Dirty the paper gently.

Some kids can’t not doodle. Or fidget. Or tap their pencils. What a delight it is when that person has a teacher, parent, or mentor who sees that as a gift rather than a bother.

Like this beautiful story about a kid who tapped, and the principal who recognized the percussionist hidden inside. “You’re not a problem; you’re a drummer.” Can you imagine the difference that one comment made in that young kid’s life?

Or this about the kid who doodled…on walls, and was hired to decorate the walls of a restaurant.

Photo credit: Greg Whale

So much of life is perception, of seeing the promise in the problem. These lucky kids had adults who saw something amazing and unique in them where others may have seen only pests. And that made all the difference. How can we adjust our eyes to see the promise in the problem and encourage those people rather than let them us? How can we be the ones to make that kind of impact on a kid who might be struggling?

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