It’s that time again! Time to judge the progress of our children and bring a light to the twisty paths of learning for each child. It’s REPORT time.
Language is so important at this time. We can be sharp, critical, negative and judgemental or we can be over-positive and brimming with praise or avoidance of the real issues.
I prefer the middle road. Many years ago I encountered the 2 STARS AND A WISH thinking and have tried to live by that. When asked my opinion of anything at all I like to point out the strengths and the weaknesses as I see them and to also offer CONSTRUCTIVE STEPS TO IMPROVE.
We all need that- what are we doing right? What is wrong? How can we improve?
To write a report we need to really KNOW a child. I have seen so many reports that basically leave parents feeling their child will never be able to excel at ANYTHING and others that simply tell lies and insist all is well when it’s not.
Let’s tell the truth but importantly, let’s tell the WHOLE truth.
Children grow and change and what on earth is the point of making a quick judgement that may become a self-fulfilling prophecy and does not allow for positive change? It is better to stick to the fairer, kinder but honest road and point out strengths first, weaknesses next and then ways to improve.
When we teach we NEVER know who is on the mat in front of us. There might be a future PM of Australia, a future talented inventor, a medical scientist who will find a cure for cancer or a genius master criminal in that squirming, creative mass of children by our knees!
So at this “judgement” time let’s treat them with kindness, care, honesty and positive encouragement.
After reading of what the children of Korea have to endure, their high suicide rate and then watching the revealing and dreadful method of attending “hagwons” or cram schools and sleeping in class I am moved to deep sadness for the children and young people.
Life is not just about success and going to the best university or making loads of money. The value systems inherent in these concepts are empty and twisted. Children need better than this and we know it.
I recently saw a TV program about rich Chinese kids are being taken to weekends of over the top total luxury to get them to crave these creature comforts and the high-life and learn about making money. What on earth will those kids be like when they grow up? Unfortunately we know the answer to this question.
We have parents who ask us not to praise children because it will stop them trying. Many years ago I had a child who was almost suicidal due to this parenting approach and had to have years of therapy to regain a positive approach to life.
We have to stop dumping our sick, valueless and contorted ideas of “success” on children and encourage them to grow, improve and be the person they were meant to be. Children are not designer handbags to be touted about. Go save up for your Louis Vuitton if you want but LOVE, CARE, and RESPECT your child and learn to appreciate them for who they are- not for who you want them to be!
As I begin reports today I will try to keep all these thoughts in front of me and most of all use any criticism to show how we can BUILD not tear down.