Dear Dr. Laura,
I listen to your program everyday and have never felt the need to do anything but say. "Go Dr. Laura!" But this call shocked me. A woman called in about a little girl who was socially awkward and she didn't have her little girl go the birthday party because she had two piano lessons, which seems like a pretty bad excuse.
I have a son who collected people as he grew up, he is now 23 years old and is a traveling musician, out on the road pursuing his passion. He found his self-confidence by helping others at a young age. His first encounter was a boy in the neighborhood who did not have any friends until my son moved into the neighborhood and befriended him. Later in high school, a very nice young guy who was a little overweight, not at all popular, and had the cutest red curly hair wanted to run for student body officer, my son rallied the troops and got him elected. One final example and my favorite, is Jack. Jack wore studs in his mouth had a mohawk and wore leather studded cuffs on his wrists. If you ever got Jack to smile, he was the cutest young man on earth and always addressed me as Ma'am. His parents always knew where he was, he had a curfew, he was just allowed to express himself as long as the rules were followed. He was a solid A student.
Now my son travels 9 months out of the year with his band and has collected people from California to New York and everywhere in between. This lady did a great injustice to her daughter by not letting her gain her own confidence. She will never step outside of the box and be a leader, she will never take a stand and defend someone who is defenseless. I hope I am wrong, but I have witnessed these characteristics are formed at a young age. How great it would be if we gave our kids the confidence to collect people, despite their uniqueness.
Thank you for all you do,