Last night I was talking to my father about life and child rearing. I told him that at every parent teacher conference that we attend, my daughter's teachers tell my husband and I that our daughter is one of the smartest kids in her class. My husband and I are concerned about our daughter not achieving her full academic potential. My father's response was a seemingly simple statement, but it was like a balm to my heart and mind. He said, "You were also probably one of the smartest kids in your class."
If you have read previous blog posts you will remember that I have been plagued since childhood by the thought that I am stupid. I was the cute kid and my sister was the smart one. The word debilitating may be a little strong, but I'm going to use it anyway. Thinking that I am stupid has had a debilitating effect on my life. It wouldn't have helped for anyone else to have said the words that my father spoke to me last night. I needed to hear them from him. My perception of myself has been altered since last night's conversation. This morning I am standing a little straighter, and doubting myself a little less. Never underestimate the power of a parent's encouragement, whether you are four or forty. A parent's words have the power to heal.