"Do or do not, there is no try" - Yoda
I might be considered a bad mother for posting this but I feel like I should make a social commentary. It seems to me in this day and age, rewarding a child for simply being a child is a norm. Everyone is a winner and everyone gets trophies! It doesn't matter if you win or lose. You get a trophy for participating! I understand that positive reinforcement works best, hell, I even have reward systems at home but there comes a time, a line has got to be drawn somewhere.
Children don't get held back in school anymore. Everyone gets rewards because they "tried". Too much emphasis is being placed on self esteem. Don't get me wrong, self esteem is a good thing but too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad.
These children are being molded under the idea that it is ok to set the bar low in life. That as long as you "tried" you get a free pass. While this may work well in elementary or even Highschool, what happens at the University level or even worse, when these kids start in the workforce? A boss is not going to understand why you are not getting your work done and how it should be ok because you "tried".
A friend of mine was telling me how proud his son was because he got 100% on a test. It was a dictation in French, The child made loads of spelling errors but because he put all the accents where they should be, he was only graded for that. He did not lose points for the misspelled words.
In my opinion, I feel that it is not solely up to the school to educate children but as a parent, we should be working with the school to ensure our children get an education. It is not the teacher's fault if my kid is failing. I should be helping with homework and finding ways to make sure my child gets any extra help that is needed.I am also prepared to encourage my son to write the misspelled words correctly even if they weren't required.
I work 40 hours a week, by the time I come home and make dinner, I am exhausted. I still find time to help him improve his skills. I want to teach my kid to aim the bar high and work hard, not for anybody else but for his own personal benefits. By working towards something, by improving skills and overcoming personal obstacles is a surefire way to improve/cater towards self-esteem. Only when there is progress, should there be a reward. Not because he tried at something. I fear for the future generations.
I want him to be the best person he can be. I want him to be someone whom he can be proud of. If that means he falls and struggles along the way, that is ok. it builds character. I don't want to protect him from every little thing and I don't want to cushion every little fall. I don't want him to fail but if that happens, it will be ok because he will know how to brush himself off and keep trying. I want to be there for him during those times of struggles and offer support. I want him to know that it is ok to be the last one to be picked at a sports team. It is ok to not get that trophy because he lost the game. Not everyone can be winners, such is the reality of life.
This rant has started because two weeks ago, at my son's daycare, a photographer came in to take "grad photos." Don't get me wrong, I am proud that he will be starting kindergarten in the fall. I am proud to watch him grow up and that he will be leaving daycare. There was a little ceremony at his school and he performed for us (they do this every year, with ALL the kids, not just the ones who will be leaving the daycare) It was hard not to bawl my eyes out and clap the loudest. I will treat him to McDonald's and we will have cake afterwards. We do this every year. On the other hand, grad photos for daycare? I already got the proof and he is really cute and I smile at the look of pride on his face. While I am pondering the fate of humanity, I know deep down, I am a sucker. We all know I am going to be buying these photos. After all, what kind of mom would I be if I didn't? That also makes me angry. That I am sort of forced by some stupid marketing gimmick to conform on society's view. I still stand my ground. I am going to do my hardest to teach him a lesson a little man in green once taught me: "Do or do not, there is not try" Thank you Jedi master, Yoda.