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Why I Hesitated to Post My Daughter's School Awards Picture

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With the end of the school year in full effect, my Facebook newsfeed is full of images — field trips, field days, award ceremonies and sunny smiles. In years past, my own timeline was dotted with similar images. However, this year, when my daughter returned home with certificates and medals galore, I struggled internally. Should I or shouldn’t I post a picture of her surrounded by all her awards?

Like most parents, I’m proud of my kid’s accomplishments no matter how big or small. But I couldn’t shake my uneasiness about sharing her picture. What about the kids who don’t get an award but are just as deserving? What about their parents? How does it feel to see picture after picture of kids with awards that your kiddo doesn’t have? As a mom of a child with a disability, how will I feel in a few years if I don’t have a picture to share of my child adorned in medals and certificates? And what about other notable accomplishments that ceremonies such as these often tend to overlook?

Sure, I love straight A’s just as much as the next parent, but I love seeing my child stand up for what she believes in more — especially when she is standing alone. The Distinguished Writer Award she earned will find a permanent spot on her bedroom shelf, but I hope what stays with her more is how empowering and good it felt when she made sure everyone was included at recess this year. And her Perfect Attendance plaque — though hard earned — is no more valuable to me than when her younger sister finally mastered walking in her SMOs.

While I’m proud of my kiddo for all the certificates and medals she has earned, I am more proud of the person she is becoming. A person who values kindness over anything else. A young lady who has the confidence to sing in front of the whole class, and after having won the singing contest every year, can graciously accept defeat. A student who finds math challenging but who refuses to give up. An “idea” kinda gal, who writes newspaper articles for a school paper she hopes will come to fruition. A big sister who excitedly cheers on her younger sister — through therapy sessions and with each inchstone gained. An individual who is more than I could ever hope to be.

I did post her picture. And parents, if your kiddo received awards for this school year and you want to post those pictures, do it, and be proud. I know I will be cheering for them. And if your kiddo didn’t receive an award this year, please know that self-confidence, courage, creativity, kindness, empathy, determination, and integrity (to name a few) are more valuable than any piece of paper or a bronze medal could be.

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Thinkstock image by Big Cheese

Originally published: June 6, 2017
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