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Becoming


An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the ...
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Discuss Becoming by Michelle Obama:
Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

Created: 01/01/19

Replies: 10

Posted Jan. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2225

Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

In thinking about the students who acted out in her second-grade classroom, Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed in your own community? How do you make the children in your life feel valued?


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 103

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

No, I experienced the opposite. My parents demonstrated repeatedly how much they loved and valued me and they made sure to surround me with strong, positive teachers and experiences. I’ve done the same for my son, niece and nephew and their friends. By carefully listening and modeling respect and freedom to choose, I think you give people the greatest gift.


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 131

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

One of the most impactful quotes in "Becoming" is "failure is a feeling long before it's an actual result." This is not only true for young people whose views of their opportunities are restricted by the oppression of their environments but for individuals in more encouraging environments who create limitations in their own minds. It reminds me of the value of the mind in helping us live life to the fullest - just knowing what the possibilities are. Perhaps that is the greatest role of adults and other mentors, to share all that is available in our big wide world and encourage others to go for whatever strikes their passions.


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 43

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

I agree that children are very aware when they don't have set and clear expectations. I have witnessed this in school many times. (I am now a retired teacher) Mrs. Obama was very lucky that her mother was supportive, and listened to her, and would address any issues with the teachers in school.


Posted Jan. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 76

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

I am an educator with over thirty years in public education. I think that what she says about children feeling valued or devalued is so true.
I have seen parents with little financial resources do a fabulous job of installing value in their children and have seen parents of all financial spheres manage to devalue their children.
A lot of what this is about is exposure to quality at any age.


Posted Jan. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorianbc

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 33

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

Absolutely. As an educator as well I see students on a daily basis struggle with this, individually and culturally. As a society we devalue whole groups of people.


Posted Jan. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 68

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

Yes, I have seen this, especially in recent years. It is so sad to watch. I have seen children with so much to offer, but because they do not receive the sense of value they deserve, they never get to their full potential. A loss of all of us.


Posted Jan. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 262

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

I have seen this in others. It was not the case with my upbringing. It is very sad to see a child afraid to speak out or feel that they can make a contribution.


Posted Jan. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 106

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

This statement is very true. As a teacher, I always tried to challenge my students. There is a saying "A man's reach should exceed his grasp." In order to reach our potential, we need challenges, support, nurturing, and self confidence. Anything less devalues us and unfortunately this mindset often cannot be changed.


Posted Jan. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
A.T.

Join Date: 03/04/18

Posts: 10

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

After reading this in the book, I had a flashback to my own childhood. I was a shy, quiet, girl. I only spoke when spoken to, even though it wasn't because I was taught that. My first grade teacher took my lack of participation in class as an indication that I was slow and dull. At a parent-teacher conference, she expressed to my parents that I was a nice girl, but would always be just average, and not to expect more from me. My dad was absolutely insulted and said to her, "No child of mine is just average!" And, in a step that probably wasn't characteristic of the time period (1970s), my parents came home and told me what she had said. And this stuck with me all through school, as a straight A student in high school, an honors student in college and graduating in the top of my class in graduate school.

The teacher was wrong in making that assumption. She didn't bother to get to know me enough to know that I was an avid reader, and begged my mom to go to the library several times a week. She didn't bother to get to know me enough to know that I loved to write and that I wrote in a diary every day. Her assumption maybe caused me to strive a little harder to be more outgoing and participate. But I already had the academic motivation to do my best. What her comment did was hit me where it hurt the most, at my self-esteem.

I am so grateful that my parents were honest with me back then and didn't shield me from her negative comments. But I have to wonder had I not had supportive parents and my own will, what would have happened to me. I learned early on that words can hurt and that the hurt can last.


Posted Feb. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathrynb

Join Date: 09/11/14

Posts: 12

RE: Mrs. Obama writes, "Kids know at a very young age when they're being devalued." Is this a dynamic you've witnessed?

As a teacher I have witnessed students being judged on the negative qualities of an older sibling. My philosophy is that you are unique. Your qualities are what matter to me not your brother or sister. Amazingly when you install pride in a child he or she will often achieve beyond anyone's expectations.


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