Hi Readers, this next post was originally posted by me for a community of dynamic women aptly called “Bosses in Skirts”. The lessons in here however, affect all us and it’s my pleasure to share them with you here. Enjoy the read.
In the rat race of life, most of us push ourselves hard to make sure that we are at the very least, comfortable, and so also the children that come after us. If we can afford it, we “push” our kids to do their best in school and hope that it pays off.
The mistake we have been making over the years is that we focus too much on the weaknesses of children. The mark of a properly educated child these days has teetered dangerously towards how many As and Bs he/she has. Imagine your child comes home with some As and a B (we are secretly horrified at the B!) but worst of all, there is a glaring grade E on the report card. As a parent you are a bit disappointed but you encourage your child to do better and try to find ways to help him/her get all As. What this implies is that you focus on the weak grade because you assume that the child is already good at the A subjects. You may even get a lesson teacher to coach the child in that area. Now, this isn’t in itself a terrible thing. After all, are you not trying to help your child? However, what I am about to suggest is drastically different from the norm and goes against what we know as parents and do as teachers. But I suggest it because it has been found and proven to be the most efficient and way of educating children and setting them up for life. There is a caveat: the system will not support you. After all, don’t CVs and job interviews want sparkling A students? But not all fingers are the same. And we waste so much time focusing on the wrong things.
What you should do: Focus on what your child is good at. Tailor his/her education to what he is good at and he/she will spend much less time chasing degrees and trying to be what he/she is expected to be, not what he/she wants to be. The question of how do you balance trying to give your child an all round education in light of this is a valid one. My point is this: do not stress yourself out if you know your child has tried but is just not good at something. It does not mean your child is not intelligent. There are many angles to this. Also formal school system is not for everyone because it assumes that we all learn in a certain way. And remember that formal schooling is not a replacement for education. You can be schooled but not educated.
Education is holistic and involves the entire life experiences of an individual.
So how do you get the most out of your child, people or yourself? Focus on strengths. It seems obvious but you will be surprised at how much time we waste trying to make the system accept us and be normal like “other people”. To help your child discover his or her strengths, teach your child a hobby today. Explore what he or she likes to do. And have fun while at it. If they like something, then they are probably good at it. If they are good at it, then they already have an unfair advantage over others which is a good thing because it means they are naturally talented in that area. Combine natural talent with skill, practice and passion and you’ve got a recipe for excellence and great achievement. The hobbies you encourage your child to develop today may be their career/job tomorrow.
Remember, “to produce excellence, you must study excellence.” E. Anderson
Suggested hobbies to start with. And caution, do not impose societal roles on kids. A boy can become a chef (glorified cook for good reason) and a girl can play football as well as the next man.
- Sewing/needle craft
- Dancing/ Singing
- Writing/ Reading
Resources: You can get in touch with me @ email@example.com and lets learn and live!