|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
I have written Shine In Your Own Way primarily for parents of struggling and failing children and teenagers because, after a lifetime of working with unhappy and unhopeful kids, I know that their parents often feel that schools have somehow taken away their dreams for their children, and have deprived them of their right to celebrate their strengths, by calling so much painful attention to their weaknesses and failures. If there is one thing that I would like parents to understand, and to believe, it is this: Our weaknesses, and our failures, need not define us.
I believe that, both at home and at school, we should focus on identifying, developing, and celebrating children's interests and strengths much more than we do, and, strange and impossible as it may seem, focus more on finding, developing, and celebrating our own interests and strengths as well, interests and strengths that have little or nothing to do with buying or selling, with competition, with "getting ahead," with impressing someone, with winning something, with proving something - but have everything to do with making our lives feel like lives - today - and not just treadmills that take us from one weekend or one year or one lifetime to another.
How do we put that "treadmill feeling" aside? Where do we put all the stress and worry of our workdays, of our long commutes in the morning, and our long commutes in the evening? What do we do with our lists of chores that we somehow have to fit into the few remaining hours of the day? How do we see all the people we have to see, keep all the appointments we have to keep, take care of all the adult responsibilities we have to take care of - and still create a relaxing, comfortable, delighted, imaginative, engaged family space where we can with our kids, think about their feelings and needs, hear how the world looks and feels to them, and, most of all, enjoy their company and give them a chance to enjoy ours? Where do we find the time, not to mention the energy, the patience, the insight, the good will, and the confidence to deal with our own emotional issues, and all the emotional issues that kids store up during their hours away from us? And, on top of that, how do we help them appreciate their special gifts and celebrate their special interests - even when, as is so often the case, their teachers and schools, so intent on following their syllabi, maintaining order, and preparing students for state tests, seem indifferent, or even hostile, to our children's emotional lives and oblivious to their interests and gifts?