Dec 12, 2015
We are not your normal Mommy and Daddy when it comes to child rearing. I think we lean heavily towards libertarianism. We are not fans of one-stop state education which in many cases seems to be geared towards circular pegs in circular holes. And what if you have a square peg child? Or a child not quite circular?
I have a love-hate relationship towards awards and certificates for achievement in school. In our little school the awards night is a "compulsory" (love that word) event. So whether or not you meet the criteria and get an award you have to sit through the evening.
Last year Luka was devastated that he did not win an award. He asked why and I said I did not know but let's focus on learning this year and see what happens. He poured his little heart into school this year, did the extra programs and we have read every single night together. He's awesome. But. No award.
When we did not get the school email inviting us to the evening I knew he wasn't getting one. We debated back and forward about sending the kids to the compulsory awards evening (Grace didn't get one either). There's the school of thought that it's life and you need to learn that you don't win all the time. But in fact, as a business owner, my effort is almost always rewarded. If you put the hard work in, you generally DO win. And Luka has put the hard work in but just does not meet whatever the criteria are.
We decided we would empower the children to make the choice. We sat them down after school yesterday and said that they would not be getting awards. And that I did not feel they should have to sit through the night if they did not want to and watch the other kids get awards and certificates. They would miss out on the singing and performance but the choice was theirs.
They both decided they would still go. And we supported them fully in the decision. MJ had a tough conversation with Luka where Luka wanted to know "what he had done wrong" to not get an award. "Was he not smart enough", MJ handled it well and reassured him. As parents with children that don't meet "awards criteria" we need to actively work on self esteem. I won't have my children think believe that they are not successful based on what a classroom says.
Hard lesson but one worth learning now. And a good opportunity to look at how we can teach them resilience and a sense of self-worth.