The Average Child

10 04 2013

average child
What’s good about being average? Is it a problem if a child isn’t the smartest or fastest? What if a child works harder than most and is—well—average?

From a teacher’s perspective, I viewed those students as precious jewels. They often possessed a silent humility, were quiet leaders, and exuded refreshing charm. Their goal wasn’t to outdo others, but to support and encourage peers. Qualities not often celebrated.

This is not to say that talented and academically superior students can’t display those qualities. Nor is it to say that all children who are average demonstrate those special character traits.

In my experience, however, many students who are average play supportive roles. They may have satisfactory academic performance and age-appropriate abilities in music or sports. But, their very presence in a classroom is an asset. These low-maintenance, selfless children enhance their community of learners. They demonstrate respect, determination, and diligence.

It seems that the average child goes unnoticed. The misbehaved student demands attention. The struggling learner gets help. Exceptional children receive accolades.

Students who excel academically receive awards. Superior athletes, gifted musicians, and talented artists get trophies.

What awards are there for the average child? There are no categories for extraordinary character. Where’s the award for a child who is compliant, supportive, attentive, thoughtful, helpful, pleasant, reliable, and considerate?

Why are no awards bestowed on such children? Surely, God is well-pleased with them. The Bible is full of exhortations to love others. That’s precisely where many average children shine.

Here’s to kids with fine character! And to their parents who teach them by example!

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