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Grace To Grow

Help me to understand how a former c student with no pre ap or ap classes is dissatisfied with b’s from their child who’s taking ap or pre ap classes. Based on the be better than me mantra of many parents, your child has done just that.There’s absolutely nothing wrong with pushing your children to greatness. But I can point out a number of things wrong with being upset with a child, for not knowing the answer to a question, who asks you for help with homework that you need help with in order to help them. It doesn't make sense, when you put things into perspective. The be better than me mantra can best serve its purpose when we as parents are realistic as to why we are so adamant that our children reach a pinnacle of perfection that we failed to achieve at their age. I was a teen mother, my oldest son born just a month and a few weeks shy of the start of my senior year of high school. More than anything, I want my son's and daughter to complete high school and even their early twenties without being faced with the challenges I experienced as a young mother. In essence, I want them to make better decisions for themselves. But being better than me, even in my failures is a tough feat, simply because the challenges they face today although there are similarities there are also stark differences. When I factor in the different variables in personality, home life and now we must consider parenting during a pandemic and the many challenges our children face with their new learning models. Its more realistic to admonish our children one of my motto's "to be the best version of themselves". While ensuring we've provided the necessary support, modeling and encouragement for them to do so.

Supporting our children and living vicariously through them are two different things. Some of us are raising astronomers, pilots, physicians, accountants, actors, musicians, entrepreneur's and attorney's. Unfortunately, because we're so determined for them to be the next Lebron, Patrick,Russell,Cam, Serena, Maya, Alyson,Naomi (insert name of an athlete ) our children lose the potential and motivation to see the actualization in what they could’ve become because they were so focused on being who you signed them up to be. Many of us seem to forget that athletic scholarships aren't the only types of scholarships available to our children in paying for higher education. We've also minimized the value and benefit of trades as it relates to our children's future career. College really isn't for everyone. It’s also acceptable for your college student to change majors within the first year and a half of college. Despite the fact that you wanted them to study something different from what they have chosen as a young adult that better reflects their future plans.

When is the last time that you asked your child what they actually like to do? It really saves a lot of time and money and assist you in supporting your child in the area that matters most to them. Children and teens tend to burn out when what used to be fun for them begins to feel like a job for them(speaking from experience). Especially in the case of sports when parents start seeing their children’s gifts as a way out or the next meal ticket and began to look for a return on their “investment and for the child what was once fun feels like a heavy burden. Anything you do expecting a return, aside from your child’s happiness, safety, emotional and physical well being no matter how you spend it isn’t to me done completely out of love. Self servitude is somewhere in the mix. I understand the idea of encouraging our children and youth to establish good work ethics and habits at a young age, in preparation for adulthood. When you consider that most of our years are spent being an adult, it seems like more emphasis should be placed on allowing children to enjoy their childhood without the burdens and responsibilities to always make the play, look the part and act the part. When truthfully, they are figuring out who they are all while trying to be who we as parents want them to be.

In no way am I suggesting that parents be completely lax in the manner in which they raise the children they are responsible for. But I do recommend applying wisdom rather than making emotion based decisions that aren't necessarily the most beneficial for our children and their future. All while saying things like "when I was your age, or comparing your back then to your child's right now". Don't get me wrong, I can name a number of instances in which I believe that "back in my day things were tougher, children were more resilient had a ton's more responsibility and the expectations were higher". However, I also see the microscope that today's children are under as well, the challenges that come with the social media society, where popularity and importance is based on how many followers you have a social media. The jealousy and envy from one's success seems to be completely different now than when I was growing up.

If your children are anything like mine, the king’s and queen of fact checking with their grandparents. They want to know, what kind of student you were, what kind of child you were, what kind of athlete you were. Because for some reason, alot of parents tend to embellish when it comes to their childhood. Make sure what you're telling your children about your glory days or how you were a model student is actually true. There's nothing like finding out instead of your dad being the high scorer on the team, that he actually only got in the game when the team was ahead by a significant number of points. Even if you were the best competitor athletically or the best student academically, find a way to motivate your child without demeaning them or making them feel inadequate for not being as good as you once were. If we're honest many of us well into our thirties and forties are still trying to peace ourselves together to become something or someone our parent's and even ourselves are proud of. We don't have it all together, or are lacking many of the qualities and characteristics with expect our children to have. Isn't it quite daunting parenting the you out of your child? It's probably the hardest thing I've attempted to do.

In my 19 years of being a mom, I’ve created some great "mamaisms", perfected my strong stance on certain things and stood my ground, learned when to say yes and how to say no, cried out of fear and frustration, admitted to my children when I was wrong, and even basked in glory when I was absolutely right. Yet and still I'm still learning on the job! Of all these things, the most important thing I’ve learned to apply to parenting, was not only giving my children grace to grow, but myself as well.

These quotes have always stuck with me:

"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them" James Baldwin

"Parenthood is about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last". Peter Krause

"Parent's can only give advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands". Anne Frank

"Children learn more from what you are than what you teach". W.E.B. Dubois

"For many of us our biggest impact and imprint on society will come from the children we raise". Author unknown

As always

Be well, be better, be the your best version of success.

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