Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is your New Year's Resolution?

What is your New Year’s resolution? Mine is to try harder not to compare my children and put pressure on one to be as good as one of the others. What prompted this? I note that my son’s first grade teacher sent home when report card came home. Let me share it with you:

"Please do not picture me as being better or worse than all the other children. Remember that all children do not learn to talk or walk at the same time, nor do they learn math and reading at the same rate or in the same way. I ask you not to compare me with my brother, my sister or the kid next door. You can set realistic goals for me, but please be careful not to push me to succeed at something that is beyond my ability. I want you to understand that this report is a picture of my school progress. When you meet with my teacher, you will learn many things about my life at school, even some things that might surprise you. My teacher knows me as I am at school. You know how I am at home. The "real" me is somewhere in between."

I have three children. My daughter (9) is the oldest. She is a mature, bright girl and a good friend. She likes to follow the rules and is the “Ideal Student”. This set up high expectations for me when her brothers came along. Her brother who is 7 is emotionally young for his age and has fewer friends but is just as bright if not brighter. I have had to set different expectations for him in school than his sister. I am not as hard on him with his penmanship because that is difficult but push him harder in other areas. Then there is the 5 year old having to follow in both of their footsteps. He is one of the youngest in his class which is new to me as his siblings both have fall birthdays. I can’t expect him to read as quickly as he is 10 months younger than his brother was at the same point in Kindergarten. When they are older, the 10 months won’t seem like as big a difference but for now it is.

My children are all wonderful! But they are wonderful for different reasons. I want to celebrate their strengths rather than point out the shortfalls compared to others. My parents were able to raise 4 children into successful adults who couldn’t be more different from each other but all love and appreciate each other for who they are. I hope I can accomplish the same with my children.

What are your resulotions? Please share!

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