I’ve had a few parents (both at Ash’s school and the studio) express their concern to me that because of the Coronavirus their child will be behind.
And I’m trying to be empathetic in my response but its just not a concern I can understand.
I believe firmly that every child is on their own path at the best of times and now, in the worst of times, even more so.
We get caught up in assessments, exams, awards, milestones, bloody NAPLAN and we forget that we are raising little humans that will be adults.
We are not raising humans to be assessed and jump through hoops. (I’d argue that working for external rewards is actually not helping anyone at any stage in their life).
I implore you, right now, to use this time to look at your expectations of your child and make sure they sit in line with your values and your expectations of who they will be as an adult.
(Note: WHO they will be and not WHAT they will big difference, I’ve got a million thoughts on that).
Yes, your child has missed school and ballet but no they are not behind. They are where they are because of circumstance and you worrying about them ‘catching up’ is not going to help them on their journey.
In fact, it will probably cause them anxiety….because right now they don’t feel they are behind unless they have heard it from an adult.
I am raising Ash with the view that I want her to be an effective adult – I want her to have good mental health, a resilient nature, kindness in her heart, to love learning throughout her life and the ability to be self-motivated.
How she performs at school doesn’t bother me so long as she is actively interested in education. (I enjoyed school but most certainly was not a good student but I love an educational space & am intending to do a Masters very soon just for the sake of learning).
Homework is never going to be an issue in my house, if she does it, great, if not, ok! It’s just not important to me. I don’t think homework is going to make her more resilient, improve her mental health, make her love learning more (especially is we’re fighting over it) and I don’t think it makes her internally motivated if she’s being forced.
I will parent for the adult I hope she is and that has nothing do with marks at school or ballet (or whatever activity she chooses to do). It’s all about the journey every step of the way.
I don’t expect you to have the same values as me but I do question the need, especially right now, to ‘catch up’.
Give them clarity that every single student on this planet has been displaced from their normal life and their normal way of learning. And it’s ok. Especially here in Australia, it’s ok. We will resume “normal” long before most other countries on earth.
No one is behind.
But I’d also like you to think of the human you want your child to ‘adult’ as….and then raise them that way.
What qualities do you want them to have?
And how are you parenting towards that?
Use this time to slow down and think why you do what you do? Why you expect what you expect?
And does this help you on your way to creating an adult prepared for the adult world?