Why is it that a day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear someone say on TV, the radio, in the market, at school and numerous other places “Oh, he/she is a great kid, they get straight A’s!” Please explain to me how the concept of “being a great kid” equates to receiving great grades.
Yes, I know that some of those students work very hard for those grades which means they are dedicated, hard- working and possibly smart but that is not the case for all the kids who receive such good grades nor should it be the entire focus of every adult in America who has a child.
Why don’t people say when describing children. “Wow she is a really great kid because she is: kind, funny, creative, has great manners, is always considerate, respects authority, isn’t selfish, sticks up for others and is a great role model to her siblings, etc, etc, etc. Every time I hear someone boast about a child’s grades I want to stick my finger in my mouth and make a gagging sound and say “Hey lady, who flipping cares about their grades, what kind of person is your child?” “Do they positively contribute to society at large?” That is the standard I hold my children to but it seems as so many people don’t care about morals and values anymore and I find it very frustrating.
Because I send my child to a private Catholic School most of the parents are on the same page regarding morals and values for which I am very grateful. It is also the main reason I spend money to educate my child when we live in a good school district.
I had a conversation with another mom the other day while waiting for the kids to get out of school. I asked her where she finally decided to send her son to high school and she started telling my why she had chosen their local high school as opposed to requesting a transfer or going private. She started talking about the honors programs and I cut her off and said ” I don’t care about the honors programs I want to know : is the school safe, will your son fit in, how did you feel when you met the other parents and students, is it a match?” She immediately sighed and started saying ” Oh, that’s what I care about too, but most people only care about the academics.” She then went on to describe the school and her commitment to become very involved at the school so she could keep a close eye on the situation and her hopes that her children would fit in and find friends with similar morals and values. Seems like all anyone ever cares about anymore is grades or where their child will go to college. Yes both of these are super important but in the whole scheme of life what is most important?
Maybe I feel this way because Tiara has taught me that being “school smart” isn’t the most important quality in life For example, I think my plumber is a smart guy but I am sure he didn’t get straight A’s all the time, if ever. Yet I can’t keep my household running without his help once in a while. When he shows up, I am always grateful for his skills and he is the kindest, sweetest man, he just warms my heart. I felt the same way about our first gardener, Jose who left us about 5 years ago when he switched careers because of health problems. He used to pray for Tiara and took great pride in making sure my garden always looked it’s best, which brought me such joy.
I guess my whole reason for writing this post is to remind parents that if we always correlate high grades with a child’s self worth we are setting up many kids to feel like failures. Not everyone is meant to achieve straight A’s. Yes, I have a law degree and happen to love learning but not everyone is like me, including all of my children. Everyone is unique and sometimes we forgot to embrace each child’s individuality and appreciate their differences.
There is no recipe for raising our children but as parents we can always encourage our children to strive to do their best and do it with integrity, honesty and compassion for others.
Have a wonderful Thursday!