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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An Open Letter To A Frightened Little Girl

This is an open letter to a child who is afraid to try because she thinks she will fail. She has recently joined us and demonstrates all the symptoms of a child under stress, who does not play enough.

Dear Little One,

Mommy shared with me that before you joined our class, you had wanted to impress Dr Pet with how good you were at English. At first, you put great effort into Dr Pet's English homework in order to impress Dr Pet. You wanted Dr Pet to like you. You even chose a nice t-shirt to make me happy. That was so very sweet.

Then you discovered how difficult Dr Pet's homework is, and you despaired of ever meeting my standards. You were afraid that I would not like you because you couldn't meet my standards.

Do not be afraid. However many mistakes you make, I will like you anyway. There are other children in class who are naughtier than you, and who make even more mistakes than you do. Can you not see that I love them all?

Mistakes are precious because they teach us lessons. The person who does not make mistakes, does not learn. The person who fears to fail, will never take risks. Such a person will grow up into a boring adult whose life has no adventure. Such a person will never achieve anything great in life because he or she will never dare to try anything new, for fear of failing.

Do not be afraid of your mistakes. Do not be afraid of failing.

Dr Pet is never impressed by children who do perfect worksheets and never make mistakes. Dr Pet is impressed by children who have courage and curiosity. I am impressed with children who are not afraid to ask silly questions because they want to know more about the strange things we do in class - like how bacteria can talk to each other, or how bees can help us prevent terrorist attacks.

Dr Pet is also impressed by children who are nice and kind to their classmates... who help each other to succeed as a team, in order to earn the right to play the game after class.

Lastly, Dr Pet is impressed by children who try, even though they think they might fail. These are brave children who tell themselves "It's ok to fail with Dr Pet. I am safe with her. Dr Pet will show me where my mistakes are so that I will be able to do better in school. It's safe to fail with Dr Pet but it is not safe to fail in school. If I fail with Dr Pet, she will just show me where my mistakes are. If I fail in school, I will go to a bad class or a bad school."

I am willing to wait for you to learn to feel safe, and to stop feeling afraid. Underneath all that stress and all that fear, I know there is a lovely little girl. I will wait for her to emerge in time.

Best regards,
Dr Pet


Celine said...

:) such gentle and encouraging words.... allow me to share some of my own, as I was that frightened litte girl once upon a time.

Dear little one,

Courage is not just for the mighty, or the physically strong.

Courage is when you know the task is beyond you, and yes you are not sure if you are going to succeed… because all around you, people have told you that you cannot, and you have started to believe it yourself…. Courage is listening to that small still voice inside your heart that says, do it anyway. Because that small still voice says, I am strong, I can, I will.

Rest secure in the knowledge that Dr Pet will catch you when you fall, before you fall… Then take a deep breath, go forth, give it your best shot, GO!

Blur Ting said...

We love you Dr Pet. You're such a good teacher.