Our Weekly Message for September 29, 2004

Greetings special friends,

We have just returned from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to see the beautiful new facility for the Santa Fe Dance Festival, March 12, 2005. The arena at Santa Fe High School is the largest in the state and will seat over 7,000 spectators. We are elated at the opportunity to move into this new facility for 2005.

Here are some thoughts for the day:

"We are the only creatures that both laugh and weep. I thin kit's because we are the only creatures that see the difference between the way things are and the way they might be. Tears bring relief. Laughter brings release." Robert Fulghum, writer
"The brighter you are, the more you have to learn."
Don Herold (1889-1966), humorist
"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.
Jim Rohn, motivational speaker
"Remember: Your life intersects with the lives of many others -- sometimes, as in this tale, with the same people, yet different situations. Take care that you don't damage a bridge before you have to cross it."
Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal, Adam's Media Corporation (adapted from Small Miracles)

If you have ever been in a situation that you are trying to sort out the lyrics of a song, you can always visit www.songlyrics.com. This might save you from a disaster if you are planning music for pep rally or contests coming up ahead. It would be a good web site to bookmark for future reference.

Many of you are in the midst of football season and attending games. Some of you that are part of a dance/drill team program will be planning ahead to a successful contest season. Below is an article that can apply to any competitive program or parent with a child in a sport or dance/drill team. It is important to realize that "life is not always fair" (rule #2 from Mina's 2 1/2 Rules of Life).

I hope you enjoy the article. Please continue to keep in touch. I really enjoy hearing from each of you.

Joyce E. Pennington
President, CEO
American Dance/Drill Teamฎ


by Joyce E. Pennington

In observing the trends of today's youth and their parents, I have found that over the past ten years a trend has formed. Some parents have a true 'phobia' of allowing their children to experience disappointment or defeat in any form. Instead of scolding a small child for doing something wrong, the parent will just "distract" the child with a toy or treat and never correct them. If the tears ever come, the parent becomes almost desperate to avoid the child's disappointment.

As the child is older and goes into high school programs and activities, some parents have accelerated this method to the point where the teachers and administrators are "always wrong" and the child is "always right." Instead of helping the child as they are hoping to do, the damage begins to multiply and life skills are tossed out the window. By the time they go away to college or seek a career, and they realize they are not in control of the situation, they are ready to quit and try something else.

I have observed this exact situation when my oldest son went to the University of Texas. His roommate was a successful student in high school as senior class President, as well as graduating cum laude. When he arrived at UT, he was helpless in that his mother had always done everything for him including cooking, washing clothes and buying any necessities. After three weeks of not waking up for classes, he cried to my son to, "Please throw cold water on me to make me get up!". He had no furniture in his room and did not know how to go out and look for it because he had never had to do anything for himself. By the end of the semester, he had dropped out of school and went back home. The next semester he registered at SMU and lived at home. He graduated with honors in three years, only because his mother would wake him every morning for classes, iron his clothes and cook for him. Even though he was a brilliant young man, he was helpless to function without someone else's help.

As a parent, it is so difficult to see our children disappointed. We know that we have the control to put them in a 'glass cage' and shield them from so much. Unfortunately, we are not helping them with the life skill values that they so desperately need. What is more valuable to our children is learning how to cope, make adjustments, and compromise? Learn how to be a 'team player' and sacrifice so that the group does better. They need to realize that not everything is always equal and if it is unequal, it is not necessarily unfair. It is LIFE. Students today are eager to have restrictions and guidelines for their lives. It is a challenge that they can meet and learn.

As a parent and educator, I challenge the parents of today to reevaluate their approach to their children NOW, before it is too late. Help them to cope with adversity by allowing them to problem solve with you. Teach them that not always do things work out as planned. Encourage them to set short term and long term goals and know that they are not always automatically achieved.

Remind them that when "God closes a door, He opens a window." There will always be something good for everyone who is honest, works hard and treats everyone with fairness and respect. As teachers and educators, we need to emphasize these same values to our students and try not to make them 'robots' who cannot make their own wise decisions. These are the values that will make it a better world for all.


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Copyright ฉ 2006

Photos courtesy of Curtain Call Costumesฉ 2007 Simone Associates
Curtain Call Costumes is the official provider for the ADTSฎ Staff & Jr/Sr All Americanฎ Team.
Be sure to visit their website at www.curtaincallcostumes.com