We have all heard of the mommy wars – shoot, maybe you have even participated in them. Working moms work harder than stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms are better moms than working moms, my husband is taller/hotter/richer than yours, we can out-frugal you … everything is competition! Its ridiculous, and whats even more disturbing is that is has now progressed to our kids.
I have had a few conversations lately that disturbed me. Since we started homeschooling people are unduly interested in my daughter’s academic progression. I suddenly felt the need to justify myself to virtual strangers. My daughter reads at a 13.5 grade level! She scored in the 93rd percentile on her Iowa Test of Basic Skills! She has been on the honor roll the entire time she has been in middle school! But I slowly started thinking, what if she wasn’t? What if she just performed at an average level (which she does for some subjects). What if she was *gasp* BELOW average?
Conversations about kids and school invariably lead to mother swapping stats. My child is in honors math. Well my child received a scholarship to rocket science preschool. And if, God forbid, a child ISN’T at genius level as soon as they exit the womb, the excuses start. The teacher doesn’t like him. We had to move her to a better school. Whether it is an extension of the mommy wars, or born from the over-scheduling of our children, we as parents are placing a HUGE burden and responsibility on them by expecting them to always be above average.
Of course we want our children to do their best, and we want to see them succeed. But when it turns into a competition of whose child is smarter, we have taken a dramatic left turn into inappropriate. That isn’t about wanting the best for your child, its about wanting your child to make you look good. Like you are some kind of super-parent who churns out better-than-average children, when in reality you will probably be paying some future therapy bills.
Academics are not the only standard that matter in life. Many significant people in history – even geniuses – did terrible in school.
This world throws enough at our children intended to break them down. As parents I would challenge you to focus less on test scores, and focus more on building your child up and equipping them with the tools they need to fulfill their God-given destiny in life.
This is day 24 in the series 31 Days Of Learning To Be Positive. Click here to check out the entire series.