I don’t normally reblog on Mayfair Mum. It seems to take advantage of another blogger’s hard work/expertise and feels as if I might be trying to pass it off as my own. While I admit, I’m not finding much time to write for the blog these days, and a Press This opportunity might seem like an ideal filler, that isn’t why I’ve decided to reblog this.
I also haven’t had much time to read my favourite blogs recently either, so when I visited The Happy Logophile and read this tonight, it instantly touched a nerve on a topic close to my heart and I just had to share Jo Eberhardt’s piece with you. I also think Jo writes brilliantly, so any excuse to broadcast her blog a bit further across the global interweb works for me.
I strongly believe that we, as parents, have a duty to teach our children how to try. Not how to win. Trying is so much more important than winning (hopefully if we teach the trying bit well enough, the winning bit will take care of itself enough to keep their little faces shining now and then). Surely we will build the foundations of their self-esteem well as we give our children opportunities to take pride in their achievements, in the sense of satisfaction they will derive from all their improvements, no matter how slowly, carefully and patiently they hone their approach until successfully finding the technique that leads to their chosen goal, wins them a medal, gains them our praise or simply shows them how they can improve beyond their wildest dreams.
Therefore, our job as parents surely must be to enable those situations that might allow failure? To measure their progress (not their failure), no matter how painfully small? To allow our children to learn to pick themselves up and start again. To allow them to learn, slowly and carefully to pay attention to what they’re doing and how they are doing it. To allow them to become consciously or unconsciously competent to the best of their ability. A brave and difficult course indeed.
While I believe in this passionately, I have to admit to feeling consciously incompetent myself. How best to teach this most valuable life lesson effectively on a daily basis, I wonder? That is, until tonight, when I was fortunate enough to read this most heartwarming story from someone I consider a true friend out there in the big, bad blogosphere. I feel it is only fair of me to share her words of wisdom, hope, optimism and sheer unadulterated joy with you dear reader. I’m sure you do a better job of this than me every time but I really hope this lets you know you’re on the right tracks or shines a light toward them, as in my case.
Seriously people, I wept for joy before I got to the end.
Read on. This one’s a cracker…