The Unheard Plea Of The Talented Child4
“Yes, I am brilliant. And I can do stunningly creative and remarkable things.
But please don’t excessively praise me or constantly reassure me that I am great. It teaches me to look to others for proof of my worth. If you don’t allow me prove it to myself, you are stealing my confidence.
At the same time, don’t belittle my attempts or diminish my achievements because that teaches me to be wary of trying.
Let me do things for myself, even if I can’t do them perfectly, even if I’m slow, even if it takes me dozens or even hundreds of attempts. Too much help makes me doubt myself and my abilities. I’ll let you know if I need assistance.
And don’t compare me to others. Even if it’s favorable, it implies that my value is relative. Accept that I am incomparable and leave it at that.
Let me unfold at my own pace. Don’t put pressure on me to proceed down a straight line of continual improvement. That isn’t how it works. I need room to make mistakes. Besides, consistency is overrated.
Don’t demand more from me than I am capable of right now. Let me be who I am at the moment without expecting me to be anything other than that.
You don’t have to push. I’ll figure it out eventually.
I’m working on my own schedule, my own timeframe. I don’t measure progress by calendar milestones, or anyone else’s yardstick. If I’m allowed to, I will learn to motivate myself and once I do I will become unstoppable.
If you give me space, I will amaze you.
Just let me see what I see, and understand what I understand, and express what I express.
Let me cry, and get angry, and fall apart, and feel what I feel until it burns itself out in a great flaming inferno. And if I am so excited and gleeful and thrilled and ecstatic that I am bouncing off the ceiling, get out of the way if it bothers you. But don’t stop me from feeling it.
Let me explore and experiment and experience and create. Everything I do is practice. Trust that I am making progress even if it isn’t visible on the surface.
Don’t patronize me, or speak down to me, or tell me what I already know and act like you are enlightening me. I already know far more than you can even imagine and I want to learn the rest on my own. If you leave me to follow my own interests and desires, I will learn everything I need and then some.
When I do break through and tell you what I’ve discovered, don’t step on me. Don’t tell me ‘oh, that’s just __________,’ as if it were already obvious to everyone. Even if it was, I still came to it on my own, in my own way. Don’t take the freshness and satisfaction of my discovery away from me.
And when I come to you with shining eyes, cradling something I’ve created in my outstretched hands, accept it as the precious gift it is.
Even if you don’t appreciate it or like it or approve of it or understand it.
Above all, don’t try to define me, or peg me, or tell me how I am or what
I’m not or what I should be. You have no idea so don’t pretend you do.
Any definition, positive or negative, is setting up limits that I will have to struggle to overcome later.
I am already perfect.
So please just let me BE.”