Monday, 20 November 2017

Push - Report Cards & Parent Teacher Meetings

Last week was report card and parent teacher meeting week.  There weren't too many surprises to us sandwiched in the reports and the meetings, but something did strike me this week.  In talking to other parents around the school yard there is one thing that all of us seem to have in common: the way we try to push our children to be better.

Maybe it's a part of the parental instinct, but it doesn't seem to matter if someone's child is at the top of their class, or just struggling to make it through - everyone I spoke to mentioned nudging their child in a particular direction, academic success.

For the most part this is great.  Who doesn't need a whole cheering section that is hoping for the best for them?  Other times I think about how exhausting it is, for both us and the minions.  Some nights I don't want to practice counting, adding, subtracting, sounding out words, or working on building fine motor skill, and they're only in grade one.  Sometimes  I just want to cuddle my kids and watch cartoons. I want to have tickle fights.  I want to bake cookies together.  I want to make fart noises just so I can hear them giggle.  I can only imagine how 'over' the practicing they are some days.


Molly and dad at Pioneer Village together last weekend


Listening to all of the glowing things the teachers had to say about what sweet, kind, happy and compassionate children I have, it made me take a breath to think about how much more important this is compared to academics.

We spend so much time trying to catch up, trying to push for the next milestone that there's always something that we're reaching for - and it's frustrating. No matter what we do, it seems they don't reach that next goal until they're ready...and when we push too hard it isn't fun for absolutely anyone.  Sure the extra time together practicing helps, but sometimes we need to take our foot off the gas pedal.

I think about the age of my children, born twins in the last third of the year, being held to the exact same academic standards as someone who was born in January, so essentially someone who has 10 percent more "life" experience and "wisdom" as my kids, and how much difference eight months makes in what they can and cannot do at six years old.  This makes me realize that it's time to calm the eff down. They'll get there, eventually, and if not we'll be there beside helping them, hopefully  holding their hands more often than we are pushing them from behind.

Hey parents and adults everywhere: Try to remember to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination....I know I need the reminder more frequently than I'd like to admit.

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