The Quest for Imperfection
Emma studied for her science exam, felt prepared and earned a 91. She did not stress about not getting 100. She was curious about what she missed.
She combed through the returned test. She saw how she graphed the values wrong. Now, she plots them correctly. She remembers now that neon, helium, and argon are Nobel gases and writes that on the blank line. And she recalls, during the test, that she quickly circled B. Waxing. But the answer was D. Waning, which she didn’t even see because she knew the answer started with a W. and circled the first W she saw. She told herself she can be more careful next time.
It did not occur by luck, nor was it random that Emma did well on the exam. She knows how to prioritize, ask for help, complete her homework, keep track of her supplies, write down her assignments and check them off, study, and manage her time.
The beauty of this is seeing that Emma values learning, not improving her grade. She gained mastery of the information both before and after she took the test. She allowed herself to accept her errors without being punitive, shaming or being ugly to herself.
One of the coolest things about Emma is that she does not let her grades limit or define her. She’s committed to working hard and doing her best in school, at home doing chores, building Legos, and baking dessert, and on the soccer field. She accepts that she is not perfect and won’t ever be.
It’s important to let our children know we understand how difficult it is for them to live their lives authentically. The pressures of grades, making the team, and fitting in overwhelm them. Our goal is show them that we believe in them, will always stand with them and are proud of them just as they are.
Warm regards and appreciation for all you do,