Saturday, July 31, 2021

How to Be A Good Mother


The most important quality any mother can have is self restraint.  Specifically, helping their children build confidence and learn skills by making mistakes.  This is a lot harder than it sounds.  

In the age of the helicopter parent, I see so many mothers that have lost themselves to "overparenting."  I remember a personal experience I had with this, when at a local playground a mother of someone else's child was hovering under my child in a panic, ready to catch her as she swung recklessly from the monkey bars.  

Somewhere along the line, mothers have gotten the impression that parenting  success is to protect their child from all perils and dangers.  But shielding our children from failure hurts more than helps them.  Children need to make mistakes in a controlled environment when they are young, so they can learn important life lessons before the consequences are severe.

A mother needs to set the bar high, not low...with the understanding that there will be times when their child fails or is disappointed.  But learning how to deal with these situations helps them to gain the skills they will need to be independent adults.

During middle school, I enrolled my daughter in advanced math and science, against her desire and the guidance of her academic advisor.  I knew that she was capable of so much more, but the public school system was happy to keep her where she was comfortable; in the middle.  I made the decision that now was the time to see what she was capable of.  If she failed her 7th grade coursework, I would make adjustments the following year,.  There would be minimal impact to her future schooling.  If she succeeded, she would be on a new trajectory in life, where she would have more opportunities, a different set of friends, and a different view of her own capabilities.   

There were many emotional episodes of tears and pushback, as my daughter expressed her fear of failure and the challenge she had ahead of her.  We cancelled all extracurricular activities so she could focus on her schoolwork.  She set a goal to succeed, and as a family we were focused on providing the support and encouragement she needed.  As the school year started, her grades were low.  She struggled with not only learning the expectation of advanced academic coursework but also new responsibilities related to middle school.  

She struggled.  A lot.  It was very difficult, especially with math.  My partner spent hours with her tutoring to help her fill in the gap in content she missed when we skipped her a full year ahead.  But she didn't give up even when it felt impossible to succeed.  She worked hard and practiced until her quiz grades went from C- ... to C+.. to B-... to B...

Her confidence swelled as she saw that she was smart enough, and could do well, if she worked hard and focused in class.  I can remember more than one morning where this 12 year old student set her alarm for 3am to review math with my partner the morning before a first period quiz.   

As she achieved more, her confidence grew exponentially.  No one was doing the work for her, and she knew that she had earned her own marks.   And it felt amazing.  To overcome such a difficult obstacle was empowering.  Half way through the year, she commented that she was disappointed that all of her classes weren't honors classes.  The following year she enrolled in all advanced classes across the board, and achieved a final grade report of A's across the board.

Empowering a child to be successful based on their own efforts requires guidance from afar.  Its so much easier to step in and solve problems for children when they are struggling.  

Can you think of a time when you intervened when someone was struggling?  How do you think the results would have been different if you weren't there?  Please share your comments below.

Daily Writing Response 4/300

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts, and please post kindly