we agree about it fitting the needs of corporations. And I would add that certain sports go out of their way to reinforce concepts of team unity to a fault (i.e., protecting the team/teammates even if there is a genuine problem) which is certainly useful to a military-corporate worker mindset.

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And again, I am not arguing anything except that when I hear "successful education", I immediately think to myself; if I learned a million useless ideas and facts and proved I could do it successfully, was that really useful?
Define useless. Seriously. Is it something for which you don't have an apparent use? I cannot count the number of times students have complained to me about learning useless material yet later they come to realize that the stuff is eminently useful. No joke, just a few days ago I bumped into a recent graduate in the market. He told me about his new job and made a comment like "Gee, all that stuff we went over in Circuits class really did turn out to be useful." Right. I don't lecture and write labs about stuff that I think you're never going to use.

There are things that I learned in college that I didn't fully appreciate or utilize until decades later. But more than that, a depth and breadth of "apparently useless" knowledge can prevent you from being led astray by bogus claims, it can lead you to explore areas that you may never have considered and it can have a positive impact on understanding where you came from, how you got here and where to go next.

I think many of the issues we have in society stem from the fact that too many people close themselves off from things because they deem them to be useless based on their current position, not considering that said position or needs may change (which, I guess, is a scary enough thought for some folks). As a result, they wind up making decisions based on scant or incorrect info and assessments.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:12 AM
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Sorry for dragging this thread OT, my bad.

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. " T Roosevelt

If you live in the gray twilight, you'll never receive a trophy just for showing up. But that mentality, in a way, perpetuates constant competition and battle....struggle...winners and losers...etc. Not very peaceful.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:36 PM
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I'm with you all the way on unique as oppose to "special",which seems to be a qualifier for someone better than most.I just don't agree about being created by a "higher power.Every species on the planet,both plants and animals and humans(if you don't count us as mammals)is self replicating,and dosen't rely on a supernatural power to reproduce.Reproduction is nature is natural occurance,without reliance on a supernatural being.That's just basic biology and science.

Steve B
Ahh...semantics! lol...

adj. better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

Since "usual' does not exist in the population of people, I would say that everyone is special by definition. Guess there are other uses...but this is the 1st that pops up in Webster.

I think treating kids like they are special(like they exist, in other words?) is different than giving everyone a trophy for just participating....something I am deeply against.

Building self esteem needs validity not just high frequency of statement...kids are not stupid, they just let adults believe that to gain advantage.....that means caretakers need to be involved in helping find what it is that the child is drawn to and what they do well naturally...not always as easy as turning on the TV then heading off to do something else.
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