Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Do you have a kids who is a "non-conformist"?
As we head into the new school year, here are some things to consider.
Every so often, I get a swift kick from the "powers of the universe" -- this was one of those weeks.
2. it was my used-to-be-rule-breaking son's birthday, and
3. I had a call from a concerned parent about her son - who had a difficult year in school along the same lines.
The common thread? All three were, in a round-about way, about kids not being "successful" according to the norms.
And this is what I have to say about that:
When anyone asks how my "kids" (in quotes because they are grown) are doing, my standard answer is "Within normal limits. But my box is big and my lines are squiggly."
It seems that the more some are championing the rights of people to be "different", the smaller our boxes get. Our definitions of "different" are circumscribed.
For education, the markers are clear and seem to be set in stone - the process is not considered, only the final product. An "A" is good, "B" may be acceptable. "C" is average (OMG! not average! - one of the worst things you can tell a parent is that their child is average). Nothing else will do. "D's or "F's" - Oh the horror!
Here's the thing. Grades don't measure creativity, sensitivity, resiliency, motivation, curiosity, personality, humor, enthusiasm, self-awareness, empathy, compassion, leadership, resourcefulness, and a host of other qualities needed to excel in life.
You cannot look at someone and tell how old they were when they first walked. Nor can you tell what grade they got on any test they took in elementary school.
In order to build confidence and self-esteem in our children, we need to stop shining the spotlight on what's "wrong" and celebrate their accomplishment. Step back and let your kids take more responsibility for their schoolwork. Setting up good habits early will follow them throughout their school career - and end a ton of arguments.
Let's hear it for the kids who color outside the box.
Let's widen our boxes and squiggle our lines a little more. Let's celebrate and nurture our kid's inherent qualities, not just grades. Education is a process, not a product. Our children are not finished products but, rather, works in progress.
And, like my son, they just might surprise you and grow into confident, happy, successful adults.
"So what am I supposed to do when I see their grades are slipping or not up to par?" you ask. "Am I just suppose to sit back and watch them fail?"
It's natural to want to help your kids get good grades - but it's hard to know how much and when, and how to help. Baby steps make a difference. Start by setting aside a specific time for them to do homework and make them responsible for getting it done. No other activities - TV, electronics, phone, etc. - until it's done. Be close by but busy with your own work during this time. If they ask for help - ask questions and listen to their answers.
In about two weeks time, you'll notice a marked difference in the way homework gets done in your house.
So, is your kid the perfect student or do you have a rule breaker? Where does he/she excel? How big is your box? I'd love to hear from you.
EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS IN THE WORKS:
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Mary ... laid the foundation for establishing powering tools that allow my daughter to be the confident girl she is today. As parents, we can't do this alone. We need more teachers like her coaching and guiding our kids and igniting
confidence so that they will achieve success, not only academically but in all aspects of their lives." YSENIA D'AVILA
Mary Kerwin is an expert in helping kids to develop the confidence and
self-esteem skills they need to thrive now, and grow into happy, confident, successful adults.
She is an educator, and a certified integrative coach. Her life's work has been in Education, spending more than 40 years in the classroom. Her mission is to help children recognize their value and develop to their fullest potential. She's committed to helping each child shine their brightest.