Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Managing my academic expectations as a parent

If you had to ask my children what doing homework with me is like they would probably remark with something along the lines that I am a complete drill Sargent whose expectations and demands are far to much for them and they would rather lick the floor and stand on their heads than have to sit through it with me (This excludes Jesse who doesn't get much homework).

Yes unashamedly many aspects of that remark ring true, I will admit I am a tad bit hectic when it comes to academic achievement with my kids but its not because I expect too much of them it is because I know what standard of work they are easily capable of producing so when they hand over work that I know isn't even worth a tenth of the effort they are able to put it, it irks me like seriously irks me, I also sympathize with their teachers (and future employers) who in the end are left to decipher the haphazard mish mash that is a written piece and need to mark it even though I myself and my own child who wrote the piece struggle to read it, that in my opinion is not only unfair and disrespectful towards their teacher but it also shows that at the time they were not willing to put in the effort required of that work, my eldest struggles terribly with spacing and letter sizing but I know when he puts in the effort and the time his writing is beautiful maybe not perfect or perfectly neat but beautiful in a Loghan way- his best efforts can clearly be distinguished and I am sure it is something his teacher greatly appreciates when marking papers at 10pm at night..

Over the top, yes I am- apologetic? In many ways no but in some ways yes.

I was raised to strive for academic achievement- contrary to my parents strive though I was the arty farty child who just didn't excel at Maths or science- as much as I tried, my kids on the other hand have a natural gift for Maths, science and technology a gift that I feel should not go to waste and something I believe they excel at without effort and therefore could surpass excel point with effort, on the flip side there are of course areas which they struggle with or do not have an aptitude for and those areas while I strive to better their efforts and understanding in those areas my expectation levels are not as high, in other words I only expect of my children what I know they are capable of, if I know that my child struggles to comprehend and grasp Afrikaans for example and they bring home a 50% with me knowing that they tried their best then I will not complain and reprimand them for that mark, however if my child is capable of bringing home 80% for Maths and I know that they didn't try to study, they were lazy didn't do their homework etc and they bring home a 50% yes I am going to get angry because unless there is a very good reason that affected their ability to achieve what they were capable of then how am I teaching them to strive and work hard and that with hard work comes reward and achievement.

I am that mom who will help in anyway I can I will help with research, I will teach myself the concepts and methods in order to help I will sit watching doccies and I will stay up doing projects with my kids, I am more than happy to put in the effort but then I expect the effort to be returned in kind.

I do know that I can often get very hyped up very quickly, my patience level when I am trying to get homework done during my working hours and my child just wants to rush through and play Pokemon is pitiful at best and I know that I do not help by losing my cool that is something I need to work on, I also need to work on refocusing my attention on the improvements no matter how small and to praise more where praise is needed (sometimes a well done can go a long way) or deserved.

The amount of homework and the amount of work that kids these days have to get through without much time or though for proper comprehension and understanding before moving onto another concept is flabbergasting and that is definitely an entire post on it's own and yes I believe very strongly that children need time to just be children, they need a break they need to regroup unfortunately the CAPS curriculum is lacking in so many ways but it is what it is and as long as the boys are in the schools in which they are we need to make it work as best as we can, Loghan in particular though is my child who likes to just wing it where he can and put in as little effort and time as he can whilst Gabriel and Jesse like to please and receive praise for surpassing expectations when it comes to their work, I often remark that smarts can be as much a blessing as a curse, when a child knows and is told that they are good at something all the time they can sometimes become a bit arrogant and then feel that they don't need to bother, I have seen this in Loghan and it just really is something that grates me to be born with a talent or gift and to squander it just because argh the frustration use dem brains child only the universe knows where you got them from maybe it was all of the omega rich foods I consumed during my pregnancy regardless make use of them, work hard today and reap the benefits tomorrow, I know its kind of hypocritical to say but I want the success and achievement for my children that I blew to the wind throwing away my opportunities and choices during my own academic career the difference is they are most likely a hell of a lot smarter than I ever was and their natural ability is something that if I had was never something I myself put an effort into and I don't want that for them.

I know I have issues I know I need to work on them but I think we all try and strive to give our children what we didn't have or to achieve what we couldn't and when they have the ability to achieve that naturally it is just incredibly hard to let that go and throw caution to the wind without aggravation... am I the only one?

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