Growing up I was a people-pleaser and desired perfection when it came to my grades in school. Thankfully, my parents did not focus on my grades or homework much at all resulting in less stress as I naturally was anxious about my school work. I was trusted to handle my homework on my own with the occasional assistance for larger harder projects.
Unknowingly, my parents spoke the words repeatedly to me that I needed to hear. As a child I often fretted that I had missed homework or did something wrong. In order to calm me, my mother would repeatedly tell me that as long as I did my best, she would be proud of me. I was not asked to get A’s, I was not asked to be perfect, but I was asked to do my best.
I am now raising a mini-me. My daughter wants to please us desperately, and it is difficult for her to admit to us when she is struggling with school work. I am finding myself repeating the words of my mother and another lesson I learned growing up in school.
Here are some things we tell our daughter frequently:
School is a place to learn. We have found that when our daughter does not understand something immediately, she shuts down and wants to give up. We have had multiple talks about how there are many things in life, including school work, that may take more than one try to understand the concept. It is okay to get things wrong as long as she continues to make effort to understand. School is a time to learn even if it means getting some things wrong.
We do not expect perfection, just her best. We continue to assure our daughter as long as she strives for her best, we will be happy. We do not want her fretting or struggling with anxiety with trying to achieve perfection. Life is full of flaws.
We want to her to have time to be a kid. We are thankful to be a school that has not pushed too much homework allowing time to be a family after school as well as time to play.
We want her to enjoy learning. I personally did not really enjoy learning until the last several years. The internet has awakened a joy of learning by placing resources at my finger tips to learn about most anything. We re-inforce that learning is fun, learning is life-long and point out the ways that we use the things she is learning in school in our everyday lives. We show her how we use fractions for cooking, math daily for simple tasks and proper English to sound smart in emails and blogs. Sometimes knowing what you are doing serves a purpose can make it easier to continue to the task at hand.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.