Why my daughter’s grades don’t matter
Author’s Note: This post was originally published on motheropedia as a guest blog.
Grades & Results
It is the season of results. I have been reading in the newspapers and hearing from people around me discussing children scoring high marks in board exams for a few years. There is also a debate surrounding the results as every board is in fierce competition with the other with respect to awarding more exam grades than the other so that children secure seats in the top colleges of the world. This might be true to some extent but I also believe that children today are so much more focused.
The environment in which they are growing is so progressive. They are exposed to the new age technology and the new world so they have many more insightful experiences than what we used to have as children. Their likes and dislikes sorted. They are prompt in giving answers and sometimes have valid arguments also to support their views. So when they are privy to so much, the role of the parent becomes even more critical and demanding so as to provide them with the best of opportunities and guidance to make them better human beings.
Here I would love to share my own parenting experiences while raising my daughter. I remember very well it was when she was only 4 years old when she developed liking for sketching. It was a lazy afternoon and I was watching the television while my daughter was colouring in the large size jumbo book (or that is what I thought as my attention was in watching the television). When I did happen to divert my attention towards her, I found that she was trying to draw the picture of the mermaid instead of colouring it.
That was the first time I experienced her interest in sketching. She would keep sketching for hours together. Now she is 8 years old and her love for art continues. She always says she wants to become an artist. I do not know if she will choose that field but I surely know that I need to encourage her and motivate her.
So I keep encouraging her by sharing her work on social media as she loves to see that others appreciate her work apart from her family members. Some might think that I do it with a sense of pride or to show off but the truth is that it motivates her a lot.
My Daughter and Her Grades
Another thing I make sure is I do not pressurise her to focus on her grades at school. I am only conscious that she is attentive in the class and is clear about the concepts. If she isn’t, I make sure she practices and is well versed with them. It absolutely doesn’t matter to me what her grades say. Whether she scores an A+ in the said subject.
This year when her results were declared she didn’t score an A+ in art even though she loves it to the core and is very good at it. So for a split second it definitely affected my belief in her but then I immediately regained from it and didn’t point it out to her that she hasn’t aced the subject she loves the most. I do not want to create pressure on her to improve her grade and lose out on developing her creativity. She might have had completely different ideas about the drawings the teacher must have asked her to do, which didn’t match with the grading procedure.
Let’s encourage kids to learn beyond scoring better grades
I have also observed that you could be anywhere in the world, and if you ask a child to draw a landscape you will see triangle mountains, sun, a river and few flowers in the drawing. This is how minds are conditioned. I do not want my daughter to limit her creativity like this. As a teacher myself, it’s fine for me if she has painted the mountains blue. This I have learnt from my experience as a teacher. I have had the experience of working in an IB school where the child’s creativity and thought process is given the utmost importance and I try and imbibe all my learning as a teacher while raising my daughter.
Developing Skills and not only improving grades
Another quality that I want my daughter to imbibe is self-discipline. So I got her to learn swimming at the age of 3 as she loved water as a toddler. Surprisingly she was very comfortable after a week’s class and now she is into competitive coaching. Again its two years since she started competitive coaching, she hasn’t won a single medal for herself. Yet she loves to be part of competitions and cheer for her friends, who are also her competitors. And when she is part of the winning relay team, her excitement is much more than the disappointment of losing an individual medal.
Focus on skills and not medals
This is what she has learnt from being a swimmer. It is more important for me that she is compassionate, believes in healthy competition and is a team player. Sometimes in search of the end result, we forget the process. The process of learning swimming has taught my daughter to be disciplined, independent, learn to accept failures and still strive hard for success. I think if my daughter becomes an independent and confident person when she grows up, I have done things right while raising her. I am sure success will follow eventually if she is a good human being.
Stop Grading yourself
Parenting is challenging and all parents fumble. But stop measuring yourself as a good or bad parent. Stop giving yourself grades and marks based on your child’s achievements. I lose my patience many times too and have made many parenting mistakes. Lately, I have observed that my daughter studies my behaviour and is learning by observing me. So I try to control my extreme emotions in her presence.
As parents, we have aspirations and dreams for our children. But I feel we should not limit our child’s potential in order to make sure they achieve our dreams. Who knows they might have even bigger dreams for themselves and will make us very proud someday!
Please do share your views and parenting experiences. We learn from each other.