A few things on my mind

You need to work twice as hard to have half of what they have

Posted on: December 3, 2013

Yesterday my husband and I went to my daughter’s awards evening – by invitation only and siblings had to be left behind. Poor Pompies he missed out on seeing his sister on stage, but probably would have caused a fuss – he is her biggest fan. While the invitation means that your child will be receiving an award, the school does not specify which award the child will be receiving.

This meant that every category mentioned we had to pay extra attention and wait with baited breath that our child will be called forth to receive her due praise.  If you know anything about my husband – this was pure torture. Especially because the first two categories his child did not feature. The first category was 100+ merit awards, these awards encourage good behaviour and the last time I counted  she was on 50+, I had no hope of her winning. Two reasons really, she is my daughter so had she been awarded for good behaviour it would be like “Apple falling far from the tree” and secondly she is 7 years old any child that behaves that well at that age, raises my eyebrows.  Then there was the 100% attendance – this award is for all those kids that never missed a day of school.  My husband however was again puzzled when his daughter did not win – and he is the same guy who some days tells her to stay at home because she is tired.  So past the school choir “singing” we came to the second part of the ceremonies.

I am proud to say that my daughter won 2 gold certificates and one trophy (all for academic excellence) yes I brag. Then she received a gold medal for best performance in hockey in her age group – again I am bragging. The one downer for her was when they awarded the best speller in her grade. She had come second out of 100 children in her grade (Grade 1), she lost in the last round – it was a tie between her and this boy and she got one word wrong and he consequently won. She was devastated, she cannot fail.

My daughter cannot deal with failure – she has in her own words said “Mommy I cannot fail”. While I too am very competitive and believe nothing is worth doing if you are not going to give it your all, and maybe I have gone around and said there is no room for failure but have I now created a monster?

I know this girl that I went to high school with, she was captain of this, head of that and leader of this and beauty queen 5 years running (or something ridiculous like that) – you know the ones ‘most likely to succeed’. I met her a few years ago and she had not turned out as expected. I don’t want my child to turn out like that.  I don’t want that by the time she needs to kick it into gear that she has lost the the need to achieve. 

I am not sure if I am putting too much pressure on her – will there be more damage done to her than good? What is a fair balance between striving for excellence and just putting children under pressure?

I am comforted by the fact that for now her idea of a celebration was a meal from McDonalds and I must buy her a toy – which she will get to pick herself. So keeping an eye on things – watching what and how I say things….again being responsible for these little people is hard.

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1 Response to "You need to work twice as hard to have half of what they have"

We are so proud of Kagi! She takes after her Mom.

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