Why do we try to protect our kids too much?
I thought of this last night when my daughter got some of her spellings wrong in her school test. In the past, I would have said, "Well done, you've tried your best" and praised the effort that went into learning the words. But I know she put little effort into this weeks test. I didn't pressure her into revising this week, so she chose to prioritise sport and YouTube time over school work.
Instead of the usual praise, I told her she could have "tried harder" and that, on this occasion, her marks were a reflection of the lack of effort she put into the test. She was not happy, but neither was I. As my kids are getting older I think it's important for them to become more resilient and learn that sometimes things don't go the way you planned.
I want them to realise the value of hard work and effort. I want them to feel proud of what they achieve and recognise good work against the mediocre.
But I think this is an important life lesson. If we do too much for our kids and constantly praise them, even when praise is undue, when are they going to learn? I'm taking a step back and teaching some responsibility, I think that ultimately, that is our job as parents, to get our kids ready to become fully functioning adults. I don't know any adults that haven't faced adversity at some stage in their life.
There's another spelling test next week and I already caught her looking over the words this morning over breakfast so they can "soak in" as she puts it. I don't believe in pressure, but I do believe in calling things out that are not right. I think as a generation, most of us overpraise our kids.
I don't want them to be in a place where they can't recognise genuine praise from false praise. I want them to be resilient and strong. I want my children to grow up to realise that failure IS an option.
It's what you do after you fail that really counts. What do you think?