I told this story on my Facebook page several weeks ago but wanted to share it with my blog readers too. ~Elizabeth
My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I would probably be an average student and what’s more, that when we began receiving letter grades, I’d probably make C’s. (This is the teacher who, when she thought we kindergarteners had been Quite Loud Enough Already, forced us to sit silently at our tables and copy the numbers from 1 to 100 on a chart.)
But in what amounts to probably the Best Parenting Move ever, my mom did not pass that information along to her daughter, no she did not. She expressed no disappointment in me. And she expressed no low — or high — expectations of me. She simply said to herself, “Whoever this firstborn daughter of mine turns out to be, that’s fine with me.” Which meant I could continue to enjoy school without feeling any pressure whatsoever.
For the next couple years I was a slow worker. I liked school, but I struggled with the pace of the workload. I remember being sent home with piles and piles of papers that I hadn’t been quick enough to complete at school, so I had to complete them at home. (These were very boring color-cut-paste-panels-in-order activities.)
Then one summer everything changed: I discovered reading (perhaps through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books?). When I returned to school that fall, I excelled. Mom didn’t expect that but was happy to witness the transformation from slow learner to avid reader and dedicated student.
And though I’m not passing this gift on to my children quite as perfectly as it was passed on to me, I still look to my mom’s example of pressure-less parenting, and I’m thankful that she patiently waited for me to bloom academically. . . or not.