How All Kids Are Amazing


The other day, I read a parenting article in which the author said that parents can love their kids too much. I told my daughter Imogen about this and she was horrified: “You can never love a child too much!”

I wonder what the author meant by love. Maybe he thinks parents give their kids the idea they are something special, and then they go out into the world and discover they aren’t quite as wonderful as they have been led to believe.

I shared this idea with Imogen and she said, “If a parent doesn’t believe in a child, who will?”

I think we can love a child without giving her the impression she is perfect. It’s knowing she is loved, despite her imperfections, that encourages a child to become the person she is meant to be. An atmosphere of love can work miracles.

So I’m not holding back on the love. I believe in my kids. I let them know that I’m their number one fan. They are amazing people with amazing talents or qualities. They will change the world. Of course, they might do this in a very quiet way. Or like our son, Thomas, who died some years ago, they will do it in an unexpected way. Yes, sometimes kids don’t actually have to ‘do’ something to be amazing. Thomas and our friend, Michael are changing people’s lives just because of who they are.

My kids are amazing. Yours are too. All kids are amazing. If only we look at our children in the right way, we can see how unique and special each one is. (And if we can’t, perhaps we haven’t yet let go of our own ideas and expectations.)

In this week’s episode, I talk about how all our kids are amazing. I also discuss the following questions:

  • Should we praise our children?
  • Should we share their achievements with others?
  • Do the words ‘planning’ and ‘organisation’ have a place in unschooling? (I’m not talking about record keeping!)

I also tell a few stories.

  • There’s the one about a very excited dog and a kangaroo.
  • I have another about a weird woman who talks to herself.
  • And I tell you how we’re going to be spending Christmas here in Australia.

I hope you’ll listen to my last podcast of the year!

Podcast Notes

Blog posts



My Youtube channel: Sue Elvis


60’s Quiz Show by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)

Images: The photos of Gemma-Rose were taken last Christmas. Should I tell her how my heart flips over with love whenever I look at her? Or should I keep her guessing?

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    • Vicky
    • December 14, 2015

    This was an inspiring and uplifting podcast, Sue. If Gus had seen a kangaroo, he would have jumped into our arms for protection! I'm glad you didn't lose Nora. You must have been relieved to get home, after that run.

    Do you have any ideas for how you'll organise yourself? I'm not sure if I missed it when I was listening, but I'd be interested in any ideas you have for getting organised and being productive with our passions. Sometimes, I find it's easier to have dreams than to fulfil them.

    It's nice to hear your voice, as always xxx

    1. Reply


      I think Gus would be very sensible jumping into your arms! I imagine if Nora ever caught up to a kangaroo she would come off second best. That always happens when she tries to catch a cat!

      How am I going to organise myself? I try and write all my ideas down in a notebook so I don't forget them. There's always the temptation to leave an unfinished project and run with the new idea, but if I've made a note of it, I can come back to it later. There are so many wonderful things I could be doing. I need to decide which things are a priority and leave the other ones for later. Trying to do too many things at once always leads to disaster. Maybe Sophie needs to decide which are the most important things and concentrate on those, and then come back to the other ones later.

      Sophie has no problem motivating herself to work. She just needs to be better organised. But I sometimes don't get started on anything even when I have the time to work. I put off beginning. And sometimes I feel uninspired. It's inspiring to read about other creative people and their habits. I sometimes read Todd Henry's blog and I have a couple of his books:

      I also read James Clear's blog:

      Thank you so much for listening!

  1. Reply

    I agree with your thoughts about praise, and I appreciate how you tied it to responsibility to nurture and use a talent wisely. I think that some kinds of praise are so performance or achievement based that kids either feel like failures if they aren't the best or cause kids to not be satisfied with quieter outcomes or talents…almost in a narcissistic way. I think there is a way to praise and believe in your kids that nurtures them in healthy ways and you've hit upon it. Thanks.

    1. Reply


      Oh yes, praise is a difficult area. I'm so glad I made a bit of sense as I talked. Sometimes I get muddled as I explore various thoughts! I love how we can share ideas, discuss and learn from each other. Thank you for listening to my podcast!

    • Wendy
    • December 15, 2015

    Fun podcast, Sue! I'm glad you've kept up podcasting!

    It really is so important that we are supportive of our kids. I had a friend whose mother was a teacher, and she was tired of all those parents who were sure their child was special and wonderful, so she decided that she would never be that way with her own children. She always told her children that they were perfectly ordinary.

    They weren't, of course. In reality they are special and wonderful.

    I hadn't thought about this for a while, but there is a second chapter to this story. That mother was a friend of my dear MIL, and told her about this philosophy. My MIL was horrified, but couldn't change her friend's mind, so she decided to have the kids over as much as possible, and to show them how special and wonderful they were. She became a second mom for them, and they(in their 40s)still called her "mom" and looked to her for help and encouragement.

    Thanks again for the podcast!

    1. Reply


      I am so glad you shared the story of your MIL and her frend's children. Your MIL must have been a wonderful person, very loving, and sensitive to the needs of others. It sounds like she made a huge difference in her younger friends' lives. Yes, your MIL changed the world in her own special way!

      Maybe the teacher was afraid she might give her children the impression they are better than everyone else if she praised them. We all need to feel we are special but have a sense of humility about it at the same time. This is why I love sharing other people's achievements as well as those of my children. We can be happy for everyone, whatever their talents. Also, it's good to realise where our talents come from and acknowledge the people who have helped us develop them.

      I always enjoy chatting with you. You might have guessed I was imagining you listening as I recorded this episode, and you are one of the friends I thanked for their support. Thank you so much for your encouragement with my podcasting. I've enjoyed making the episodes and, although I'm looking forward to a break, I'm also keen to make some new episodes in the New Year.

  2. Reply

    This really struck a chord with me Sue. It really made me reflect on some issues that have been bothering me recently. My Mum wasn't the loving and encouraging type – something that has had a big impact on me. I find myself wondering sometimes if I am too much like her with my own kids? Am I too distant, distracted, cold? You are so right about our children being talented, wonderful people and perhaps I need to work on how much praise I really give them.
    As for playing down praise from others when it is given, yes I am guilty of that too. People constantly compliment our children on their behaviour, maturity, talents and so many things. Sometimes I will agree with them and then felt that I've been bragging, other times I will say something more negative. Need to find more balance there I think.
    Midnight Mass is not something we have achieved yet, but look forward to as the children grow. Tomorrow we are going to a dawn Mass and can't wait for that.
    I'm not great with ideas, so I'm sorry if I haven't had enough input into your future podcasts. I certainly hope the break will help you with fresh ideas, as I enjoy listening so much!
    Merry Christmas to you all and God bless you.
    P.S. Gemma is working on a story to send to Gemma-Rose but obviously didn't finish in time for Christmas, so apologies to Gemma-Rose!

    1. Reply


      Perhaps we all worry too much about the possibility of making our kids conceited. They could think they are better than everyone else, so we hold back on the praise. Maybe they need to hear us praise other people too, taking delight in everyone's achievements. It's good to share each other's joys where we can compliment and accept compliments in a sincere and gracious way.

      I never went to Midnight Mass when our chidren were younger (or the Easter Vigil!) though my husband and older kids have been going for many years. They'd go to sing with the choir and then come with me to Mass again on Christmas Day. But for the last 3 or 4 years we've all been able to celebrate Mass together at midnight which I love. Children's needs always come first, but things change as they grow, as you said. I bet dawn Mass was just as beautiful as Midnight Mass. A wonderful way to start Christmas Day!

      I appreciate your encouragement with my podcasts. I've been thinking about topics. Probably some of the writing ideas that readers left on another post could be turned into podcasts too. Or I could redo some old posts as podcasts. And then things just happen in our days which might spark ideas for things to talk about. I'm sure I'll find enough to say when I start podcasting again after the New Year. I'm glad you like listening. Thank you so much for letting me know.

      Gemma-Rose is looking forward to hearing from Gemma. A new story? That will be a real treat!

      I hope you're enjoying Christmas with your family. May God bless you too!

  3. Reply

    Hi Sue. I agree that it is pretty cool to put your voice onto an electronic "thingamajig" and it can be broadcast all over the world! It even reached me in Oklahoma, United States. Whether or not you decide to continue with the podcast, know that there are people listening! I do. I have only listened to about 7 or 8 of your podcasts, but I have learned quite a lot from you, and I enjoy your sweet voice. There is something very soothing about it. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to record these, and writing your blogs. I know I will enjoy continuing to catch up on more of your work.

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for your beautiful and encouraging comment! I am definitely going to record some new podcasts. I'm so glad you enjoy them. It's summer here in Australia and my school teacher husband is home for the long annual holiday. It's been a good time to relax and spend time with my family. I had a couple of weeks break from blogging and this gave me fresh enthusiasm to write new posts. I've got some new podcast ideas too. Maybe it's time to plan out my first episode for 2016!

      Thank you so much for reading my posts and listening to my podcasts. I appreciate your kind words. I'm glad you stopped by!

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