Monday, March 1, 2010

Talking Them Down

Today's reading is on the Belittling Tongue.  Boy does this hit home.  I'm the kind of mom who knows her children are capable of great things, so when their grade is a B, my first inclination is to ask why they didn't get an "A".  I don't mean to belittle their B.  In asking them, I want to know whether the lower grade is a product of not understanding the material fully or lack of diligence.  However, the children shared with me that this makes them feel like they can never 'measure up.'

In our school district the teachers send mid-term grade reports via e-mail. My tactic now is to forward them to the appropriate child's e-mail and ask if they need any assistance in understanding material. The onus is on them to respond appropriately. As a parent, I want them to be always diligent and always excellent.  Also as a parent, I recognize that they have to learn the consequences of their choices of how to spend their time. At this point (ages 15 and 13), we've taught them everything they need to know about how to employ good study habits and good time management. It's up to them.  Can I say that honestly, it's killing me letting go of this control?

Ah well, at least they don't feel belittled anymore.


quilly said...

This is a hard place to be. You want your kids to do well. You want them to receive all the help they need. And they perceive any questions as attacks. Been there as a teen and as a grown up.

Susan at Stony River said...

I was raised by parents who expected all As. Trouble was, it was possible for me to disappoint their expectations, but never possible for me to exceed them. I could fail, but never triumph. it was a lot of pressure, and depressing.

I'm sure *now* that if my parents knew how it felt, things would have been different. Your kids are lucky they can share with you, and that you listen!