Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thoughts From My Five Year Old

My five-year old is quite the guy. He's so bright. I mean, that's not just mom talk. He's really smart. He gets that from his daddy.  He also thinks very deeply about things. That he gets from his daddy, too.  In fact, about the only thing he gets from me is his looks. ;)  Take his first K5 report card, for example. He came home with A+'s in every single area . . . except penmanship. He had an A- in penmanship (Or Writing, Neatness is how it was labeled on the report card).

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Well, when he and I were discussing his report card and I was explaining the grades to him, I told him that an A+ is the best possible grade he could get. And that I was so proud of him.  He looked at it for a moment and then said, "Is an A- not the best?" I said, "Well, no, it's not the best, but it's better than a B." To which, he just thought about it for a minute and then continued to question me. I explained to him that I was super proud of his A-, but that if he thought he could do better, then he should go for it, practice writing more neatly and try for that A+ next time.

I thought it was over. Little did I know that he was still mulling it over.  Three days later at dinner, the husband and I were discussing who the Baby Bean may end up taking after. My Little Guy acts exactly like his daddy.  My Little Miss is not only my mini me in looks, but also in attitude.  So, I mentioned that it would be interesting if this next one were a combination. 

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That's when my Little Guy piped up.

"But you don't want him to be like me, right?  I mean, because I don't write very well.  I only got an A- in writing."

My heart plummeted for my poor boy.  I immediately assured him that I'd be thrilled if this baby were exactly like him because he's smart and kind and thoughtful.  Then I had to spend a few more minutes explaining that his grades on his report card were wonderful.

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This is my first venture into the world of grades with my children.  It's hard to know as a mom when to say, "What you're doing is perfectly fine" and when to say, "You can do better!"  I want to push my kids to be the absolute best they can be.  And I don't want them to settle for mediocrity.  I know he's capable of big things and I want to see him do those big things.

So, where do you draw the line?  How do you handle your children's grades?  If you've got a really bright kid, do you try to push them even harder? Or do you let them slide and praise everything because really, everything they do is pretty darn good.


Tricia @ The Domestic Fringe said...

Oh, your heart must have broken for him. Poor thing.

I struggle with this too. When to push and how much to know? These are really difficult judgement calls.

I was definitely too hard on my oldest and then perhaps I don't expect enough from my youngest. I don't know.


Style Journey said...

It's such a fine line, especially when they are young like your little man. It's hard because you don't want to discourage because of an A- (which is great), but I always just said to try a little harder next time and see what happens. Our school district doesn't even us an A through F scale in elementary. They use a Met or Not Met grading format.

CC said...

My little man in is Kindergarten this year and they aren't using letter grades which is odd to me. He is super bright but not terribly focused. ;) For him I am satisfied as long as I know he tried his best. Every kid is different. I guess that's why parenting is so hard. There is no single solution to any of it. We just have to try and pray that God guides us in what we do.

Cami said...

I have no words of wisdom...just to say AWW. He is so precious <3 I am sure you cleared it up right away! ox

rlutz said...

You handled the situation gracefully. My son asked me I I was disappointed in him that he did not do well on a spelling test. I was heartbroken that he feared I was disappointed. Parenthood is not an easy journey

Autumn said...

I think the key is just to make sure that they know that your love is unconditional. Yes, we get disappointed by our kids sometimes. Yes, they can do better. But no matter what, we love them just the same.

Mimi said...

Awe, this is too cute, and yes, its hard I am sure. I havent quite gotten there yet as my boy is 20 months but I can see how this would be a heartbreaker. Its a tough call but I think as long as children know they are loved unconditionally and you still guide them to be motivated to succeed.....

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