It’s that time of year when we receive end of the year test results or portfolio reviews stating, in print, how our children are doing. This means excitement for a job well done for some and anxiety for those whose kids did not do so well.
One phase I hear often is, “My child is performing ahead of grade level!” How many times have your heard that phrase uttered in conversations by well-meaning moms? My guess is more often than you can count. As a matter of fact, I too have spoken them publicly a time or two.
Understandably, Moms feel a sense of pride when their child excels and they want to share this good news. Sometimes we share because validation is needed for a job well done. Goodness knows a homeschool mom doesn’t usually get many pats on the back. It’s not likely that the kids will say good job.
I remember times when some of my children did really well and others didn’t. I learned early on how my words, innocent as they were, could cause others to doubt their own ability to teach or their child’s ability to learn. That was troubling to me as that wasn’t my intent.
What happens to the mom who has a child that is not performing at grade level? Their child is well, average or worse below average. The pressure she feels can create anxiety. This internal stress can begin a downward spiral for both the parent and child if not properly thought through.
Here are couple principles to think about regardless of what your child’s results are:
- Learn to rejoice with others, even if your child isn’t doing as well. We don’t want to become so sensitive we can’t celebrate the accomplishments of others without doubting ourselves. This requires a measure of maturity on your part.
- Be thoughtful before you speak. Your validation doesn’t need to come from others. You can rest in knowing your children are doing well. While we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our children we don’t want to do it at the expense of others. Guarding against this shows wisdom.
I know we want to tell the world about our amazing kids but by being slow to speak we can avoid hurting others who might be struggling. When practice these two principles you will also be teaching important life lessons to your children.