“You should send her to school,” or why I decided to excise the word “should” from my vocabulary


My son was a socially awkward, people-hating three-, four-, and five-year-old. The reason we didn’t do preschool and then kindergarten with him was chiefly because being in a room full of people for 15 minutes was torture for him. What people said:

“You *should * send him to school, it will be good for him–he needs that kind of interaction.”

My daughter was and is a social butterfly. She’s one of those high EQ people that are innately skilled at building connections and relationships. After her first day of music class, when she talked about the class, she introduced each child by name and with a connection to herself. “Billy has blue eyes, just like me. Anna’s grandmother brought her to class, just like Babi brought me to class. Alex has a big sister–I have a big brother. How she managed to find the time in a structured 45 minute class to collect a personal dossier on each of her 12 classmates… but I digress. Important point: social butterfly).

What people said:

“You *should* send her to school, it will be so good for her―she needs that interaction.”

And that’s when I decided to permanently excise the word *should* from my vocabulary. Especially if preceded by the word “you.”

Don’t always succeed. But I keep on trying…


Say something. Or, you know, don't. But then I'll never know what it is you were thinking...

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