I just want my children to be happy!
I have to say Tekkani, I am pleased you are not my father, because whatever I did wouldnt ever be good enough would it?
So what if she came last in the race and she tried her bloody best! You are saying it isnt good enough? I think you need to learn a valuable lesson and quicksmart. A child is NOT perfect or even good at everything. IMO ALL children will excel at something in the lifetime, be it PE, maths, English, science etc etc, but I honestly dont know of one child that is perfect at everything. I think you will get a very rude awakening one day.
I hope for your daughters sake you realise this sooner rather than later as well.
FTR I have been reading through this for the last 5 minutes and have found you to be patronising and condescending, and we dont work like that here!
Yeah, cos I iz moderate and restrained and articulate, innit !
I got good results at GCSE level... all A's, couple of them starred... and a B. The grades were better than were predicted.
A close family member's response was 'what happened with the B?'
My opinion is that praise would have been better in that situation... because that 'not good enough' attitude was hurtful.
The average person doesn't know they are average and so doesn't realise there is anything wrong with being average. You need to be above average to known that there is an average and that you're not it.
I used to come last in ALL the races at Sports Day. It was partly because I am rubbish at sports, and partly because I could not be bothered. I'd rather be in the library. My parents never said anything about it, probably because they weren't terribly bothered about it either.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being pushy or wanting more for our kids than we had. Whether that's opportunities or skills or a better job or standard of education. From my understanding of the OP - it comes across as suggesting that some parents rely solely on schools to provide the biggest source of education for their children. ANd as most of us on here don't subscribe to that given what i've read, there really isn't an argument or debate to be had.
I've come across parents who can't read or write, who live on benefits and are financially bereft - who think it's ok to live like this and provide no other encouragement for their children, who think it's ok to let their children achieve as little as they have done. ANd that is what needs addressing. The never ending cycle of mediocrity and assuming that you don't have to amount to anything in life. The idea that if a child fails in school it's nothing to do with their parents but all to do with how the school has failed them and the system has failed them and so on and so forth.
I've also met parents who strive to ensure their children don't end up as they have, financially bereft with little hope of scrabbling out of it - and those parents deserve medals. The parents' I've come across who care about their children and their education, their prospects and their futures. Who realise that it's not all down to schools and that a vast amount of education is life itself and what they can do for their kids. The parents who will do their utmost for their children and encourage them to be 'better than average' and escape the cycle of poverty.
I've heard of children who get to secondary school unable to tell the time - not because they're thick, but because no-one bothered to teach them, kids who can't read or spell or write - not because the school has failed them, but because their home life hasn't supported their education, because parents think it's the school's responsibility to teach them everything and anything.
I'm not talking about the loved, nourished, well looked after children of posters on this forum, who take time out to learn with and teach their children, who support homework and reading and do their utmost for their kids. Or the parents that need extra support for their SEN children, It's the parents who rely on the education system to educate wholly, who don't boost their kids learning at school with learning at home in whatever way you do it. Parents on this forum I'm sure are always teaching their children even if it's unrealised. Parents who are grasping their children's potential and running with it. Those aren't the people at the crux of the argument as I see it. It's the ones who allow their children to be taken into the system unquestioningly and think nothing more about it because it's the schools job to 'educate'
Which is why I think education is a whole life learning process - not just facts and figures and what you can pick up in school, it's the whole family that teaches a child, education in the school system is just an added extra that we need to make the most of. education is a luxury that we ought to embrace because for the most part it's free and offers freedom - and it's everyone's responsibility to teach children to the best of their abilities not just the systems.
In my opinion, it's more important to ensure that your children develop good emotional and mental health from a young age, than to teach them school skills before they go to school/get to school age. Of course every parent wants their child to be successful, but being happy is more important, as success won't make you happy if you're not happy inside. Having the ability to cope with stress, to see failure as feedback rather than as a label, to have a sense of inner worth that isn't dependent on them having achieved x, y and z, and to be able to put in the hard work that will enable them to succeed even when the going gets tough, are the tools to success throughout education, and will help a child to realise their potential in life as well as in education. I think it's this that makes the difference between a pushy parent and an encouraging one. A pushy parent keeps on pushing the child to achieve things and do things without enough regard for their emotional and mental wellbeing, whereas an encouraging parent will try to ensure that the child is happy and internally motivated in their activities (educational or extra curricular).
About praise - a quote I read a few years back - "no-one ever sat in a counsellor/psychologist's office and complained that their parents gave them too much praise, encouragement, time or attention." Praising a child isn't lying. If your two year old child's finger painting looks like a mess, it's still a lovely picture because they made it. Praising is saying "well done" or "that's a lovely picture" - no-one is advocating telling a child that their finger painting is better than the Mona Lisa, but saying "well done" and "that's wonderful" doesn't mean that. If your child tried hard and came last, that's still worthy of praise becuase they tried hard, and it's not lying to give unconditional praise when a child hasn't succeded. Helping them to see their lack of success as feedback can come a bit later on (with children who are old enough to understand what you're getting at), and can be done in a helpful, constructive and encouraging way without making them feel like a failure.
Most of the points Tekkani is making I agree with, but I would rephrase it slightly: ensuring that a child is getting an education that suits their needs, AND that they are happy and functioning well in the school/educational environment, is the parent's responsibility. If you send your child to school (as opposed to home educating) then you also have a responsibility to work with and support the school, and ensure that if there are any problems that you either work with the school to deal with them, or if the school isn't doing their part to help your child, to kick up a stink about it. But do bear in mind that not every parent knows where to start with some educational issues, and where one person might see a parent who isn't doing anything proactive about their child's education as shirking a responsiblity - others might see someone who needs advice and support themselves about how to help their child get their needs met at school. (and this forum is a good place to get that kind of advice and support!)
Well that got a lot better during the time I went out!
Just in my quick defense (though I realise it isn't needed), I am very praising and encouraging of my child, I just hate the idea of praising something which isn't deserving of praise (which a great many parents I have met do). The example of the painting is a fine one; the child draws a 'picture' which may or may not be decipherable, of course you praise them but you do it honestly. You say things like 'That's the best picture you've done so far' and 'I really like what you've done making the sun all pink' or whatever, but you shouldn't say 'that's an amazing drawing, you could be an artist' when that isn't the case because it's just a lie, no matter how rose-tinted your glasses may be. For the record, my daughter thinks I'm a great father (if I'm to believe her) and those who meet us in person often comment positively about my fathering. If I come across as an asshole pushy parent, it's because I'm giving my views without the tempering they would necessarily have in real life. For an example, we just went out with my little girl's new scooter (which she can't ride) and she had a valiant go at scooting around. I told her she did great, because she did, and I told her she was much better than last time, because she was. I didn't tell her she was about to win any scootering races because, well, she's not. Simples.
What I do like in the recent posts, and find very encouraging is the quote about no one ever complaining about getting too much encouragement. I'd never thought about that, but it seems so obviously true.
Anyway, this conversation seems more on track, I'll read what comes next with interest.
Good to see you're taking on board the comments about being condescending...
WTF was condescending in that post? Christ, is everyone here so touchy?
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