Tuesday, 28 June 2016

We ALL want our country back.

What a week. I've found myself agreeing with Laurie Penny's perspective on events, the winners of the Referendum seem to have scored an own goal and backtracked on their campaign commitments and both main political parties seem to be spontaneously combusting.

The Telegraph is reporting on the economic chaos with portents of Doom - all initiated by it's protege Boris Johnson who founded his coup on annihilating the cartoon caricature of the EU that he painstakingly thrust down our throats via his weekly column. Yet Boris is now advocating a Free Trade deal with free movement - otherwise known as what he campaigned against, but without the benefits of membership. The world has gone mad.

Of course, some Leavers still genuinely think we are going to "push" the EU for a good deal. The reality however is very different:-

Of course, Cameron should have known better than to offer a Referendum, but he needed to retain as much support from the Eurosceptics as possible to win a majority last year. Some believe he assumed the LibDems would still have sufficient power to vote down a Referendum Bill - but it was a massive gamble and one he has paid for with his job - and perhaps his legacy. If we break with Europe, it looks likely that Scotland will demand another Independence Referendum and he will have not one, but two schisms on his epitaph.

It was said the other day that usually working class revolts are not led by people like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. I would argue that the leaders of the Leave campaign did nothing of the sort - they used the anti-immigration vote to topple Cameron, their motive was totally self-motivated, purely power seeking. Boris certainly didn't want to Leave, it was a useful banner to motivate those who have felt disenfranchised, ignored and abandoned, people he cares little for and his flippant column yesterday was evidence of this. It's not many months since he was publicly advocating remaining in the EU either.



It is a fact that the Conservative vote changed little during the course of the campaign. It was a 10% swing of Labour voters who saw their opportunity to "stick it to the man" after years of cuts which cost Cameron his Remain win. This group believe Corbyn is their leader, but could not back a Remain vote. Blaming much of the pain of austerity on rising population due to immigration rather than an ageing population and a contraction of public services, they needed a scapegoat. Boris gave them one - and Farage rubbed his hands in glee. Corbyn was caught in the middle, left fighting for a campaign he did not associate with and there is emerging evidence that Corbyn attempted to sabotage his own LabourIn campaign, something I find highly likely. He has no love of Europe.

This is where Corbyn is such an anomaly. Voted in by a system which gives enormous weight to the party electorate over Westminster he really is a man of many people- but his role is to lead his party, which in Westminster consists of elected MPs, in opposition to the elected government.  And now facing an overwhelming Vote of No Confidence he's dug his heels in further. But it's not that he doesn't understand or respect the system, he's not part of it - and doesn't want to be. 

I actually doubt ‪#‎Corbyn‬ is going anywhere. He rather likes the idea of bringing the establishment down. I respect his commitment to those who elected him leader, but his mandate went beyond heading up the swathes of disenfranchised people currently unrepresented at Westminster. If he wanted the job of providing an opposition to Her Majesty's government he would have quit since that post is clearly untenable. No one survives two thirds of their cabinet resigning - but he's not "surviving", he's leading an internal revolution - at least in his head. 

So we are left with political chaos and economic uncertainty. Sterling has crashed - although recovered slightly - and the markets are in Bear mode once again. The Labour party is on the brink of splitting, with a revolutionary leader who believes he is the voice of the people - people who have voted for more cuts, another recession, and ironically a further right wing government than they have endured the past year. If nothing else, I hope a new era of politics might dawn as a result of this bonfire of vanities. We might not have a plan, we might be up a creek without the proverbial paddle - but one thing we all know is that we've had enough of soundbites, of electioneering,  of being lied to,  conned and used by power-seeking careerists politicians. It's time for change.

Thus we find ourselves in a stalemate. There is no one with any political power at Westminster with any stomach for leaving the EU. Meanwhile the war continues in Syria, the migrant crisis persists and Matthew Elliott, CEO of the Vote Leave campaign reckons we all need a holiday. 

As if. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Less Free Speech than EU think.

I'm losing the will to live with the EU referendum campaign. Watching politicians,  experts and even celebrities sharing the latest soundbites and half-baked statistics whilst shedding their previously valued veneer of respect is often entertaining but it's currently worse than watching a car crash in slow-motion.

What really bothers me is the complete avoidance of the key topics most people I converse with wish to discuss. All campaigners are so keen to steer our thinking towards their next half baked statistic that in their arrogance they remove the opportunity for free speech which might avoid the unthinkable - which is playing out like some sinister horror movie across the Atlantic right now.

The single biggest reason for Donald Trump's appeal is not his success, his offer of something different or his manifesto. It's something much simpler. Trump offers a forum for American voters to voice their concerns, speak their fears and discuss their opinions. And we should find that rather scary.



You see people are actually capable of independent thought, despite the prevailing view of campaigners in the EU Referendum here in Britain. We do have concerns, views, opinions and - shock horror - some of them might be informed and educated. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away - it just polarises opinion and pushes such concerns into extreme territory - which is actively encouraged at present in the way the question of immigration is viewed by the Remain campaign. But unless such concerns are aired, discussed and evaluated in a moderate forum, people are either pushed or pulled to the extremes, which invariably offer the opportunity to do so - at great cost to the Centre ground which is daily losing moderate voters. The irony is, political correctness, and political arrogance are costing this debate it's moderate centre ground.

Personally I have two very simple questions I would appreciate an answer to before 23rd June. Firstly, the question of economic migration. At the very mention of the word "migration", half of social media have added me to their "Crazy UKIP Voters" list and every other word I might add is ignored. But branding me a racist prohibits me from discussing this question sensibly, and I am utterly uncomfortable with either the far right or far left groups who would encourage me to voice my concerns - then offer an unpalatable response.

For me it's about numbers. Numbers of people in the country, a country already heavily populated, a country which has suffered a massive cut in public spending already, and a country in which public services are already trimmed to the bone. I would not expect the people already struggling in this country to have their expectations, support and services cut further because we have an open door policy.

And that's it. That's my concern.
I wish to know how this might be addressed - but not by an anti-muslim, anti-immigrant or anti anybody politician, by someone who respects this as a reasonable concern. It's not loaded, I'm not a racist and agree people are not numbers, but when there is a six week wait for GP appointments, when my son's Statutory SEN support is required to help teach new arrivals English and when I hear Health Visitors have case loads of 8000 children it IS a valid concern.

My second concern is more of a question, which absurdly no one seems to be able (or willing) to answer.

What is the net cashflow to the EU from the UK? How much do we pay them, and how much do we gain in subsidies and investments? I find it hard to fathom how someone as allegedly well-educated and well paid as George Osborne is completely unable to ever answer the first part of that question. In the news we have heard wildly different figures from £130m to £330m per week. If my son can cope with AS Core 1 Maths then seriously, can these "experts" not provide me with an answer? And whilst I appreciate A Level Statistics is probably significantly harder now than in George Osborne's sixth form days, he really should make more effort than his recent offerings.

Joking aside, this referendum has demonstrated clearly the insidious results of limiting free speech, of directing people, fobbing them off with "road closed" signs on discussions that people *need* to have. The result is a Carnival of Animals - or a Chimps Tea Party might be more precise. In a democracy, you ought to respect your electorate, even if you are unable to control them and Free Speech is one of the few weapons we have against extremism.



Friday, 20 May 2016

Enough is enough.

If I hear one more comment about "raising standards" in schools I might scream. As a (previously) staunch advocate of improving teaching in our schools, of promoting excellence and raising aspirations, I'm vaulting over the fence now and saying STOP.

Enough is enough.  

The UK (and England in particular) has an unprecedented teenage mental health crisis. At least one teenager you know will be suffering from mental health issues, which will be a product of the environment in which they live. I know many - far too many. Children suffering so acutely some threaten to take their own lives. Why? Because at a desperately young age they believe they are failures - and that every door to a possible bright future is closing.

Now I'm not about to suggest that attempting to raise standards in schools is the only factor in the emotional welfare of our young people but it's a pretty big one. The student who works flat out, many hours a day and regularly attains top scores in past papers deserves to have a satisfying experience in their public exam. To be challenged yes, to be stretched but not to the limit of their human endurance. When I hear of students leaving exam halls early, or rushing to the toilets straight afterwards to be sick, sobbing in hallways and saying their "life is over" because their University place is lost to them... my blood boils. These are not kids who can't be bothered, those who struggle academically or those who are outside the system. Indeed some of these are model students with offers from Russell Group Universities and bright futures ahead of them. But all these young people are the adults of tomorrow, whom we will rely on to run this country long after we have retired. Do we really want to break them before they have got started in life?

Our young people have so much to contend with. Social lives that intrude on their every waking moment - there is no escape now with the tentacles of social media permeating into previously safe spaces. There are many, many more applicants for sixth forms, apprenticeships and university places - partly due to a rising domestic population and partly due to migration from the EU. University tuition fees which are set to rise from next September and costly living expenses. They repeatedly hear how "exams are getting easier" and "it was much harder in my day" from every form of media plus family and friends, yet no one fully appreciates the insidious impact "raising standards" is having on all our children.

My ten year old sat a reading comprehension on Dickens' Pickwick Papers this week. He's a bright kid - near top in his year at a selective school. But the first thing he said on arriving home afterwards was that he was "certainly never going to read any book like that in future".

What a tragedy. To gain a certainty that the works of Dickens (and probably similar classic authors) holds nothing for you at age ten is up there with killing off the Tooth Fairy or Father Christmas for a preschooler. You see, artificially injecting age inappropriate work several years down doesn't raise standards. It raises anxiety, raises a sense of failure, raises a real lack of confidence which permeates into other areas of life and raises the incidence of mental health problems in our children.

And you can hardly have missed the news this week that Finnish schools rank top in the world for academic achievement. Whilst scoring is always subjective and this might be questionable, they undoubtedly do well.  I wonder if you watched the videos of countless interviews with Finnish teachers, asking them what their secret was?

HAPPINESS.

Sounds so twee doesn't it? Yet it's a widely accepted fact that the happy child learns fast and unhappy children rarely learn at all. In actual fact, children learn in spite of Eduction, in spite of teachers and in spite of schools. They are learning all the time and until we realise this our education system will remain stuck in the Dark Ages back to where it is currently hurtling. We can guide, enthuse, challenge and mentor young people - but the idea formal Education should be the transferral of a body of knowledge into the brain of each and every young person is so very wrong.

Children are innately curious, eager to learn and naturally enthusiastic. Many times I have written about my second son who has Autism. How he craves knowledge and once his interest is piqued he will devour information and visibly grow as a person as he learns and gains confidence. But the second you impose a requirement to learn too fast, to tackle anything he is not developmentally ready for - the anxiety kicks in, the panic ensues and he ceases to function. This is a more obvious process that all children and students go through when forced to "learn" something they are not yet ready for. And they end up learning nothing at all - because no one can learn when in an acute state of anxiety.

But what of our older students, do too many receive an A*? Have exams become easier? And should be not be aiming to have the most accomplished school leavers in the World?




There might indeed have been a time when this was the case, but I assure you nothing could be further from the truth now. The stakes have never been higher, and neither has the insurmountable mountain which must be climbed to gain a good grade. Too many young people are dropping hobbies, skills and not nurturing talents in activities which promote mental wellbeing because they are focussing solely on their school work - because the message they are hearing is that it matters above all else, to the exclusion of all else and that success is the only thing which is important. And yet the inconsistency is crippling! Deprived of any broader perspective by this false ethos, students are then robbed of any credibility or reliability in public exams. An A grade this year will not be comparable to last, to another subject, to another A level years ago. Explain that to employers and universities. This injustice of this expectation escalation is quite shocking.



So if I had one message for anyone studying for public exams this summer it is this:-
You are lucky enough that you will have many lives, many opportunities and chances that you cannot even know about yet. This is only one - one route amongst many. Yes it matters, and yes you should give it your very best shot, but don't let it define you, or limit you. It's just one path in the complex web of life and there will be others, so many others. If you went on a journey and the road was blocked, would you go home? No, you might curse then try a different way. That's all this is, a test in map reading the Atlas of Life. You only fail the test if you give up and go home.

The following websites offer advice and information for parents and young people dealing with mental health difficulties:-




Tuesday, 26 January 2016

There's no "I" in "Team"

Finally I have found a spare moment to jot down the endless sea of words in my head- it's been a busy few months and writing has had to take a back seat. However despite little slowing down of the rollercoaster of life, sanity preservation has now kicked in and claimed "shotgun" position, asserting itself to gain my attention as only a teenager on a mission to get "one up" over his older brother can do.

It will hardly have eluded any parent of a school age child today that group work has been elevated to an alarmingly superior place in the curriculum. Initially a buzzword(s) in the business world to encourage team work amongst disparate members focussed on a single goal,  "working together" has infiltrated education and our schools. The need to achieve a joint outcome, share experiences and "work together" may seem entirely admirable, but it is letting down large groups of individuals in the process. 

I believe the intentions of educators are good, the natural Darwinian tendency of young humans to self-focus does indeed need taming and children must learn to share, take turns and collaborate. But when "working together" means relying on the loudest/most confident/most able group member to complete the work then few are benefitting. I have lost count of the number of times my eldest has taken the lion's share of a "group project", whilst lazier individuals contribute little. Unwilling to forfeit the high mark he could obtain as an individual he shoulders the burden of the entire project. Similarly, my daughter often comes home to tell me she's not sure what the work they covered in Maths today was all about, "but it's all right as our group finished, I didn't have to do anything."

Then there are the other two boys, one possibly on the spectrum and one very definitely there. Both hugely able and utterly mystified why they cannot complete work alone- after all, they would make a significantly better job of it. A was distraught that in Art, a hugely individual subject he is passionate about he was forced to collaborate. In H's high school this is misinterpreted as arrogance, when in actual fact it's the truth. He could do a significantly better job on his own. Why on *earth* should he sit there bored rigid discussing maths three levels below his own? Unless it's so he can teach the others this is absurd and he gains nothing. Apart from the blindingly obvious point that those with Autism work better alone (since the diagnosis involves developmental delays in communication and social interaction) unless all members of a group stand to benefit from collaboration it is pointless exercise.

I never enjoyed group work, although I benefitted from limited collaborative efforts. Group work has its place, but currently it has been artificially elevated out of it. Working together can be derived from multiple sources, such as sports teams, drama or choir groups. Of course, its natural place on the sports field has been largely beaten out of existence with the artificial suppression of competition. (Perhaps that's the understated intention of heralding group interaction in the classroom as the ideal modus operandi?) But there is little need to ram group work into every subject on the curriculum.

There is indeed no "I" in team. Team work invariably stifles the individual and for many it is an exercise in descrimination- however well intentioned. It reduces linear progress and permits some to overly rely on others. The most able almost never stand to gain and it is yet another example of our education system focussing on the less able at the expense of others. It should never be used as a blunt instrument- a check box for every subject that needs ticking to gain OFSTED credit, and recognition should be given that it has limited use.

So to the (several) teachers who wrote on H's report that he finds group work challenging, can be obstructive and reluctant- I'm not surprised. Working together is of occasional benefit and should always take the individual needs of all members of the group into consideration. Judging a child with ASD by a "one size fits all" theory of collaboration is inappropriate and discriminatory. 

There is no "I" in any team, and there's no "you" either. But there are three in "Individual". And he's definitely that. Unique, entertaining, exhausting, inspiring, and a real individual... 


Monday, 16 November 2015

Facing Facts - Name your Nemesis

The events in Paris on Friday 13th have precipitated a great deal of thought, comment and consideration across the internet.


The excusers are out in force, confusing the obvious truth that no one wants war, or death or killing, with the need to excuse terrorists, blame ourselves or just quite simply rearrange the facts to suit an ostrich mentality which prefers to live in a happy bubble - or a self-deprecating one at least.

Image courtesy of Melbourne Streets Avant-garde via Flickr
Why do we DO that? Why are a subset of British people (in particular) some of the world's best at self-effacement? Why do we deny every ounce of national pride, and drown our self respect in shame? Shame for what? For a history that is not purely glorious? Can any nation boast such a past? Surely recognition of past wrongs, past less-than-ideal choices is precisely what can make a country great?

A country with a conscience has two choices. Sit and watch on the sidelines, opting out of the present, or capitalise on that conscience to improve the future for all.

Right now, too many people are choosing the former option. The group calling themselves Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the horrific attacks in Paris. These are religious extremists for whom dying for their cause is the ultimate goal. These are not moderate Muslims, whom are as disgusted, appalled and distanced from this extreme version of Islam as the rest of us. An excellent article in The Atlantic magazine today pointed out that this group is religious, extremely so, with a warped version of Islam that has no place in modern society. It is vital we recognise and address this, or we have no hope of ending the terror. With Armageddon as their end game, diplomatic talks are just not going to cut it...

Monday, 14 September 2015

Action not Sympathy

Syria has been in the news for so long that many people have stopped listening. The unfolding media story about the current refugee crisis has appeared almost as if by magic - the underlying causes distant and poorly understood because they don't make headlines. But understanding the causes is always important because that is the key to improving the future. Increased objectivity requires subjectivity - not snapshots of current events divorced from their past.

The civil war in Syrian appeared to many to be part of the so called "Arab Spring", a wave of cries for independence from those subject to authoritarian rule in the Middle East. However, as this cartoon succinctly explains, the biggest underlying cause of the Syrian War was in fact, Climate Change. The exodus from the rural areas of Syria when crops failed during the worst drought in the region on record destabilised urban areas - and what might have been a simmering dissatisfaction exploded.

Syria should be a lesson for us all.



The current, tragic refugee situation is also in no small part due to our intervention in Iraq under Labour which destabilised the Middle East and precipitated the "Arab Spring". The West then misguidedly, largely under public pressure, supported and funded the opposition to Assad in Syria. That initial opposition was in no small part what we today know as ISIS.

For all these reasons international responsibility should be accepted and consensus sought to respond to the situation. All agree crisis management is not enough, a coherent long-term policy is needed to deal with the problem at source. That would need renewed international efforts to sort out the civil war in Syria and destroy IS, yet neither is likely to happen any time soon. We can't even get past the initial emotional response, let alone begin to tease apart the facts. The public got it wrong before - and should bear a large chunk of responsibility for the current strength of ISIS and Russian support for Assad, people should think carefully about an over-reaction to a heart-wrenching situation. The power of social media and our thirst for a "quick fix" of news perpetuates knee-jerk responses to events. We must not lose sight of the bigger picture though and engage our brains as well as our hearts before responding. Even worse, viewing events elsewhere through the spectacles of our own lives distorts reality further.

"Most Syrians want to stay in their country or close by. Instead of the siren calls luring them across the sea to an uncertain fate, they need our practical help on the ground to give them food, shelter and the strength, one day, to take their homeland back." 

True. We should never forget the appalling reality that is life for many, in a war-torn country struggling to survive and leave fellow human beings to "get on with it". The video below has a powerful message. 


This isn't new, and I've seen it before, which is perhaps even sadder since the war in Syria is now so old. But the...


Images like this video and the photo below matter, because we live in a global environment, where ignoring events on the other side of the planet no longer buys you peaceful and ignorant isolationism. We can't pick and choose which parts of the world take our interest, we have a responsibility to consider the whole which in turn impacts on every one of us. But images that focus on individuals are only part of the story. No conflict is ever won by identifying with the individual  - and the same is true of international crises.

Courtesy of Bengin Ahmad

The media's current obsession with a "refugee crisis" - which is very real and affecting many people in different areas of the Middle East and Africa - neglects the migrant crisis and the longer term impact of the "Arab Spring". In fact most of those people you see on TV are not asylum seekers, but migrants who are opportunistically seeking to enter a more affluent country at a time when national borders are struggling to cope. Many have even held jobs for several years in countries they have already claimed asylum. Today the BBC began to acknowledge this. Confusing refugees with migrants has also precipitated an hysterical response from many including celebrities engaged in an unpleasant "caring one-upmanship" because a boy died tragically crossing from Turkey. But that's just a tiny part of the real situation.

The real people suffering are those in the refugee camps, who have yet to claim asylum, whom the World Food Programme and UNICEF are trying to support. Those people whose funding has been cut by all governments except the UK as they struggle to finance the mass migration of those who have already successfully claimed asylum, but who seek to move further to better themselves.

Whilst that's highly understandable no one mentions that according to the Dublin Agreement refugees must claim asylum in the first country they reach and cannot make multiple claims. That some fellow muslim nations nearby are doing nothing and Saudi Arabia has tens of thousands of air conditioned tents on their border close to Syria. That many people on the boats are seizing the opportunity when they have been several years in Turkey, with jobs and homes there. That those taking vast sums to smuggle these migrants are bankrolling ISIS who are also using the current crisis to get fighters across into Europe. And that the boy who tragically died was not even a refugee. He had a home in Turkey for 3 years and his mother wanted to stay. His father wanted to join family in Canada but lacked legal means to do so.

Last week I said that Europe wouldn't maintain its open borders and already many countries are closing theirs. There is little support for free migration in any country in the world, and most leaders recognise that their first duty is to the people whom they represent. Increasing a population by even 1% overnight has an enormous long term impact on resources and prosperity, can threaten national security, national health and well being. We should be helping the refugees, those rendered stateless due to conflict in Syria, but evacuating vast numbers in an uncontrolled way is sure to precipitate dangerous tensions across Europe and leaves a vacuum in the Middle East which will destabilise the situation further.

Short-termism has become endemic in world (as well as domestic) politics, but we must take our heads out of the proverbial sand and look beyond the here and now or the future will take us by surprise once again.



Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Round we go again....

This is H, aged 5, at his sports day many years ago. He's looking confused, and not a little distressed. You see he'd just run the 50m running "race" and won by a mile. Fastest boy in his year group. The day is forever etched into my memory - but not because of this great achievement. Let's face it this was in Reception, when at least half the year can barely coordinate themselves sufficiently to hurtle down the track let alone understand the point of it all.  No, the reason I will never forget the day was because of the comment made by the teacher running the event.

"Round you go again!" she said.


You see, his school didn't believe in competitive sports. Ever. "Everyone's a Winner" was the school's motto, and very commendable it sounded - if a little overly politically correct. But to put this ethos into context you should know that this little boy had never, ever been a "winner" in his life.

Non verbal until well past the age of three, he found school impossible to comprehend. He spent most of Reception under the table, a convenient place from which to lob heavy books at any passing teacher! With 46 fixed term exclusions to his name by the age of six school was not somewhere he shone. Rather he endured, they crisis managed and I cried. A lot.

So when my little Cygnet (as his class was known) raced down that track, completely engaged and utterly focussed on that finish line, I could have cheerfully strangled the insensitive, dismissive voice that expected him to keep re-running the absurd "race" until it was time to move on to the next activity.

WHAT ON EARTH FOR???

There is a reason children participate in a huge variety of activities in school, beyond the academic, and it isn't just to give the teachers a break. Children learn in a huge variety of ways, and learning is never solely about reading and writing. Emotional and social education is a fundamental part of any child's education, and many children - particularly younger ones, gain most social and emotional learning from activities outside the classroom, in addition to the holistic environment they are in. My child had, at that moment, made an enormous breakthrough. He had been engaged in a group activity, focussed on a delayed result which required immediate engagement and participation, and appreciated the potential reward of any effort he made.

Which was swiftly taken away from him with that single sentence.

Unsurprisingly, the children who excel in the classroom are rarely those who are equally talented at sport. Or music, or art. All children are individuals with gifts, talents, difficulties and challenges as diverse as their faces. So denying children the opportunity to redress any imbalance within the classroom by removing competition outside, is misguided and potentially damaging.

So why am I telling you this now?

You may well ask. Two reasons really. H is nearly 14 and we've seen a complete turnaround over the years. Still hugely challenging at times, he now excels in the classroom, whilst the athletics track brings more of a challenge. Due to poor management of joint hypermobility and a huge delay in obtaining appropriate support he not only has completely flat feet but also something known as external tibial torsion. Basically his legs curve outwards below the knee, offsetting his entire skeleton and he simply cannot run fast anymore. Indeed, before he started wearing day splints, night splints and summer in casts to stretch his calf muscles last year, he could barely run at all.

The second reason for remembering this event is that we do seem to be "going round again" with the twins. Unable to play much sport because of health issues my youngest son is a gifted chorister. But no amount of persuasion could prompt his school to permit him to shine. Their obsession with group work and "equal opportunity" blinded them to his lack of opportunity in other areas. His singing gives him confidence and since joining our local church choir he is a different child.


Similarly, his twin is incredibly good at art. Whilst that might seem rather boastful, I can honestly tell you that she's really not much good at team games, struggles with Maths and finds friendships quite a challenge at times. Art is her "thing". But try convincing anyone that's it's ok to excel publicly and gain opportunities to work outside of a group and it's as if you've suddenly grown a second head.


H himself summed it up best after his enthusiastic and commendable participation in his High School Sports Day in July this year. He tried so hard and wasn't last but was quite thoughtful after. He hadn't forgotten that day eight years ago either.


"I was fast once, wasn't I Mummy? When it didn't count."

Except it did. It counted HUGELY for me. I observed and recognised every little achievement in those 50m and will never, ever forget that day. It's made me want to celebrate all goals reached, to recognise all my children's talents and appreciate where they are NOW, and let them feel good about themselves.  Because none of us are equal - and difference isn't a bad thing. That child winning the race may well be fighting battles you have no comprehension of - and deserves to be a winner, to come first. It might be the only time they do.



  Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...