Podcast Episode 13: What Makes Something a Weed?

One person's "weed" is someone else's nutritious food!  What some try to weed out is desirous to others.  When we "weed" out the undesirable behaviors in our children, we may be weeding out what is actually their strength, if encouraged in the right way.  Be careful before you start weeding out that which makes your child their unique self!

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is what makes something a weed? A weed is a noun, meaning a plant that is not valued, where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth, especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.<inaudible>. So one weed that is very common is the dandelion. However,

as you may or may not know, dandelions are edible and not only edible, but really good for you. I've actually even seen them sold at farmer's markets. So some people are growing dandelions, intentionally, and other people see them as a weed that has to be destroyed. Right. We spray them with Roundup, which please don't have you heard the whole Monsanto thing?

Okay. We dig them up. We are trying to destroy the dandelion, but the same thing we're trying to destroy. Someone else values Mint. It's delicious, right? But it can overwhelm a plant area and become considered a weed. And of course the list goes on. Most weeds, if not all are probably desirous to someone they're not just blanket bad plants,

right? There are no bad plants. What does that even mean? So why am I talking about all of this? What does this have to do with anything that I normally talk about? My question to you is what do we treat like weeds in our child's education? What are we trying to weed out and get them to stop doing in favor of more desirous activities,

behaviors, and would that same behavior activity that they're trying to do that we consider a weed? Would that be considered desirous by someone else? Maybe their adult self would actually wish that we had encouraged that foster, that fertilized that, or at least allowed it to grow. One example that I've mentioned before is that my husband got in as a kid for drawing is drawing out video game levels in school.

And the teacher was like, no, you can't do that. You're supposed to be listening to my amazing lesson on math or whatever it was. You can't be drawing. And I think she even said, you're an excellent artist, but right. But dandelions have a place. Mint has a place, but you can't grow here. You can't do that here.

And he, she even took away his notebook until two years later, when his sister had the same teacher and then the notebook was returned. So his drawing was being treated like a weed. But of course, now, if you know the story, he's now a video game designer. Like he does that as a living and enjoys it. And it's,

I wouldn't consider it a weed. Right? He's he has a skill that he has developed and he's really good at what he does, but it was treated like a weed. I have other students who are amazing oral speakers, right? They have so much to say, they're so good at saying it and wording it well, and it can be very persuasive,

but maybe they're told you, shouldn't be talking. It's not time to talk. And they're talking this treated like a weed. Maybe your child is really interested in video games or sports or snails or whatever. And it's not time for that right now, when we're saying it's not time for that right now, we're treating it. Like it's a weed and that it needs to be plucked out because it shouldn't grow here.

This isn't the time or place for it. But when does it, is it given a time in place? We treat it like it's a, if everything else that's important is done, then, then you can have a time in a place for that. And maybe you do genuinely have a good system in place. And if you do kudos to you,

too many of us don't we see a behavior that we don't like, and we want it to stop. And we don't see it through the lens of maybe this is actually valuable. Maybe this is actually a strength of my child or my student. Maybe there is something there that I need to foster and allow to grow. And maybe now really is not appropriate.

Maybe right now, we shouldn't allow that particular thing to happen, but I have to make sure if I'm not allowing it now that I give it a place somewhere else, I've seen some teachers do this with kids who love to tell stories. They'll tell them "right now, I need to give a lesson to everyone. But five minutes before recess, I'm going to have you come and tell me that story."

So those teachers are stopping. Like we can't have story time all the time, but I have a spot in my day that I've carved out for you to tell me that story, to practice that skill, because I do value it. I do value you. I do think that you are important and that your skills are important. And what you're interested in is important.

And that can make such a world of difference. Now, the teachers that say, Oh, tell me about it later. And the kid tries, it's like now, right now, now right now, tell me later, tell me later, if they're never given that chance to actually tell the story, then they're given the message that their skills, their interests,

they themselves are weed are not valuable. So we have to be very careful because most of the time, the things that we're trying to weed out would not be considered weeds by someone. They are desirous. If we can see the beauty in them, we can see the benefit of them. So what are you going to let grow today? Let me know at Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com.

I can't wait to hear from you.



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